San Sebastian'sCinema in Motion event has given production funding and technical support to fourfilms from the Maghreb region in Northern Africa and Portuguese-speakingAfrican countries.

Cinema in Motion, a spinoff from thefestival's Films in Progress (Cine en Construccion) programme for Spanish andLatin American films, is now in its second year.

Two of the four filmsselected for awards are currently at the post-production stage. They are theTunisian feature Lautre moitie du cielfrom director Khaltoum Bornaz, about gender divisions in the North Africancountry, which has been awarded $19,000 (Euros 15,000) in post services fromthe Mactari mixing auditorium in Paris; subtitles in French provided by Titra Film and thetransferral of the negatives to 35mm by Swiss Effects and Kodak Suiss.

The other in post isJean-Pierre Lledo's Algerian film Nerestent dans l'Oued que ses galets, about the relations between Muslims,Jews and Christians in Algeria, which will be transferred to 35mm by MikrosImages; awarded $19,000 (Euros 15,000) from the Centre of French Cinema; andreceive post-production assistance at the Morrocan Centre of Cinema. A 35mmcopy of the film will be presented at the Amiens International Film Festival(Nov 10-19), and the Fribourg International Film Festival (March 18-25), whichare co-partners in the Cinema in Motion initiative.

"I believe this initiativewill prove to be just as useful a launchpad as Films in Progress," says ThierryLenouvel, a representative from the Amiens film festival and co-producer of San Sebastian competition title Border Post. "Already the Maghreb region is renownedas a base for international production shoots, but now local film makers fromthese countries will also get the chance to promote their own films tointernational buyers and distributors. The initiative may even extend to allAfrican countries next year."

The other winners, currentlyin the early stages of production (with finished scripts and seeking funding) areMoroccan project Entre Parenthesesfrom directors Hicham Falah and Mohamed Chrif-Tribak, following politicallyactive students in Morocco in the 1980s, which will receive technical supportfrom Mikros Images, and Algerian comedy Mascaradesfrom Lyes Salem, a short film director already well known in France, whosescript will be read at the Amiens festival.

All of the chosen filmmakerswill have the opportunity to participate in a yearly Cinema in Motion tour of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico organised by the San Sebastian Festival and theAfrican Cinema Festival of Tarifa.