World Cinema Fund funds pic from developing countries

BERLIN — The Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund will provide coin for the distribution of two films, Kurdish director Hiner Saleem’s “Dol” and Iranian helmer Rafi Pitts’ “Zemestan” (It’s Winter).

The funding makes it possible for films made in Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa – the regions the body promotes — to be seen by German auds.

“The World Cinema Fund not only contributes to developing world cinema, but also decisively enhances the filmscape in Germany,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

Added Hortensia Voelckers, artistic director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, one of the WCF’s main backers, “These outstanding films give an authentic picture of the cultures in their countries of origin and should not be withheld from German or other European audiences.”

Berlin-based Mitosfilm will release “Dol,” which the WCF is supporting with Euros 8,000 ($10,400), in April. Pic is set in a Turkish-Kurdish village under the rigid control of the Turkish military and explores the conflict between the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq and areas in Turkey and Iran.

Berlin distrib FSK Kino&Peripher is releasing “It’s Winter” in March.

Pic, which screened in competition at the Berlinale last year, examines an Iranian family living on the outskirts of Tehran that is forced to live apart in order to survive financially.

The WCF recently selected five film projects from Peru, Chile and Jordan for production funding, including:

? “Dioses,” from Peruvian director Josue Mendez, which examines Peru’s different social classes (WCF funding: $72,000).

— “Huacho,” a family drama from Chilean director Alejandro Fernandez (WCF funding: $65,000).

— “El Cielo, la tierra y la lluvia” (The Sky, the Earth and the Rain), Chilean director Jose Luis Torres Leiva’s drama about three young women living in a remote and rainy region in southern Chile (WCF funding: $52,000).

— “La Teta asustada” (The Scared Breast), Peruvian director Claudia Llosa’s look at Peruvian legends and customs, specifically at the “disease” affecting generations of raped women (WCF funding: $65,000).

— “Recycle,” Jordanian helmer Mahmoud Al Massad’s documentary examines the reasons and motivations behind Islamic radicalism (WCF funding: $40,000).

The WCF is sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlinale in cooperation with the Goethe Institute.

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