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Berlinale World Cinema Fund: Showing the Complexity of the World – Supporting the Pluralism of International Film Cultures


Since it was launched in October 2004 on the initiative of the Berlinale and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the World Cinema Fund (WCF) has supported cinema from countries and regions that have no film industry or one marked by crisis. By doing so, the Berlinale WCF has committed itself to bringing cultural diversity to cinemas. So far the WCF has provided funding for more than 209 successful projects and films.

The WCF supports all fictional and documentary cinematic modes of expression that deal with depicting and/or interpreting reality. WCF-funding recommendations result from an intensive curatorial examination of the contemporary medium of film on a cultural and artistic level as well as in content. They also involve a sound analysis of production and financing structures. The WCF works throughout the year to enable talented directors to reach a global audience.

“Our world is getting harsher. As a funding institution we have to ask ourselves how we want to deal with this development. Since its foundation, the WCF has supported courageous projects, compelling stories, and original audiovisual modes of expression. Moreover, we believe this kind of support will take on even more importance in the future – which is why we want to make a lasting contribution to the visibility and production of such films,” says Vincenzo Bugno, WCF project manager.

The WCF is growing: both the number of submissions and of funded projects have risen substantially over the years. The WCF supported 26 films and film projects last year alone.

A strong showing at the festival: 6 WCF-funded films at the Berlinale 2019

Six radically different WCF-funded films from Latin America and Africa will be screening at the Berlinale 2019, including one cinema debut. They show the complexity of the world, existing conflicts, and violence.

Four of the films will have their world premieres at the festival. 
WCF films do not have a special status at the Berlinale. They are also not required to premiere at the Berlinale.

WCF-funded films at the Berlinale 2019:


Flatland by Jenna Bass. South Africa / Luxemburg / Germany - Opening film, world premiere

Monos by Alejandro Landes. Columbia / Argentina / Netherlands / Denmark / Sweden / Germany / Uruguay / USA – European premiere

Divino Amor (Divine Love) by Gabriel Mascaro. Brazil / Uruguay / Chile / Denmark – European premiere

Talking About Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari. France / Sudan / Germany / Chad / Qatar - Debut film, world premiere

Breve Historia del planeta verde (Brief Story from the Green Planet) by Santiago Loza. Argentina / Germany / Brazil / Spain – World premiere


Querência (Homing) by Helvécio Marins Jr.. Brazil / Germany – World premiere

The strong showing of WCF films at the Berlinale is proof of a successful last year:

The Paraguayan film Las Herederas by Marcelo Martinessi began its run with two Silver Bears at the Berlinale 2018. The film was then invited to many other festivals, where it won awards, and was ultimately sold to 35 countries. Other great successes were Rafiki from Kenya and A Kasha from Sudan, the Argentinian film Rojo, as well as the noteworthy Syrian film Still Recording.

World Cinema Fund Day at the Berlinale 2019

The WCF Day is the think tank of the World Cinema Fund. During its events the latest technological and structural developments in the film industry are debated in talks about films, panels, and discussions.

February 13 from 10.30 am – 2.30 pm
In English
Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Potsdamer Str. 2, 4th floor 
Introduction / Moderator: Vincenzo Bugno (project manager WCF)

Focus on Brazil: Tales, Poetry and Drama

Director’s Talk
The Tenderness of the Cowboy. About Lights, Bulls and Rodeos
Discussion with director Helvecio Martins Jr. about his WCF-funded film Querência (HomingForum2019)

After the Political Earthquake
Reflecting on Brazilian cinema present and future – financing, funding institutions, content, and freedom of expression. Political and economic developments can radically influence production conditions in the film industry. What happens next in Brazil? 
Participants: Andrea Barata Ribeiro (producer), Marcelo Gomes (director), Pedro Butcher (film critic, Valor Econômico), Sara Silveira (producer), Eduardo Valente (Berlinale delegate)

Speculations on Potential Funding for Audience Building and Design

WCF Strategy Talk
The Art of Reaching Audiences
Participants: Sarah Calderón (EAVE, the Film Agency), Mercedes Fernandez (TorinoFilmLab), Vanja Kaludjercic (MUBI), Verena von Stackelberg (Wolf Kino Berlin), Paul Rieth (Marketing Consultant/Distribution Strategies)
Moderator: Isona Admetlla (WCF)

Visibility and marketing strategies aiming to connect future viewers, films, and filmmakers can be developed early on during production. The relationship between a film and the viewer does not just begin with the actual release of a film. A talk about global distribution strategies that cover all channels and the role of funding institutions.

Cineuropa is proud to be Media Partner of the World Cinema Fund Day.
We thank the Robert Bosch Stiftung for supporting the WCF Day.

World Cinema Fund Market Strategies: WCF goes EFM

The successful cooperation with the EFM will not only be continued but also intensified. During the “Berlinale Africa Hub”, the European Film Market will co-host the event “BUFIS: Re-inventing African Cinema & Challenging Migration Narratives”. At the “DocSalon”, the WCF will speak out in favour of funding documentary film and meet with many people from the film industry. After achieving even greater popularity with buyers and festival programmers in 2018, the number of WCF Market Screenings has risen this year to include a record number of nine films.

The World Cinema Fund is an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival, in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, with further support by the Goethe-Institut.

The special WCF Europe programme was launched with the support of the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union.
Thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, the special WCF Africa programme was started in 2016.

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