The new fund, modelled on Rotterdam’s Huber Bals Fund and Berlin’s World Cinema Fund, will invest in film-makers from developing countries,

The Norwegian South Film Fund (SØRFOND) aims to encourage Norwegian co-productions by investing in film-makers from developing countries.

The new $690,000 film production fund is the only film fund aimed at international production in Norway and will aim to invest in between five and 10 features and documentaries a year.

The Fund, modelled along the same lines as Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund and Berlin’s World Cinema Fund, is aimed at filmmakers from developing countries and hopes to encourage Norwegian producers to hone their co-production skills. It is supported by both The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Norwegian Ministry of Culture.

Film-makers from Asia, Africa, Latin-America and the Middle East are eligible for grants. Potential applicants must have 50% of the budget already in place and must also have a Norwegian co-producer on board. In return for an investment which can stretch to over €100,000, the fund asks for the right to screen the films it backs as Scandinavian premieres at the FFS. There is no requirement to spend in Norway. Nor will the Fund hold on to Norwegian rights.

The Fund will be administered by The Norwegian filminstitute (NFI) and the Films from the South Festival (FFS).

This is the only film fund aimed at international production in Norway.

Lasse Skagen, artistic director of the FFS, has explained just how the new Fund – set in place for an initial period of five years - will operate.

“The Fund has been developed organically through the work of the Festival,” Skagen commented. “It’s a production fund only, not (for) development or post-production.)”

Skagen is expecting to receive at least 40 applications in the initial funding round, the deadline for which is February 15.

Mahamat Saleh Haroun, the Chad-born director of A Screaming Man, is known to be among the first batch of filmmakers applying for  SØRFOND backing in time for next week’s deadline.