The Swedish Film Institute will provide $2.5m (Euros 1.8m) production support for eight new features, including a film by Josef Fares.

Separately, the Finnish Film Foundation will contribute $409,000 (Euros 310,000) to the funding of two movies, both instigated before the Finnish producers' strike effective on Sept 14.

Fares, whose Zozo won last year's Nordic Council Film Prize, has also written the script for Leo, and for the first time he will perform in one of his own films.

Backed by $468,000 (Euros 330,000) institute finance, the film will be produced by Anna Anthony for Memfis Film with Swedish regional film centre, Film i Vast, and Denmark 's Zentropa Entertainments.

Also starring Leonard Terfelt, Shahab Salehi and Sara E dberg, Leo is the story of a man and his girlfriend whose lives are changed on his 30th birthday.

Rally Bitches (Rallybrudar), from Lena Koppel who has previously co-directed Bombay Dreams, received the Institute's biggest award, a $1.1m (Euros 770,000) subsidy to direct the script she wrote with Lars Johansson and Marianne Willtorp.

Goran Lindstrom and Anders Birkeland will produce for GF Studios. Svensk Filmindustri will handle the autumn 2008 release. Eva Rose and Marie Robertson play two assistant vets who only enjoy their jobs because they get to race cars for quick delivery of bulls' semen.

Manuel Concha's feature debut, Bashtu, which he also wrote, was given $195,000 (Euros 137,000). The film, about two men with girlfriend problems, will be produced by Emil Larsson for Helsingborg-based Dansk Skalle.

A French-Swedish co-production from MSVP-Paris and dfm fiktion-Stockholm, French director Anna Novion's Les Grandes Personnes will get $121,000 (Euros 85,000) backing from the Institute.

The film scripted by Novion and produced by Christie Molia stars Mathieu Robin and Beatrice Colombier as a father and his 18-year-old daughter spending their holiday in the Swedish archipelago.

The Finnish Film Foundation will support two productions, AJ Annila's Sauna from Bronson Club ($255,000/Euros 180,000) and Anders Engstrom's A Good Life from IXL Pictures ($184,000/Euros130,000).

Annila, who made Finland 's first kung fu-movie, Jade Warrior, has set his new film in the backdrop of Finnish sauna culture: two brothers leave a young girl to die, and are subsequently haunted by her.

Engstrom tells the story of a terminally ill woman who tries to sort out unresolved problems with her children.