The Brussels-based European Coordination of Film Festivals and Jameson Irish Whiskey have joined forces to launch an initiative worth Euros300,000 over the next three years to support European short film-making.

The Jameson Short Film Awards will be presented annually at eight European film festivals to a short film with the potential to reach a European audience. All fiction films in the national selection will be eligible for the award with a cash value of Euros6,000 which will be decided by the jury of the competition. In total, Jameson will be providing Euros48,000 for the prize-money and another Euros48,000 to the Coordination to meet the costs of organising the initiative.

The first of the Coordination's 160 members to benefit from the new awards will be Tampere Film Festival in Finland (March 7-11), to be followed by Filmfest Dresden (April 17-22), Valencia's Festival Internacional de Cine - Cinema Jove (June 16-23), Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens in Portugal's Vila do Conde (July 3-8), Murphy's Cork Film Festival (October 14-21), Turin Film Festival (November), Bristol's Brief Encounters (November), and Aix en Provence's Festival Tous Courts (November).

The awards will rotate between the festivals of the Coordination, giving many festivals the opportunity to either introduce a prize for the first time or boost the endowment of their prizes. The Coordination and Jameson had previously collaborated on the staging of a film programme "15 by 15: The European Film Heritage" chosen by 15 directors which has been touring festivals throughout Europe.