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HBF funds half a million € for non-western projects

The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable or urgent feature films and feature length creative documentaries by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to fulfillment. The HBF provides grants that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects.

In its Fall 2003 Selection Round, Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) of the International Film Festival Rotterdam grants a total of Euro 467,000 to twenty-eight non-Western film-makers. The HBF provides individual grants to support either script development, post-production or distribution in the country of origin.

During the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan 21 – Feb 1, 2004) the Hubert Bals Fund sidebar is expected to contain thirty recently completed films supported by the HBF.

The HBF Fall 2003 Selection Round comprises nine grants for script and project development; twelve grants for post-production and three grants for distribution. The Selection Round also includes the support given to organize scriptworkshops in Colon (Argentina) and Sithengi (South Africa) and the four HBF Awards for promising film-projects at the PPP (South Korea) and Sithengi (South Africa) markets.


Among the grants now selected in support of script development three go to Argentinean film projects: a sign of the ongoing vitality of independent film-making in this country. Film projects selected for support of post-production include the eagerly awaited new titles such as FAMILIA RODANTE, the third film by Pablo Trapero (CRANE WORLD), THE HUNTER by Kazakh director Serik Aprymov (THREE BROTHERS), SPREADING (THE PIRATE MOVIE) by He Jianjun (POSTMAN). First-time directors supported include Josue Mendez (Peru), Teona S. Mitevska (Macedonia) and Diao Yinan (China).


Many HBF supported film projects originate from countries (for example Colombia, Peru, Macedonia and Yugoslavia) where local film industries experience difficulties due to political and/or economical crises. Furthermore, the Hubert Bals Fund welcomes the opportunity of supporting the distribution of three films in Congo, Iraq and Pakistan, their respective countries of origin. Among these three films is the Locarno 2003 Golden Leopard prizewinner SILENT WATERS (KHAMOSH PANI) by Sabiha Sumar.


The line up of the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2003 Selection Round in full:
Script and project development


THE INNOCENTS (BIGONAHAN) – Sepideh Farsi - Iran
THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN (EL CIELO, LA TIERRA Y LA LLUVIA) – Jose Luis Torres Leiva – Chile
IN THE NAME OF THE DEAD – Apolline Traore – Burkina Faso
I’M AFRAID (JA BOJUS) – Oleg Kovalov – Russia
HOMELAND (JANMO BHOOMI) – Catherine & Tareque Masud – Bangladesh
MAYTLAND – Marcelo Charras – Argentina
MONOBLOC – Luis Ortega – Argentina
THE ETERNAUT PROJECT (EL PROYECTO ETERNAUTA) – Gustavo Mosquera – Argentina
BLOOD AND RAIN (LA SANGRE Y LA LLUVIA) – Jorge Navas – Colombia

Post production

LE VOYAGE IMMOBILE (BAB LBHAR) – Daoud Aoulad Syad – Morocco
DAYS OF SANTIAGO (DIAS DE SANTIAGO) – Josue Mendez – Peru
FAMILIA RODANTE – Pablo Trapero – Argentina
HOW I KILLED A SAINT – Teona S. Mitevska – Macedonia
SPREADING (THE PIRATE MOVIE) (MAN YAN: NI QU NA ER) – He Jianjun – China
THE HUNTER (OKHOTNIK) – Serik Aprymov – Kazakhstan
PARAPALOS – Ana Poliak – Argentina
FATHER (PÈRE) – Naguel Belouad – Algeria
SHUTKA – Aleksander Manic - Yugoslavia
THE SILENCE BETWEEN TWO THOUGHTS (SOKAATE BEINE DO FEKS) – Babak Payami – Iran
UNIFORM - Diao Yinan, China Distribution
FATHER’S GARDEN (LE JARDIN DE PAPA) – Zeka Laplaine – Congo
LIFE (JIYAN) – Jano Rosebiani – Iraq
SILENT WATERS (KHAMOSH PANI) – Sabiha Sumar – Pakistan

Special projects


COLON - Scriptworkshop, Argentina
SITHENGI – Scriptworkshop, South Africa


HBF-Awards


PPP, Pusan, Korea: HI-SO - Aditya Assarat - Thailand
Sithengi, South Africa
AFRICAN TALES – Imruh Bakari - Tanzania
BLACK DESIRE – Catherine Kaseketi - Zambia
THE RISE AND FALL OF RICHARD ONYANGO – Njeri Karago - Kenia

HBF supported films that earned worldwide acclaim were CRANE WORLD (MUNDO GRÚA) by Pablo TRAPERO (Argentina), 25 WATTS by Juan Pablo REBELLA and Pablo STOLL (Uruguay), JAPÓN by Carlos REYGADAS (Mexico), DIVINE INTERVENTION by Elia SULEIMAN (Palestine) and Cannes 2003 Grand Jury Prize winner UZAK (DISTANT) by Nuri Bilge CEYLAN (Turkey). SILENT WATERS (KHAMOSH PANI) by Sabiha Sumar (Pakistan) won the 2003 Locarno Golden Leopard, while FUSE (GORI VATRA) Pjer Zalica (Bosna-Herzegovina) again linked the Silver Leopard with the Hubert Bals Fund. In 2002, Diego Lerman’s SUDDENLY (TAN DE REPENTE, Argentina) became a succes after taking home the same award.



Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund


The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) is, along with CineMart, part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 33rd IFFR will take place January 21 – February 1, 2004. Year round any news on the IFFR, the HBF and CineMart can be found on the festivalwebsite www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com.


The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable or urgent feature films and feature length creative documentaries by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to fulfillment. The HBF provides grants that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects. Although the Fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors remain its content and artistic value. Since the Fund started in 1988, well over 450 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America received support. Approximately 60% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production. Every year, the IFFR screens completed films supported by the Fund in its regular sidebar ‘Hubert Bals Fund Harvest’: the 2003 edition comprised a total of 27 new features. Regularly, HBF supported films are selected for IFFR’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition.




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Chatelin Bruno
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