France's Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (PACA) region announced on Monday that it would set aside Euros 1.5m to aid productions shooting in the region. The funding will be open to French companies but also to Europeans in the case of a French co-production.

Based on the National Cinema Centre's (CNC) advance on receipts scheme, the funds are being earmarked for features at the production level as well as at the script and development stages.

PACA is the most highly sought location in France after Paris and the Ile de France. More than 150 shoots took place in 2002 with a concentration in Marseilles - which has been developing its production and post-production facilities over the past few years.

AFP reports that candidates for the aid must file submissions by April 25th when a series of committees made up of professionals from the region and beyond will study them. Further applications will be accepted later in the year.