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Production / Funding - Europe/Canada

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The New Dawn fund announces first six backed projects, welcomes support from Telefilm Canada

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Four fiction projects will receive up to €200,000, whilst the remaining documentaries will get up to €100,000

The New Dawn fund announces first six backed projects, welcomes support from Telefilm Canada
Director Elle Sofe Sara, who is receiving funding for the fiction project Árru

Launched back in May during Cannes’ Marché du Film (see the news), the New Dawn fund has finally announced the backing of its first six projects. The announcement was made on 10 September during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

With its aim being to increase diversity in the international film industry, the effort is now also supported by Telefilm Canada, which joins the nine bodies already taking part in the funding initiative – namely, the Communauté française de Belgique – Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Film Fund Luxembourg, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, Screen Ireland, the Instituto Português do Cinema e do Audiovisual and the Netherlands Film Fund.

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The selected projects are being supported with up to €200,000 for fiction features and €100,000 for documentary features. The two documentaries in receipt of the New Dawn grants are Myrid Carten’s No Place Like Home and Maxime Jean-Baptiste’s Kouté Vwa.

The first non-fiction project is being staged by Roisin Geraghty and Tadgh O’Sullivan for Ireland’s Inland Films, with support from Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Ruth Barrie for The Elephant Trust. It is a survival story, framed around a contested family house in rural Ireland. It’s about the cost of love and how difficult it can be to escape. The second is being produced by Belgium’s Twenty Nine and follows Yannick, who returns to French Guyana ten years after the murder of his best friend. It is labelled as “a contemporary tragedy, in which many voices unfold and try to remedy an impossible mourning”.

Among the fiction projects, from Norway there is Árru by Elle Sofe Sara, produced by Mer Film. It is a Sámi joik musical about Kari, a reindeer herder who joins the fight against the destruction of the reindeer grazing area. From Sweden, there is an undisclosed project, presented by Stockholm-based outfit Hobab. The film’s logline states: “An afternoon tea in Tehran leads to reflection and daring to do the unthinkable.”

Two more Belgian projects round off this first slate of funding. The first is Baloji’s The Omen (see the news), produced by Wrong Men and revolving around a young Congolese man who comes back to his hometown to face the complexities of his family and his culture. The second is Jonas d'Adesky’s Time Out, a Neon Rouge presentation. It centres on a Rwandan-Belgian basketball player in the twilight of her professional career, who leaves Belgium for Rwanda to join the African championship.

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