COTTBUS, Germany -- National film bodies across Eastern Europe are using co-productions as marketing tools to bring local films to wider international audiences.
Relaxing rules on what counts as a minority or majority co-prod is helping get movies made in countries ranging from Georgia in the Caucasus, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria in the Balkans, and Slovakia in Central Europe.
Georgia's National Film Center (GNFC), founded in 2001 after a decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union when no films were made in the country at all, is prioritizing co-productions from next year to boost the local industry.
"We shall finance both minority and majority co-productions in order to bring interesting and extraordinary films to the international market," Tamara Tatishvili, director of the GNFC, told a panel discussion on European film marketing Thursday at the Cottbus Festival of Eastern European Film.
Georgia also aimed to join Eurimages, the European Union's cinema support fund, as another tool for raising its profile at international festivals and markets.
Two Georgian films had achieved international festival success in the past year, Tatishvili said -- Levan Koguashvili's gritty crime and corruption tale "Street Days" and George Ovashvili's "The Other Bank," a co-prod with France.
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