In the heart of Amsterdam, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science-backed Binger Filmlab is doing its part to help 'quality' films along, both from the Netherlands and internationally.

The Binger Filmlab, which turned 10 last year, runs two five-month intensive coaching programmes a year, one for 10 directors heading into pre-production and the second for 16 scriptwriters. The programme has four projects in 2007's CineMart.

Headed by former CineMart chief Ido Abram, the Binger - named after the Netherlands' first film producer, Maurits Binger - brings Dutch and international film-makers together with advisers, coaches and experts at a cost of $2,000 (EUR1,500) per participant, with the possibility of further grants.

Boutique service

This year, Rotterdam will boast a Binger Boutique sidebar during one day of CineMart, presenting a further six Binger projects ready for funding.

"Young film-makers are our main focus," says Abram, "and we offer them a framework where they can focus on their work and get feedback from international advisers."

The four Binger projects at CineMart this year are New Zealand's The French Doors, Netherlands' The House Of My Fathers, Belgium's The Invader and Australia's Myself: Sometimes.

The Binger has also developed ties with South Africa through Project 10, which presented 10 documentaries to commemorate 10 years after apartheid; this year there is a focus on the ambitious The Commandments, in conjunction with the South African funding bodies the Sabc and Nfvf. This will comprise seven one-hour TV films and three full-length features, on which Binger will provide its core script development and directing programmes.

Says Abram: "We've been struggling with the question of whether we want to make auteur films or commercial films in the Netherlands. It seems the answer is that we're trying to do both."