Indian arts organisation Osian's, organiser of the Cinefan film festival which is currently in progress in Delhi, is launching a development fund to support filmmakers from India, Asia and the Arab region.

Dubbed the Film Fund: Osian's Originating Development (FOOD), thefund will provide grants ranging from $10,000-$25,000 for pre-production expenses such as script development, casting and location scouting.

Osian's also intends to offer its in-house expertise on the development of the selected projects, and help arrange presentations topotential producers and investors where necessary.

According to Osian's founder chairman Neville Tuli, FOOD aims to help filmmakers to 'be bold and fearless' when embarking on new projects rather than making financial compromises from the outset. 'We are here to provide support without any conditions, with the exception that we will have the first option to take each project to the production stage,' Tuli said.

The fund aims to provide grants to around 20 young filmmakers in its first year of operation following a selection procedure overseen by a range of professionals from the film world and related areas such as architecture and the arts.

Full details of the scouting and selection procedure will be finalised by October 2007 and the first projects will be chosen from Jan 1, 2008. Osian's also intends to set up an in-house production team to produce a small proportion of the projects.

Osian's film activities include archives, the Cinemaya film journal, Cinefan film festival and the Mumbai arthouse cinema, Osianama, which is scheduled to open in the next seven to eight months.