The Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) has attracted support from Rotterdam International Film Festival's Hubert Bals Fund and the Dutch foundation HIVOS for a "Regional Script Development Project" which aims to support film production in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia.

SFF director Mirsad Purivatra announced that the new venture will be launched in Sarajevo and at film festivals in Zagreb and Belgrade.

The project, which is being co-ordinated by Zoran Mlinarevic at SFF, is calling for scripts to be submitted by the end of March, after which they will be whittled down to a final list of four or five.

The shortlisted scripts will then be given a final polishing in co-operation with three international "script doctors" at a summer workshop before being presented to visiting producers, distributors and sales agents at a pitching session during the Sarajevo Film Festival in August

"We want to follow the essence of CineMart with these meetings at the festival", says Purivatra who has received a four year commitment from the Federal Government in Bosnia to put up 20% of the project's annual Euros 750,000 budget. "Another 20% is expected from the Sarajevo government, and the rest would come from sponsors, funds and foundations like Hubert Bals Fund and HIVOS."

"In a way, this is part of the reconciliation process and is the first chance for these countries to work together", Purivatra told

This script development initiative comes as the Thessaloniki International Film Festival prepares its own Balkan Fund to support filmmakers in South-East Europe.