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New Dawn – new film fund announced in Cannes to open up the film industry to new voices

The countries in the mix from the start are the Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, French and Flemish Belgium, and Luxembourg. More countries are expected to be announced this autumn, when the fund will be launched on the market at an international festival.

The fund will be administered by the Netherlands Film Fund, and applications will be open from spring 2022. Qualified 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 discriminated group. The fund will be open to feature-length (>60 min) documentaries and fiction films. Project groups that have received funding will also be offered access to a network with activities throughout the year.

“There is a vast number of new perspectives and narrative voices which we need to bring out into the light,” says Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute. “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,” Anna Serner concludes.

“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”, says Bero Beyer, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund. “So I contacted Anna Serner and the Swedish Film Institute, whom I believe to be trailblazers in going from talking to acting on matters of equality and inclusion, to discuss that international angle. Together we reached out to many other public funders and it was both thrilling and inspiring to see such strong support from so many countries, that acknowledge the need and urgency of the New Dawn initiative, and are willing to back it up in spirit and with money.”, says Bero Beyer, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund.

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

Photo: Bero Beyer and Anna Serner. Photographer: Erik Dalström