Belgian films strike it rich at Francophone Cinema Development Fund

BRUSSELS A fund created to develop trans-Atlantic co-productions between French-speaking territories has given out its first coin. Eight features were selected from 21 bids to the Francophone Cinema Development Fund, with Belgian pics making a strong showing on the European side.

Belgian winners included “Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis,” the third film from brothers Stephane and Guillaume Malandrin, fresh from Rotterdam’s CineMart.

Also supported were “Moroccan Gigolos” by Ismael Saidi and “Un homme a la mer” by Geraldine Doignon, both feature debuts.

Productions chosen from France were “L’Etoile polaire,” the sophomore pic from Dominique Lienhard (“Muetter”) and “Ni fleurs, ni couronnes” by first-timer Gerard Pautonnier.

Canadian pics selected included “Diego Star” by Frederik Pelletier, also a CineMart project, “Le Fiance” by Jeremy Peter Allen and “Le Prince” by Sophie Desrape.

Fund was created in 2009 by Telefilm Canada and Sodec in Quebec, plus public film agencies in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Managed by the Francophone Film Festival in Namur, it has €300,000 ($412,000) to spend each year.

Fund is open to French-speaking fiction features with co-producers in Canada and at least one of the European territories. It covers half a project’s development costs, up to a maximum of $55,000.

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