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Hubert Bals Fund announces winning film projects

The Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam film festival announces financial contributions to 27 film projects for a total amount of 385,000 Euro. One of the winners, TONY MANERO by Pablo Larraín, is selected for the Directors’ Fortnight 2008. It brings the total of Rotterdam-backed titles in Cannes to sixteen.
This Spring, Hubert Bals Fund contributions will go to filmmakers in seventeen countries. Among them are maestro Lav Diaz (Philippines), upcoming talent Edwin (Indonesia), about to make his feature film début, and Matias Meyer (Mexico) who writes and directs his second feature film following his remarkable WADLEY.

Selected for the Directors’ Fortnight 2008, TONY MANERO is set in 1978 during the Pinochet dictatorship period. While Raúl, a man in his fifties, tries to earn respect by imitating John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever, members of his dance group are persecuted by the Chilean secret police.
Also Indonesian filmmaker Edwin is granted a Hubert Bals Fund contribution to finish his feature début. Larraín’s TONY MANERO, Edwin’s THE BLIND PIG WHO WANTS TO FLY as well as the other seven films now supported for post production are expected to screen during the 38th IFFR (January 21 – February 1, 2009).

Since 2006, the Hubert Bals Fund also supports low budget digital film projects. The grants in this category are meant to cover a large part of a digital feature film. This Spring Selection, Lav Diaz is one of the six filmmakers to receive support for digital production. His earlier work includes DEATH IN THE LAND OF ENCANTOS, selected for Venice, Toronto and Rotterdam.

The Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has a successful track record of discovering and supporting creative, independent filmmakers and stimulating filmculture in developing countries. Twice a year, the fund makes contributions to a total of sixty film projects.
About 80% of these projects are realized. The fund’s contributions act as seal of approval which helps to convince additional investors. Many Hubert Bals Fund supported films have been selected by the film festivals of Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, San Sebastian, Locarno, Pusan, Toronto and Rotterdam.

The line up of the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Spring 2008 Selection Round in full:

Post production
BE CALM AND COUNT TO 7 ; Ramtin Lavafipour - Iran
BAKSY ; Guka Omarova - Kazakhstan
GREEN ROCKING CHAIR ; Roxlee - Philippines
TONY MANERO ; Pablo Larraín - Chile
MOON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL ; Nguyen Vinh Son - Vietnam
TURISTAS ; Alicia Scherson - Chile
ER DONG ; Yang Jin – China
PANDORA’S BOX ; Yesim Ustaoglu – Turkey

Script development
OUR GRAND DESPAIR ; Seyfi Teoman - Turkey
GIRIMUNHO ; Helvécio Marins Jr. - Brazil
JEAN GENTIL ; Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas - Dominican Republic / Mexico
KALAYAAN ; Adolfo Alix Jr. - Philippines
KOSMOS ; Ihor Podolchak - Ukraine
CIRCUMSTANCE ; Maryam Keshavarz - Iran
SUR LA PLANCHE ; Leila Kilani – Morocco
TANTA AGUA ; Ana Guevara & Leticia Jorge - Uruguay
LOS ULTIMOS CRISTEROS ; Matias Meyer - Mexico

Digital production
THE GREAT DESAPARECIDO ; Lav Diaz - Phillippines
LUCÍA ; Niles Atallah - Chile
ONE DAY WHEN THE RAIN FALLS ; Ifa Isfansyah - Indonesia

Distribution and special projects
WAR, LOVE, GOD AND MADNESS ; Mohamed Al-Daradji - Iraq
Directors Across Borders (DAB Forum), Yerevan - Armenia

(end of list)

Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund
Along with CineMart, the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) is part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 38th IFFR will take place January 21 – February 1, 2009. Year-round news on IFFR, HBF and CineMart can be found on the festival website

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 completion. The Hubert Bals Fund 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, close to 600 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support. Approximately 80% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production. Every year, the IFFR screens completed films supported by the Fund.

The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch non-governmental development organisations Hivos and NCDO, the DOEN Foundation and Dutch public broadcasting network NPS.

Grants and selection rounds
Annually, the Hubert Bals Fund has close to Euro 1.2 million at its disposal and is able to make individual grants of up to Euro 10,000 for script and project development, Euro 20,000 for digital production, Euro 30,000 for post-production or Euro 15,000 towards distribution costs in the country of origin. Selection rounds take place twice a year and have application deadlines on March 1 and August 1.

Training, workshops, the Hubert Bals Fund Awards
The Fund supports training initiatives for filmmakers in Ethiopa, Philippines, Costa Rica and Uganda. In Armenia and the Philippines, the Hubert Bals Fund participates in co-production meetings. On these occasions, Hubert Bals Fund Awards are granted to the most promising film projects.


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