The UK's Film Council is eager to collaborate with other European film funding bodies in the fields of development and nurturing filmmaking talent. The first collaborative venture is already being prepared by the Fund with France's CNC on the making of a series of shorts to be shot in both the French and English languages.

Speaking this week at the Babelsberg 2001 conference, Paul Trijbits, director of the Film Council's New Cinema Fund, declared that "at the moment there is plenty of money [for production] but what isn't there is a cohesive plan of how to build a better, more interesting and sustainable European film industry"

Trijbits stated that it was "hugely important to engage with comparable bodies across Europe to try do something about development" and proposed that the funders should meet on an annual or biannual basis to discuss the issues.

"In the area of development there needs to be a much better exchange across Europe" he noted, "there is still a huge gap between local writers writing in the local language and then being able to deliver an English screenplay for the international market".

Trijbits stated that the New Cinema Fund is currently working with the Danish Film Institute and Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg "to see whether we can combine resources because we see the exchange of techniques as being key".

"There is the need for a better exchange between the public funds on how we can access each other's ideas and successes", Trijbits continued, suggesting that last year's agreement between Filmstiftung NRW and the Dutch Film Fund on the spending requirements for funded projects in their common economic area might provide the model for a future relationship between the Film Council and the Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg.