Posted by Larry Gleeson

Since it was founded in October 2004, the World Cinema Fund (WCF) has been committed to the development and support of cinema in regions with a weak filmmaking infrastructure, as well as for cultural diversity in German cinemas.

The goal is to support films that surprise with an unusual aesthetic approach, tell powerful stories and convey an authentic picture of their cultural heritage. Subsidies are available for both narrative and documentary films.

Three WCF-funded films are in this year‘s official Berlinale programme:

Competition: Félicité by Alain Gomis (France / Senegal / Belgium / Germany / Lebanon)
Panorama Opening Film: The Wound by John Trengove (South Africa / Germany / The Netherlands / France)
Panorama: Pendular by Julia Murat (Brazil / Argentina / France)

The WCF is active year round and traditionally holds a WCF Day during the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2017, that day is dedicated to the documentary universe and is called WCF DOC DAY.

Why a WCF DOC DAY? WCF provides production subsidies to both narrative and documentary film projects – and everything in-between. Does that make sense? It does – now more than ever. The WCF DOC DAY aims to tackle both theoretical and practical issues. To what extent does a documentary film reflect reality? How do we define a documentary film? And how does the WCF deal with them? Our desire is to focus specifically, and with greater intensity, on exciting non-fiction film projects from the WCF regions.

Wednesday, February 15, 11.00 am – 2.00 pm
Filmmuseum Berlin – Deutsche Kinemathek, Potsdamer Str. 2, 4th floor

WORLD CINEMA FUND DOC DAY – The Challenge of the Real: What is Documentary?
Questioning the Meaning and the Interpretation of Reality

Berlinale: Dieter Kosslick (Festival Director, tbc), Vincenzo Bugno (Project Manager WCF)
Federal Foreign Office: Dr Andreas Görgen (Director General of the Department for Culture and Communication)
German Federal Cultural Foundation: Dr Lutz Nitsche (Assistant to the Executive Board)

WCF documentary funding opportunities


  • Keynote speech by Marta Andreu, director/producer (Barcelona): “The Documentary Gesture and the Sense of Beauty”
  • Discussion with Raed Andoni, director (Ramallah / Paris)
  • Keynote speech by Viola Shafik, director / film scholar / curator (Berlin / Cairo): “Dissecting the Arab Documentary”
  • Discussion with Dieudo Hamadi, director (Kinshasa)

Moderating will be Vincenzo Bugno, Project Manager WCF
In English / free admittance, priority for accredited festival guests

Berlinale World Cinema Fund since 2004

In the last twelve years, the WCF has awarded production or distribution subsidies to a total of 160 projects chosen from 2,888 submissions, from Africa, Latin America, the Mideast, Central and Southeast Asia and the Caucasus. Additional initiatives have been launched to complement the traditional WCF subsidy programme. Among these are WCF Europe, started in 2015 thanks to the support of Creative Europe / MEDIA programme of the European Union, and in 2016, funding from the German Foreign Office enabled the launch of WCF Africa, providing support for production from sub-Saharan Africa.

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 European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
Thanks to additional funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, the special program WCF Africa was started in 2016.

(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

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