The Ukraine Film Office this week launched a private equity support program for co-productions. The program will award up to three feature projects a year with up to $100,000 each.

The pilot project for the initiative is an unnamed co-production with German producers. Further details will be announced when the producers sign a contract with their Ukrainian partners.

Projects must meet several broad criteria wherein only feature films qualify, and at least 70% of the production costs must be spent in Ukraine. At least one of the project’s key players — director, DOP, screenwriter or lead actor or actress — must have Ukrainian citizenship or origin.

The support is conditional on the Ukraine Film Office retaining distribution rights for Ukraine and other former Soviet territories. It is understood the projects should also appeal to audiences in these territories.

Oleksandr Shcherbyna, producer general of the Ukraine Film Office, said: “The budgets should be competitive enough to generate interest in the territories to which the Ukraine Film Office will retain distribution rights. Budgets less than $600,000 are not likely to be competitive.”

Projects will be selected by the programme’s investors and the Ukraine Film Office. Submissions can be made year round and funding will be made available at the start of production. It can also be applied for to finance production and post-production stages. The funding can be combined with other support programs provided all other criteria are met. The initiative is not connected to existing Ukraine government programs.

The Ukraine Film Office is a non-profit organisation, endowed by local production companies, which promotes Ukraine as a location for international film production.