Italian film fund reaches out to CEE neighbors

    Central European filmmakers are the target of a regional film fund operating in northeastern Italy: the FVG Audiovisual Regional Fund headquartered in Udine, Italy. The fund operates in tandem with the Fruili Venezia Fiulia Film Commission (www.fvgfilmcommission.com), headquartered in Trieste.

    The management of the fund points to the Trieste film festival, which features films from its East European neighbors, as inspiration.

    "We understood that our region is in a geographical position with a lot of links," Paolo Vidali the fund's director told FNE. "It's more natural to look to Eastern Europe than to the west. We find a lot of projects and professionals in these countries." The team first attended the Sofia Meetings in 2009, in an effort to reach out to the Balkan market, including Bulgaria as well as Romania and Hungary.

    "In Hungary, we find producers growing so quickly and so interested in coproduction with our region. We consider not only the theatrecal market but also the TV market. In this field we don't do enough with collaboration."

    The fund is modest by most standards. Grants can go as high as 140,000 Euros. For feature films, the fund will give grants only for development (not production) with a top of 30,000 Euros. Documentaries are more often the priority for the fund. Development funding goes to up to five features and 60 documentary films, while production funding goes to around 20 documetaries and five short films.

    The fund has coproduced six films with Slovenia and Croatia, a natural partner because of the region's Slovene language minority as well as historical ties with Croatia.

    The fund requires that at least 150% of the grant amount be spent in the region.