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CANNES 2021 Marché du Film

The New Dawn film fund beckons new voices into the film industry


- CANNES 2021: The new scheme, initiated by the Netherlands Film Fund and the Swedish Film Institute, has just been announced in Cannes

The New Dawn film fund beckons new voices into the film industry
The Netherlands Film Fund's Bero Beyer and the Swedish Film Institute’s Anna Serner in Cannes (© Erik Dalström)

New Dawn, a new international fund for groups of filmmakers that have traditionally found it hard to get financing for their projects, has been announced at the Cannes Film Festival. The presentation was made by Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute (SFI), and Bero Beyer, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund (NFF), which are behind the new initiative aiming to provide production funding and robust networks to new voices in the film industry and to filmmakers who have previously found it hard to secure funding from national film institutes after falling victim to one of the grounds of discrimination. Therefore, these individuals will now be given new and exciting opportunities.

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It should be underlined that in just two months, several film institutes from around the world have already shown an interest, and these countries are now finalising the criteria for the fund. Apart from the NFF (which will manage the New Dawn film fund) and the SFI, the CCA (for French-speaking Belgium), the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (for Flemish-speaking Belgium), the Danish Film Institute, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Film Fund Luxembourg and the Slovenian Film Centre are also joining, while more countries are expected to get involved this autumn, when the fund is officially launched onto the market during an international film festival.

The fund will be administered by the Netherlands Film Fund, and applications will be open from spring 2022. Qualifying applicants are film projects with a director, producer and/or screenwriter from one of the groups that the United Nations Human Rights Act specifies as a group suffering discrimination. The fund will be open to feature-length (>60 min) documentaries and fiction films. Project groups that receive funding will also be offered access to a network including activities that take place throughout the year.

During the presentation, Serner underlined: “There is a vast number of new perspectives and narrative voices which we need to bring out into the light. The film industry is still a closed shop founded on old networks. More filmmakers need to be let in if the film industry is to be as vibrant, exciting and important as it can be. The film industry has become more aware of how closed its world is since #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. There has been broad consensus to date that we must start finding these new voices. There are large audience groups who do not currently choose film, so we must broaden the repertoire. Because fundamentally, everyone loves film.”

Beyer added: “I am convinced that if we truly want a vibrant, open and inclusive film industry that embraces multiple perspectives of filmmaking, we need to tackle the inherent obstacles not just nationally, but also on an international level. Together with Anna Serner and the Swedish Film Institute, we reached out to many other public funders, and it was both thrilling and inspiring to see such strong support from so many countries, which acknowledge the need for and urgency of the New Dawn initiative, and which are willing to back it up in spirit and with money.”

Further details will follow at one of the major film festivals during the autumn.

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