Methodology, Skills and Professional Benefits Participants Participants' Comments MEDICI Head of Training «The 12 Labours of Hercules» Report of the Reports – Workshops 1 to 4

Reports Previous Workshops

Sixth Workshop – 27 to 29 September 2016 – Warth (Switzerland)

Module 5 – Talent support initiatives (support to experimental films, micro-budget, wild card, genre projects, etc.)


The digital era gives to filmmakers new tools for low costs production. The competition among young and experienced filmmakers for access to public funds is becoming fiercer and fiercer. Short film support is an option but there is a time when long feature corresponds to the development of a filmmaker's career.

Or, in other words:

Case Study 1 / The Netherlands Film Fund (NFF) – New Screen NL

Please also see George Van Breemen’s presentation (PDF)

In a nutshell, funding activities of the NFF

New Screen NL

Low Budget Films sub-scheme

New Talent sub-scheme

Cinematic Experiments sub scheme

The scheme is designed for experiments, crossing borders, new technologies. A single project can receive 100,000 euro. In case of small projects only the line-producer is required. In case of more complex projects, the fund demands that an experienced producer is attached. Supported projects must be completed in 2 years, with a possibility for extension. The scheme consist of two categories:

Short films sub scheme

The scheme involves support for animation (development and production); fiction and documentary (production – special call); all categories (limited to post-production support):

New Talents

Interview with George van Bremen

Is it difficult to run both fragmented and structured schemes?

It takes a lot of time and work. However, it pays off because response to the schemes is good and quality of projects is increasing. Visual artists take advantage of the Art Film Imagination scheme to make their art independently, without anybody tutoring them. If they fail, they are not punished. The scheme is also meant for people who just finished their education but still have not entered the real professional life where broadcasters and distributors dictate all conditions.

Are there any deadlines?

For special projects there are deadlines, but when it comes to the small ones, the call is open all year round.

Tell us more about how you finance first films by freshly graduated film students.

It is in the form of a prize. The selection is based on the graduation films. The ones with the most promising films receive the financial prize (80,000 euro for feature films and 40,000 euro for animation films and documentaries). Competition is fierce. It includes people of 4-5 academies in the Netherlands, specializing in film, TV or creative industry. It is not open for self-made people who did not get education in those areas. We do not award them a lot of money, but they usually do not need much because they shoot their projects with friends and colleagues from school. Thanks to these first films they travel to festivals, attract broadcasters for their next projects and come back to the NFF with real projects. We do not have any requirements in terms of release windows or length. They usually make short films (max. 30-40 minutes). We give them funding, they have to find a producer (either a beginner or experienced one) and shoot a film within a certain time period.

Tell us more about the ‘One-night stand” scheme.

This scheme involves a few producers, three broadcasters and NFF. We select and finance 40 minutes single plays, which should fit into the theme “one night stand”, and show them on TV.

Why do you still insist so much on supporting short films? Shouldn’t film funds help fresh film graduates jump into development of feature films as soon as possible?

We have a scheme for first-time low-budget feature films, where we do not require a theatrical release. It is meant for people who want to make a feature film immediately after school. However, we think that fresh graduates should also have an option for short films if they have a small, simple idea. We also encourage them to do things one step at the time. Short films are a way to take bigger risks because real talents are really scarce despite the tough competition.

Does the selection committee involve TV people?

In every scheme that involves TV funds, selection committee also includes TV people.

Do you finance web-series?

No. The government does not allow us to support the online content or television. We used to have a selective television fund (Media fund) for 18 years, but it was abolished. The only remaining TV-related funding option is CoBo fund, but it is an automatic fund for projects with a broadcaster already attached.

Case Study 2 / Telefilm Canada – The Microbudget Program

Please also see Michel Pradier’s presentation (PDF)

“Driving Innovation & Creating New Pathways for Emerging Film Filmmakers”


Note: Telefilm also has a regular talent schemes for first time filmmakers that supports around 30 projects a year with a budget between 0.8 and 2 million CAD.


Additional partners

Main results (see complete list of factual results on Michel Pradier’s presentation)

Lessons learned:

New Talents

Outcomes of group discussions

The Development of Content: Challenges and Opportunities – Public Funds as Pawns or Players?

Illustrations by Séverine Leibundgut

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