The Film Foundation Sarajevo could become one of the members of Cine Regio, the European network of regional film funds, by the beginning of October.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily during Sarajevo's CineLink market, Cine Regio's general secretary Charlotte Appelgren said that meetings had been held with representatives of the Sarajevo fund and the City of Belgrade culture secretariat's filmmaking fund to discuss the possibility of Cine Regio membership.
'It seems that the more you talk to people here, the more you realise that there are so many stories which have not been told, but would be of great interest to people in the rest of Europe,' Appelgren observed.
'I really hope that by our annual regional meeting in October in Sitges, we will then have a total of 30 members with the Bosnian fund and one more fund from Norway joining.'
She explained that more than 130 regional funders, producers and directors would come together for the Sitges event from October 3-5:
'There will be a co-production forum with one-to-one meetings for producers from each region and a talent campus for young directors to present their projects in seven-minute pitches.'
In addition, the meeting will be used, according to Appelgren, 'to discuss in more detail the digital landscape and strategies for digital distribution as this issue will be our focus area for 2008. We want to learn how we can distribute the films we are involved in [with digital technology].'
While the CineLink market celebrated its fifth anniversary this year with a record 280-odd participants, the festival's industry dimension was further enhanced by the staging of the first Sarajevo Talent Campus (STC) in collaboration with the Berlinale and Berlinale Talent Campus.
77 directors, producers and actors from South-Eastern Europe attended lectures and workshops over six days given by such leading industry figures as Danis Tanovic, Cedomir Kolar, Dusan Makavayev, Pjer Zalica, James Longley, Danijel Hocevar and Terry George.
Bosnian filmmaker Mladen Djukic from Banja Luka, who had attended the Talent Campus in Berlin in 2004 and 2006 and was also selected for this event, praised the Sarajevo edition for its 'intimate and friendly atmosphere.
Highlights for me was the workshop with the film director Pjer Zalica because it was very personal and more like a family chat. And [script doctor] Franz Rodenkirchen gave us so many tips and was so direct in the lecture on script development. There was no small talk.'
The Talent Campus was such a success in Sarajevo this year that it is likely that the organisers will go ahead with plans for 2008 as proposed by festival director Mirsad Purivatra 'to expand the STC programme by several film disciplines' from the initial three categories of director, producer and actor.
Meanwhile, the festival was used as a platform to present a special screening of test sequences of the first Bosnian 3D animation feature film Birds Like Us which will be directed by Faruk Sabanovic from a screenplay based on Conference Of The Birds by Fariduddin Mohammed Attar.
The $4m (Euros 3m) production by Sarajevo-based Prime Time Production is expected to be three-and-a-half years in the making.
In addition, the CineLink market served as a launchpad for a German-based affiliate for the Dutch production outfit Revolver Film to focus on projects from Eastern Europe and the Balkan region.
Revolver Film Germany has been set up by Raymond van der Kaaij, CEO of Revolver Film Netherlands, with Berlin-based Marta Lamperova, who will continue in her post as vice-president international sales at the sales agent MDC International.
Speaking to Screen Daily in Sarajevo, van der Kaaij explained that 'it is tough to raise enough money [for projects from Eastern Europe], but it seems especially in Germany that there is an eye for this region.'
Lamperova added that there will not be any strict division of duties between her and van Kaaij since 'we go to the same festivals and also like the same kind of projects.'