European Commission hands out media funds

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BRUSSELS -- Tenders for 2.7 million euros ($4 million) in funding for independent film and TV companies have been unveiled by the European Commission in its latest measure to help upcoming filmmakers.

The aid is open to filmmakers producing fictional movies of at least 50 minutes, or documentaries of at least 25 minutes, "produced with significant European participation."

Applicants can apply for between 5,000 euros ($7,400) and 50,000 euros ($74,000), and the funding cannot exceed more than half the eligible costs.

The aid is part of the EU's so-called i2i initiative, which finances new-media projects. But it prioritizes projects that are from a country with low filmmaking capacity or a new EU country, that have a European dimension, that are already receiving separate government film aid and that have already been granted a bank loan.

In a separate announcement, the Commission awarded 1.1 million euros ($1.5 million) in grants to four French and German movie pilot projects through the EU's Media program of aid for filmmakers and television producers.

The grant recipients are: the Glitner project by French company Le Meilleur du Cinema Francais; the D-Platform project to create new digital film distribution services by France's CN Films; Germany's OnlineFILM.org project to create a multilingual platform to distribute digital documentaries; and MIDAS, another German initiative, aimed at building a database to localize European archives.
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