In the 34th jury session of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF), the juries made ten funding recommendations for projects from Afghanistan, Argentina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cape Verde, Colombia, Malaysia, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey. The current funding amounts to a total of 460,000 Euros. The WCF is pleased to be able to support independent cinema even more strongly in times of crisis and to promote the visibility of the cultural complexity of our world. The WCF has also awarded the WCF Europe –TFL Audience Design Award, in cooperation with the TorinoFilmLab (TFL).
“The current selection of films recommended for funding is characterised by very different and inspiring projects. Both fiction and documentary formats enthusiastically explore the medium of film, searching for their own cinematic language. The films are strongly contextualised in the history and the contemporary sociopolitics of their individual regions, and many are dedicated to unique female characters. I’m very pleased that the WCF can advocate for these films,” says Vincenzo Bugno, head of WCF.
The Funding Recommendations in the 34th Jury Session
The WCF jury made its selection from 201 submitted projects from a total of 52 countries. The funding recommendations encompass funding in the amount of 460,000 Euros.
Two directors have participated in Berlinale Talents in the past, one project was presented at the Talents Project Market in 2021.
The members of the jury are the documentary film producer and documentary creative advisor Marta Andreu (Spain), the producer Zsuzsanna Kiràly (Germany / Austria), film scholar and curator Viola Shafik (Germany / Egypt) and Vincenzo Bugno (Italy / Germany), the head of the WCF. Additionally, the jurors for WCF Africa are the producer, festival director of the pan-African film festival FESPACO and the Berlin festival Afrikamera, Alex Moussa Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) and the Berlinale delegate for Sub-Saharan Africa Dorothee Wenner (Germany).
Production Funding WCF
- Balkaya, Director: Emin Alper (Turkey). Production: Zola & Liman (Turkey), Nadir Öperli and Pola Pandora (Germany), Viola Fügen. Feature film. Funding: € 40,000
- Carropasajero, Regie: Juan Pablo Polanco Carranza and César Alejandro Jaimes (Colombia). Production: Los Niños Films (Colombia), Laura Nogal and Pong Films (Germany), Merle Kröger. Feature film. Funding: € 45,000. Director Juan Pablo Polanco Carranza participated in Berlinale Talents in 2020.
- Kamay, director: Shahrokh Bikaran (Afghanistan). Production: Kamay Film (Afghanistan), Ilyas Yourish, Documentary form. Funding: € 30,000.
- Reas, director: Lola Arias (Argentina). Production: Gema Films (Argentina), Gema Juárez Allen and Sutor Kolonko (Germany), Ingmar Trost. Documentary form. Funding: € 45,000.
- Under the Fig Trees, director: Erige Sehiri (Tunisia). Production: Henia Production (Tunisia), Erige Sehiri. Feature film. Funding: € 30,000.
- Olfa’s Daughters, director: Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia). Production: Cinetelefilms (Tunisia), Habib Attia and Twenty Twenty Films (Germany), Thanassis Karathanos. Documentary form. Funding: € 30,000.
- Oasis of Now, director: Chee Sum Chia (Malaysia). Production: Afternoon Pictures (Malaysia), Yve Vonn Lee and La Fábrica Nocturna (France), Xavier Rocher. Feature film. Funding: € 40,000. Oasis of Now was a project at the 2021 Talent Project Market (Berlinale Talents / Berlinale Co-Production Market).
- The New Man, director: Carlos Yuri Ceuninck (Cape Verde). Production: Kori Kaxoru Films (Cape Verde), Natasha Craveiro Ceuninck. Documentary form. Funding: € 20,000. Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000.
- Zion Music, director: Rama Thiaw (Senegal). Production: Boul Fallé Images (Senegal), Yanis Gaye. Documentary form. Funding: € 40,000. Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000. Director Rama Thiaw participated in Berlinale Talents in 2014.
- La vie est un chemin de fer, director: Maria Donda, Okoko Nyumbaiza, Moimi Wezam and Michael Bauma (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Production: Kiripi Films (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Dieudo Hamadi. Feature film. Funding: € 20,000. Additional funding by WCF ACP: € 40,000
The WCF has also awarded the WCF Europe –TFL Audience Design Award, in cooperation with the TorinoFilmLab (TFL) to:
- Oasis of Now, director: Chee Sum Chia (Malaysia). Production: Afternoon Pictures (Malaysia), Yve Vonn Lee and La Fábrica Nocturna (France), Xavier Rocher. Feature film. The award consists of consultation and mentoring for the development of an audience design strategy.
Since 2004, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund has been successfully supporting film production in regions characterised by an insufficient film infrastructure by virtue of its increasingly differentiated funding programme (WCF, WCF Europe, WCF Africa, WCF ACP) and advocating cultural diversity in German cinemas. The cooperation between production companies from the production regions or countries and German / European production companies is supported as well:
WCF-funded films are regularly invited to international film festivals. Currently, four films are taking part in the Cannes Film Festival (July 6-17, 2021):
- Noche de Fuego by Tatiana Huezo (Mexico / Germany / Brazil / Qatar) in Un Certain Regard
- Clara Sola by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (Sweden / Costa Rica / Belgium / Germany / USA) in Director’s Fortnight
- The Grave Digger’s Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed (Finland / Germany / France) in Critics’ Week
- Feathers by Omar el Zohairy (France / Egypt / Netherlands / Greece) winner of the Nespresso Grand Prize at Critics’ Week
The Locarno Film Festival (August 4 – 14, 2021) selected three WCF-funded films:
- Al Naher (The River) by Ghassan Salhab (Lebanon / France / Germany / Qatar) in Concorso Internazionale
- Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Edwin (Indonesia / Singapore / Germany) in Concorso Internazionale
- Whether the Weather is Fine by Carlo Francisco Manatad (Philippines / France / Singapore / Indonesia / Germany / Qatar) in Concorso Cineasti del Presente
General information on the WCF.