Barely two months after the Forum de Chaillot, organised by culture minister Aurélie Filippetti, which saw the CNC and their Greek and Portuguese partners announcing plans to strengthen their bilateral co-operation, two agreements donating funds to selected co-productions have been signed at the 67th Cannes international film festival.
These two bilateral agreements - one between the CNC and Portugal, the other between the CNC and Greece - will concretise a common goal of strengthening co-productions, and also of supporting Portuguese and Greek filmmakers, whose talents are recognised worldwide and yet whose projects suffer from the economic crisis and the frailty of public funding. The CNC’s president, Frédérique Bredin hopes that the funding will serve as a launch pad for a multilateral initiative to develop solidarity within European filmmaking.
The agreement was signed by Frédérique Bredin and Grigoris Karantinakis, president of the Greek Film Centre (GFC) on 19 May, an important day for Greece, as Panos Koutras’ film “Xenia”, funded by the Institut Francais’ world cinema fund, was presented in Cannes’ “Un Certain Regard” section. The three year agreement (2014-2016) will provide non-refundable grants, prior to filming, to cinematographic projects which fall into the co-production agreement category between France and Greece, which is incidentally soon due a modernisation.
The funding will be capped at 50% of the film’s cost, and cannot exceed €500,000. It will be possible to cumulate the funding with other public funding, within the limits set by the European Commission in the “Communication”.
The grants will be distributed by a bilateral commission comprising 3 members elected by the CNC, and 3 by the GFC.
In the first year, the funding will be up to 1 million Euros (€800,000 from the CNC and €200,000 from the GFC), which should allow funding to be given to four to six feature films.
Following the CNC and GFC’s completed funding regulations, the first call for project proposals should be sent to producers before mid-July, and the proposals presented in September. In 2015 and 2016, two calls for proposals per year are expected.
With regards to Portugal, the agreement signed on 20 May by Frédérique Bredin and Filomena Serras Pereira – president of the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual (ICA) is very similar to Greece’s agreement.
For the first year, Franco-Portuguese funding will also be up to 1 million Euros (€800,000 provided by the CNC and €200,000 from the ICA) which should allow funding to be given to between three and five feature films, as well as some short films. The provisional calendar is the same as for Franco-Greek funding.
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