With the 2012 submission deadline being just 3 days away, we are obviously late on this but I only just found out about it.
At the Berlinale which is happening right now in Berlin, the Norwegian Film Institute in collaboration with Oslo's Films From the South Festival, announced a new film fund called SØRFOND which was set up just last month to help finance films from "developing countries." Countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are all eligible for grants.
The fascinating story is how the fund was started. Oslo's Films From the South Festival's artistic director Lasse Skagen said that the idea for the fund was born out of a conversation at a dinner at the French embassy in Oslo with Haitian director Raoul Peck, (LUMUMBA, MOLOCH TROPICAL) who urged Skagen to follow the example of other European nations like France, who have created funds to finance films from developing countries, and Skagen, whose Oslo-based film festival is heavy on films from developing countries, liked the idea so much and ran with it.
So those of you who will benefit from the fund have Raoul Peck to thank for it.
SØRFOND has allotted a total of $692,000 to distribute in 2012 with $178,000 being the maximum that any one project can get. The Norwegian government has committed to funding the fun for 5 years.
But it's important to know the restrictions and one key item is that each project has to have a Norwegian co-producer and 50% of financing in place before an application can be made. That seems a bit tough, the finding of a Norwegian co-producer part. The application has to also be sent by the Norwegian co-producer.
I can understand the restriction because they obviously want some local connection and benefit to the films they help finance. Still how does a filmmaker in Kigali, Rwanda attach a Norwegian co-producer to their project, unless they already have some contacts or connections?
But for those who believe they qualify, the full list of guidelines and the application form can be found at www.sorfond.com.