Agora Talks Online: Funding Opportunities with European Regional Funds




Agora Talks Online: Funding Opportunities with European Regional Funds


Within the framework of the Agora Talks of the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, an online discussion was held on Thursday November 11, bearing the title “Funding Opportunities with European Regional Funds, Lazio Roma Film Commission & Région Sud - Provence - Alpes - Côte D’ Azur”. The speakers were Tina Bianchi, Marketing & Co-production Development, Lazio Roma Film Commission and Charlotte Le Bos Schneegans, Diffusion and Production Project Manager, Région Sud - Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France, while Mrs. Angeliki Vergou was the coordinator of the discussion.


The first speaker was Ms. Tina Bianchi, who presented the funding opportunities that Lazio Roma Film Commission offers. As she explained, there is a great focus on co-productions. We have funding dedicated to co-production, which aims at supporting productions that create new projects at Lazio, in collaboration with the international industry, as well as for the international promotion of the local tourist destinations”, she explained.


“It is a 10 million euros funding scheme, which is given not only to fiction films, but also to documentaries, animation films and TV series. The minimum budget of the project should be 1,5 million or 750 thousand euros if it’s a first or second feature, or 400 euros/minute if it’s a documentary. The funding covers 25% of the expenses that follow the conditions or the 35% in productions that have at least a 20% co-production share. The maximum limit is 640,000 euros”, she explained.


Ms. Bianchi referred to the main criteria for the evaluation of the projects applying for the funding. “We evaluate the quality and originality of the project, the artistic process of the main individuals of the project, like the director, the writer, the screenwriter and the producer, and the funding coverage of the production cost. We also take into consideration Lazio’s representation in the film, as far as the history, the culture and the local traditions are concerned. We evaluate the plan for the expenses in the region”, she pointed out. Then, she explained the specific funding; Lazio Roma Film Commission has supported the creation of 130 projects in total, many of which have been selected in international film festivals, like the film Three Floors at Cannes Film Festival 2021, which is also screening at the 62nd Thessaloniki IFF, as well as the film Pinocchio which was selected in Berlinale 2020.


Mrs. Bianchi also referred to a smaller fund, which is offered by Lazio Roma Film Commission, with the sum of 9 million euros, which is given after the completion of the project. “It is given to projects that were created completely or partly in the region of Lazio, with a minimum budget of 30 hundred euros, after its completion”, she pinpointed. In a relevant question on the possibility of applying for both fundings, Mrs. Bianchi gave a positive response.


After the completion of Ms. Bianchi's presentation, Ms. Charlotte Le Bos Schneegans took the stage and spoke about the funding opportunities offered by the Commission du Film Région Sud-Provence-Alpes -Côte D’ Azur, in France. As she said at the beginning of her presentation, the commission announced a few new regulations in 2020. “We increased our budget by 30%, we introduced new writing forms, we created an emergency funding during the pandemic, which is more than 1 million euros for producers, writers and cinemas, and we also established new collaborations with local production companies. Most of our funding is co-funded by CNC. In 2021, we funded 177 projects with over 7 million euros”, she pointed out.


Later on, she gave the main information with regards to the funding plan offered to feature films. “We have three different funding schemes for the script, and we give 5 to 7 thousand euros. We have two funding schemes for development, with a maximum of 20 thousand euros, and a scheme for post-production with up to 300 thousand euros and with the condition that 160% of the fund be spent in the region. The beneficiary; the producer or co-producer of the project to have a direct relation to our region. We accept applications three times a year”, she explained.


Then, Ms. Scheegans presented the main elements of their - specialized in international co-productions - scheme. “It is a special fund we created in 2018 for the development of international co-productions. It gives an extra support of 5 thousand euros, while the minimum of local expenses is set at 100% of the fund, instead of 160%, which is the case for other funds. I should say that 60% of the projects submitted receive the funding”, she stated.


Ms. Scheegans presented a few film titles, which were created with the support of the scheme, including the documentary Little Palestine, the film Benedetta, which was screened at the 62nd Thessaloniki IFF selection, the French-Italian co-production Una Promessa, as well as the a co-production, with a distinct Greek element, the film Adults in the Room, by Costas Gavras. Concluding her presentation, Mrs. Schneegans talked about the selection criteria for the projects. “The most important criterion we have in mind is creativity. If this is satisfied, we then focus on the budget side of the film. We try to keep a balance and support projects with high artistic quality”, she stated concluding her presentation.