The Film Agency for Wales is to receive $1.1 million (£750,000) of lottery money to invest in Welsh film production and development in 2009.

The investment fund is significantly lower than the figure allocated for the previous year. Over the course of 2008 the agency invested almost $2.5 million (£1.7 million) of lottery funding in Welsh filmmaking.

The reduction in funding is attributed to a number of factors.

In 2008 the agency received roll-over funding of $1.1 million (£750,000) from film projects the Arts Council had committed to but which had not progressed to the development stage.

However, the drop in funding is also due to money being diverted to the Olympics fund and a projected fall in lottery ticket sales. This accounts for around a $278,000 (£200,000) or a 21% drop in the agency's funding levels for 2009.

Pauline Burt, Chief Executive of the agency, said 'Our budget is somewhat restricted, we've been able to ring-fence the lottery funding this year to avoid sustaining losses.'

Despite this the agency is keen to discover and connect talent with other partners. The agency currently has 40 projects in development. 'We want to convert as many projects into physical productions as possible,' says Burt.

The agency's focus for 2009 will be on helping new and established producers and production companies.

Burt and her colleagues will be looking at producers with interesting projects on their slates. The agency wants to help the producers to partner up with other companies and individuals in order to get films into production.

Burt said 'We are trying to increase the likelihood of a project happening. We have a strong bedrock of upcoming and more established writers and directors. We now want to focus on producers and production companies as this area has not been as strong. '

This year the agency is investing in a number of projects. Patagonia is a film about an elderly Argentinian lady travelling through Wales and a young Welsh couple travelling through Argentina, which is being produced by Rebeka Gilbertson (The Edge Of Love) of Rainy Day Productions.

Little Matador is a feature documentary about child matadors in Latin America and is being produced by Gabriel Range of Borough Films.

Mugabe And The White African is a documentary which follows a white African farmer who took Mugabe to court. Lizzie Morgan Helmlock and David Pearson of Arturie Films are producing.