Eurimages, the Council of Europe-backed organisation which finances European co-productions, has accepted Slovenia as a member, effective January 1, 2001.

Slovenia will become the 26th country to join Eurimages. The decision was taken by the Eurimages funding board at a meeting in Strasbourg, held November 27-29. As a result, all projects involving a Slovenian co-producer can be presented for the forthcoming deadline for applications on January 12, 2001. Slovenia will also be able to benefit from Eurimages' Distribution and Cinema Support Schemes.

Meanwhile Italy's Gianni Massaro has unanimously been re-elected president of Eurimages for a further two years, and Renate Roginas has been appointed as the new executive secretary.

Massaro said: "I am particularly grateful for the trust that has been bestowed on me by the government representatives and their show of gratitude for the work that I have carried out over the last two years. It shows recognition for the way in which I have tried to handle what has been a very difficult time for cinema in general.'

Last year, Eurimages allocated more than Euros20m of funds to support European films, based on their circulation potential or artistic merit. Earlier this month, the body unveiled its fifth round of funding for the year 2000, supporting films such as Dina, to be directed by Denmark's Ole Bornedal, and Carlos Saura's Bunuel And King Solomon's Table, a fictional tale based around Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca.