New films by Volker Schloendorff, Mika Kaurismaki,Angelina Maccarone, Ute Wieland and Djamshed Usmonov are among projectsreceiving production support from Filmstiftung NRW and MedienboardBerlin-Brandenburg (MBB) at their latest funding sessions.

Veteran filmmaker Schloendorff received Euros 120,000from MBB for his historical drama Heldin Wider Willen about AnnaWalentynowicz, the initiator of the Solidarity movement in the Gdanskdockyards. Katharina Thalbach has been cast as the crane driver in the ProvobisFilm production which has started shooting at original locations at the Balticport with Telepool handling international sales.

The largest amount granted by MBB at this sitting - Euros650,000 - went to Berlin-based Egoli Tossell for its co-production withHamburg's Wueste Film and the private media fund German Film Productions of UteWieland's FC Venus - Frauen Am Ball which began shooting in Hamburg onSeptember 20. The football comedy is an "instant remake" of theFinnish original directed by Joona Tena for Talent House this summer (ScreenDaily February 2005).

Meanwhile, Filmstiftung NRW has provided Euros 850,000project funding for Unveiled director Angelina Maccarone's next feature,the road movie Vivere, to be produced by Cologne-based Elsani Film as aGerman-French co-production; and Euros 180,000 to Tadzhik filmmaker DjamshedUsmonov's To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die, which is set to beproduced by Pandora Filmproduktion with France's Elzevir Films andSwitzerland's Saga Film. Usmonov's film is one of the 27 projects beingpresented at this year's Pusan Promotion Plan.

In addition, Finland's Mika Kaurismaki has receivedbacking from the Filmstiftung for his next low budget documentary SonicMirror which will reunite him with the Swiss producer Marco Forster who hadpartnered him on his last feature documentary Brasileirinho whichpremiered at this year's Berlinale.