World Cinema Fund backs three productions

Funding for films from Uzbekistan, Israel and Boliva

BERLIN -- The Berlin Film Festival's World Cinema Fund (WCF) has picked three new projects -- from Uzbekistan, Israel and Boliva -- in its latest round of production funding.

The WCF granted around $105,000 in financing to "40 Days of Silence" from Uzbek director Saodat Ismailova, $75,000 for Israeli drama "The Slut" from Hagar Ben Ashaer and some $45,000 towards production of the documentary "Out of Place" from Bolivian director Diego Mondaca.

Berlin-based production company Rohfilm will act as co-producer on both "40 Days" and "The Slut," in the later case re-teaming with Isreal's Transfax Film. Pucara Films will produce "Out of Place."

The WCF also approved distribution funding for the German release of four films it helped co-finance: Claudia Llosa's Berlin Golden Bear winner "The Milk of Sorrow;" "Ajami" from Israel's Yaron Shani and Palestinian director Scandar Copti, and Turkish features "Autumn/Herbst" from Ozcan Alper and Yesim Ustaoglu's "Pandora's Box."

The World Cinema Fund, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, provides financing for independent art house films in countries with little or no traditional cinema infrastructure. The initiative is backed by the Berlin Film Festival and the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Goethe Institute. Submissions for the next round of funding are due by March 11, 2010.