The Ile de France Commission,which encompasses Paris and its environs, has made its Euros 14m ($17m) purse available to documentary makers for the first time.

The announcement was made at the Sunny Side Of The Doc documentary market in Marseilles on Wednesday.

The programme will enabledocumentaries to benefit from aid previously earmarked for feature and TVfiction only.

To qualify productions mustcommit to eight-weeks post-production in the region and be at least 60 minuteslong.

A committee of professionalswill decide whether or not a project gets the subsidy's green-light. As withfeatures and TV programmes, any aid awarded will be reimbursable afteramortisation.

Olivier-Rene Veillon, headof the commission, stressed that "documentaries with big and internationalambitions" are all welcome. Potential candidates have until July 4 to submit projectsfor the next session.

The commission has workedregularly to draw foreign productions to shoot in the region, including inrecent years Norman Jewison's The Statement.