Berlinale World Cinema Fund, an endowment backed by the Berlin International Film Festival, has announced a new initiative in a number of African countries to promote local cinema. The first WCF Factory will be held in Burundi this August.
Working with local partner CoProDac, the WCF has selected the feature film Plainte contre le Burundi, by Rolland Rugero, and will provide audio engineering training during the shoot. A second WCF Factory will be held in Burkina Faso this fall when Imagine Film Institute in Ouagadougou partners with the WCF on Appoline Traore's Moi, Zaphira.
In addition, WCF has announced the latest set of projects to win nearly $200,000 in production financing. Syrian director Meyar Al Roumi's Round Trip was awarded E30,000 ($42,852), as was Julio Hernandez Cordon's Polvo (Dust), from Guatemala's Melindrosa Films, and Brazilian duo Clarissa Campolina and Helvecio Marins Jr.'s Girimunho (Swirl). Seng Tat Liew's Malaysian production, In What City Does it Live? from Malaysia's Everything Films, received $71,438.
Another $32,000 in distribution funding was awarded to feature films from Iran, Chad, Kyrgyzstan and Chile. The winners were selected from 135 submissions from a total of 41 countries.
The ultimate aim of World Cinema Fund is to support feature films and documentaries in transition countries, as well as strengthen the profile of those films in German cinemas.
The WCF has backed a total of 88 projects from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central and South East Asia, and the Caucasus since it began in 2004, and so far all of its completed films have screened in cinemas and/or at renowned international film festivals.