Young European talent is to get a new chance to break into the movies thanks to an extension of the Kieslowski Awards.

The prizes, which have operated in France for the last three years, are now being rolled out throughout the 15 European Union countries. The scheme, which gives writers and directors a chance to turn a short film script into a finished film, is backed by French mini-major MK2 and NADA, a technical support company.

"There is a need to reinforce the European film-making industry through trans-national projects," said organiser, Charles Gillibert. "The Kieslowski European Awards can be seen as an effort to rally media, schools and institutions in the European audiovisual industry round tomorrow's artistes."

In September, Gillibert will launch a call for projects that focus on three specific topics of social interest. Partner organisations in each EU country will select a national champion which will go on into production. After delivery, the 15 winning pictures will be distributed through the national networks of the partner organisations, on TV and via the internet from September 2002.

Confirmed partners include Telerama, broadcasters La Cinquieme and RTBF, Kodak and Credit Lyonnais.