Cannes: French Bank BNP Launches Young Filmmakers Fund

Jean Dujardin The Artist - H 2016

The bank also will partner with the Directors' Fortnight to promote film eduction and engagement from outside the industry.

French bank BNP Paribas is launching a $1.2 million (1 million euros) film fund to finance young directors, as well as becoming an official partner for the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar of the Cannes film festival.

Called "New Cinema Talent," the fund will go toward first or second films produced or co-produced in France that “reflect BNP Paribas’ values and social engagement.”

The bank has a history of financing big projects in France, including Michel Hazanavicius’ Oscar-winning film The Artist.

It’s also joining forces to back the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar, where it will lend financial support to the “Fortnight in Action” program that aims to get locals in Cannes' La Bocca district involved in the festival and promotes education and access to films.

BNP also has financed such films as French juggernaut The Intouchables, starring Omar Sy, Bertrand Bonello’s Cannes entry Saint Laurent and Luc Besson’s global hit Lucy. It also directly invested in Besson’s disappointing Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

The bank also runs the Fortis Film Fund to support production and distribution in Belgium and Italy.