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Iwana Chronis to lead Hubert Bals Fund

 
The International Film Festival Rotterdam has appointed Iwana Chronis to lead the festival's Hubert Bals Fund. Chronis will take the position of Fund Manager from June 1, 2009. She takes over from Bianca Taal, who led the fund from 2007 until March 2009, when she left the IFFR to work for the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam.
 
Iwana Chronis (1977) has extensive working experience in combining culture and international development. She studied Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne (Australia). After internships at, among others, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam and the UNESCO Headquarters (Paris, France), she managed from 2005 to 2008 the Cultural Emergency Response (CER) program of the Prince Claus Fund (The Netherlands). CER provides global first aid for cultural heritages that have been damaged or destroyed by man-made or natural disasters.
During those years, she collaborated with IFFR's CineMart for the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant. The Prince Claus Fund Film Grant is presented to a CineMart project by a filmmaker from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Caribbean for its excellent concept and innovative quality by an international expert jury.
 
Currently Iwana Chronis works as Coordinator program partners of the Movies that Matter Festival (The Hague) and as Committee Secretary of the ‘Fonds voor Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst' (The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Amsterdam).
 
IFFR Director Rutger Wolfson states about the appointment: "I'm delighted with the appointment of Iwana Chronis as Hubert Bals Fund Manager. With her profile and experience she will be able to broaden the support for the Hubert Bals Fund in the Netherlands and be a very good ambassador of the Fund internationally. Now that the support of the Dutch government for the coming years is secured, she will also look into finding larger audiences for the films supported by the Fund in their countries of origin."
 
 
Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund
 
Along with CineMart, the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) is part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). 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 750 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-NCDO Culture Foundation, the DOEN Foundation, Dioraphte 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 Ethiopia, Vietnam and Costa Rica. In Armenia and in India, the Hubert Bals Fund participates in co-production meetings. On these occasions, Hubert Bals Fund Awards are granted to the most promising film projects.
 
Hubert Bals Fund Harvest
Each edition, the IFFR screens the majority of newly completed Hubert Bals Fund supported films. The 2009 Rotterdam edition included a record harvest of 33 new HBF supported films. Recent films supported by the HBF include Gigante by Adrian Biniez (Silver Bear Berlinale 2009), Liverpool by Lisandro Alonso, Opera Jawa by Garin Nugroho, Wonderful Town by Aditya Assarat (Tiger Award Rotterdam 2008) and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu (Palme d'Or 2007). Over the years, the Hubert Bals Fund has provided essential support to the careers of filmmakers such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Carlos Reygadas, Ariel Rotter, Mamahat Saleh-Haroun, Wang Bing, Lav Diaz and Abolfazl Jalili.
 
The 39th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam takes place from January 27 through February 7, 2010. More information on the festival, the Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart can be found on http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/.

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