Dimitris Eipides, the new director of the 51st Thessaloniki International Film Festival-TIFF (December 3-12) has decided to go ahead with the Balkan Script Development Fund, one of the most eagerly awaited industry related strands of the event.

Eipides’ decided to continue the BSDF despitethe dramatically squeezed budget of the event as a result of the overall economic situation of the country and the ensuing substantial cuts in TIFF’s subsidy by the Culture Ministry.

The BSDF, now in its eighth edition, will hand out awards (development grants) in cash to three projects which will be selected by an international jury following a three days pitching sessions (Dec 4-6).

Last year amount was Euros 10,000 for each awarded project and it is expected the same amount or a little bit less because of the financial situation will be allocated this time.

The announcement of the 10 selected projects representing six countries from the Balkan region was made possible after hesitations and doubts concerning the submission and participation of local projects.

This was made possible only after it became apparent that the imminent presentation of the much delayed new film law by the culture ministry would result in the Film Makers in the Fog movement lifting its ban on the participation of local films and projects in this year’s TIFF.

The film -akers movement protesting for the non presentation of a new film law by the ministry had boycotted last year’s 50th anniversary of the event not allowing any local films and projects to participate.

The nominated projects for 2010 are:

THE BARBARIANS, writer/ director: Ivan Ikic, co-writer: Boban Jevtic, producer: Milan Stojanovic, Sense Production D.O.O (Serbia)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, writer/director/producer: Christos Georgiou, Lychnari Productions, co-producer Thanassis Karathanos, Twenty Twenty Vision (Cyprus/Germany)

THE HOUSE, writer: Sanja Kovačević, director: Zoran Sudar, producer: Igor A. Nolan, Mainframe production (Croatia)

ILEANA, writer: Monica Stan, director: Eva Pervolovici, producer: Marcian Lazar, Strada Films (Romania)

THE LAST SLEEPLESS, writer / director: Ilke Yesilay, co-director: Gulsen Akbas, producer: Emre Yeksan, YXN - Yeksan Film (Turkey)

MY AFRICAN HEART, writer/director: Syllas Tzoumerkas, producer: Maria Drandaki, Homemade Films (Greece)

SEPTEMBER, writers: Kallia Papadaki, Penny Panayotopoulou, director/producer: Penny Panayotopoulou, co-producer: Thanassis Karathanos, Twenty Twenty Vision (Greece/Germany)

SMELLS LIKE BLOOD, writer: Efi Gavrilou, director: Filippos Tsitos, producer: Alexandra Boussiou, Wrong Men Productions (Greece)

STAGE FRIGHT, writer/director: Yorgos Zois, producer: Maria Drandaki, Pan Entertainment (Greece)

WALKON!, writer/director/producer: Ismail Necmi, In Works Production (Turkey)

The Balkan Script Development fund forms part of the festival’s Agora/Film Market industry strand which also includes Crossroads, the co-production forum for films of the region and the Mediterranean; Four Corners; the Salonica Studio students workshop; as well as The Film Market itself operating out of a digital video library.

Agora/Film Market is backed and co-financed by the EU’s MEDIA Programme.

The festival’s full line up will be announced Nov 23