World Cinema Fund hands out coin

Recipients include 'Prize,' 'Name,' 'Death'

BERLIN — “The Prize,” the feature debut of Argentine writer-director Paula Markovitch, is among three projects selected for funding by the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund.

Produced by Mexican shingle Kung Works, “The Prize” is set in 1977 during Argentina’s military dictatorship and centers on a 7-year-old girl who has learned not to reveal her true identity at school.

Markovitch has worked closely with Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke, co-writing both “Duck Season” and “Lake Tahoe.”

The WCF, which has an annual budget of €500,000 ($631,858), is backing “The Prize” with $63,185.

The fund granted the same amount to “I’m Going to Change My Name” by Armenian director Maria Saakyan. Produced by Saakyan and Viktoria Lupik’s Yerevan-based Anniko Films, pic follows a troubled teen girl looking for love in the wrong place.

Nabbing some $38,000 was Moroccan helmer Faouzi Ben Saidi’s “Death for Sale” from Agora Film in Morocco.

Meanwhile, the WCF-Spotlight series, which showcases films that were financed by the fund, will take place at the Durban Film Festival in South Africa, which runs July 22-Aug. 1.

Screeners include Claudia Llosa’s 2009 Berlinale Golden Bear winner “The Milk of Sorrow” and Adrian Biniez’s “Gigante.”

The event will also offer a case study on “Shirley Adams,” by South African director Oliver Hermanus.

Launched in 2007 in co-operation with the Goethe Institute, the World Cinema Fund-Spotlight series has presented WCF-funded films from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Peru, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Armenia, Syria and the Philippines.

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