BRUSSELS — Italian Roberto Olla has taken over at the head of Eurimages, the European film support program. Previous topper Jan Vandierendonck resigned earlier this year, after just two years in the job.
Unlike Vandierendonck, Olla is a Eurimages insider, joining the organization in 2002 to administer its co-production projects. With a background in media law, he previously worked in Brussels on the Media program and as a legal adviser to the European Commission.
Eurimages announced its latest co-production subsidies earlier this week, with E4,275,000 ($6.7 million) going to 12 features.
British helmer Michael Radford carries off one of the largest awards, with $1 million for “La Mula” (The Mule). Spanish language pic adapts the novel by Juan Eslava Galan, about a soldier who protects a donkey through the Civil War. Gheko Films of Spain produces, with Integral Films of Germany and Workhorse Ent. in the U.K.
A similar sum goes to Belgian helmer Stijn Coninx for “La Vie extraordinaire de Soeur Sourire,” a biopic of the Singing Nun, starring Cecile De France. Les Films de la Passerelle produces, with Eyeworks in Belgium and Paradis Film in France.
Belgium is the biggest national winner in this round, with Lucas Belvaux and Micha Wald picking up coin for their features “Rapt” and “Simon Konianski.”
Meanwhile, Bosnian Jasmila Zbanic gets $470,000 for “Na Putu,” her first feature since “Grbavica” carried off the Golden Bear at Berlin in 2006.