More coin hits Dutch filmers via new fund

Pics in progress get $2.5 mil each

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Film Fund, the chief coin subsid op for filmers in this country, has kicked more life into the already hot Dutch film production scene with the announcement of a new fund to back three Dutch-language pics aimed at the international market.

“The new fund will make it possible for at least three Dutch-language films to be made this year at a budget of as much as 8 million guilders ($4 million) apiece,” a Dutch Film Fund spokesman told Daily Variety.

Under the new scheme, the Dutch Film Fund, the Ministry of Culture, a public broadcaster and Holland’s COBO co-production fund together will kick in some $2.5 million per film to pics already scripted and looking for funding.

Producers and distributors will be asked to cough up an additional $125,000 each and the rest is expected to come from the Dutch tax incentive scheme for filmers.

Aim of the fund, the spokesman noted, is to back quality Dutch-language films “like ‘Antonia’s Line’ and ‘Character,’ ” films that won the foreign-lingo Oscar in 1996 and 1998, respectively.

“It’s good news for Holland but it would be even better news if they doubled it,” Egmont Film and Television president Hans De Weers said. De Weers produced “Antonia’s Line,” as well as this year’s Dutch bid for the Oscar, “Scratches in the Table.”

Dutch filmers got a boost from other quarters recently. Media II, an audiovisual arm of the European Commission, has earmarked $500,000 for the development of films in Holland.

Half will go to A-Lab, a partnership between five Dutch production companies, including Fu Works, the new production company of veteran Dutch industry topper San Fu Maltha. Another $250,000 will also go to Lemond, a development partnership between De Weer’s company Egmont and Lemming Film.

Another fund earmarking as much as $25,000 per film for mainly promotion and marketing of pics was also announced this month.

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