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Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund announces winners

The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), Rotterdam’s fund designed to support films from the South, has announced financial contributions to 28 film projects in 18 countries for a total amount of 435,000 Euro. These include new films by acclaimed independent filmmakers Wang Bing, Paz Encina, Bahman Ghobadi and Lisandro Alonso, as well as many projects by first time filmmakers. An expected twenty completed films supported by the HBF, will be selected for the upcoming 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Among the eight projects in the post production category, two films have already been selected for the Rotterdam festival: FUJIAN BLUE by Weng Shou Ming (China) and WONDERFUL TOWN by Aditya Assarat (Thailand), a winner of the New Currents Award in Pusan 2007.
The Fund also supports I WANT TO SEE, a documentary on Lebanon by filmmakers Khalil Joreige & Joanna Hadjithomas, featuring Catherine Deneuve along with actor Rabih Mroué, as they are visiting Mroué’s childhood home in a destroyed village on the Lebanese-Israeli border. South Africa’s Darryl James Roodt receives support for his pivotal low budget drama ZIMBABWE.
Also included are the exciting feature débuts by Jose Luis Torres Leiva (Chili) and Matheus Nachtergaele (Brazil), now nearing their completion, and already supported for script development by the HBF in 2003.

In its script development category, the Fund supports first fiction feature film projects by Michel Lipkes and Daniela Schneider (Mexico), Theó Jose Court (Chili) and Mitra Farahani (Iran). Georgian filmmaker Giorgi Chalauri’s first feature project SUSA received the Hubert Bals Fund Award, June 2007, on the occasion of the Directors Across Borders’ workshop of the Golden Apricot Film Festival (Armenia). Young Philippine filmmaker Raya Martin receives backing to develop INDEPENDENCIA, a CineMart Project 2007 awarded with the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant, set against the backdrop of the American occupation of the Philippines in the early 20th century.

Adapting to the changing needs of filmmakers, the Hubert Bals Fund since 2006 supports low budget digital film projects. The grants in this category are meant to cover a large part of a digital feature film. As announced earlier, the Fund has selected film projects by Mexican filmmaker Eugenio Polgovsky (TROPICO DE CANCER), Paz Encina (HAMACA PARAGUAYA) from Paraguay and two of the most creative filmmakers from China, Wang Bing and Liu Jiayin.

The line up of the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2007 Selection Round in full:

Post production
I WANT TO SEE – Khalil Joreige & Joanna Hadjithomas ; Lebanon
EL CIELO, LA TIERRA, Y LA LLUVIA (THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN – Jose Luis Torres Leiva ; Chile
A FESTA DA MENINA MORTA (THE DEAD GIRL’S PARTY) – Matheus Nachtergaele ; Brazil
FUJIAN BLUE –Weng Shou Ming ; China
LIVERPOOL – Lisandro Alonso ; Argentina
SWEET SIXTIES – Sergei Loznitsa ; Ukraine
WONDERFUL TOWN – Aditya Assarat ; Thailand
ZIMBABWE – Darrel James Roodt ; South Africa

Script development
LE COQ (THE ROOSTER) – Mitra Farahani ; Iran
MUTE AFFAIRS – Bui Thac Chuyen ; Vietnam
FEAST OF VILLAINS – Pan Jian Lin ; China
FRICCION (FRICTION) – Michel Lipkes ; Mexico
GABBLA (INLAND) – Tariq Teguia ; Algeria
BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS – Haolun Shu ; China
INDEPENDENCIA (INDEPENDENCE) – Raya Martin; Phillippines
Untitled Bahman Ghobadi Project – Bahman Ghobadi ; Iran
OCASO (DECLINE) – Théo Jose Court ; Chile
STROKE – Daniela Schneider ; Mexico
SUSA – Giorgi Chalauri ; Georgia
TATUAGEM (TATTOO) – Hilton Lacerda ; Brazil
THE UMESH CHRONICLES – Pooja Kaul ; India
ZEPHYR – Belma Bas ; Turkey

Digital production
LOS HEREDEROS (THE INHERITORS) – Eugenio Polgovsky ; Mexico
A JOURNAL OF CRUDE OIL – Wang Bing ; China
OXHIDE II – Liu Jiayin ; China
UN SUSPIRO (A SIGH) – Paz Encina ; Paraguay

Distribution
LA LIBERTAD, LOS MUERTOS & FANTASMA – Lisandro Alonso – release by Mantarraya Producciones in Mexico City ; Mexico

Workshops
JiFFest workshop, December 2007, Jakarta – Indonesia

Script Awards
HBF Award at JiFFest 2007, Jakarta – Indonesia


Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund
Along with CineMart, the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) is part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 37th IFFR will take place January 23 – February 3, 2008. Year-round news on IFFR, HBF and CineMart can be found on the festival website 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 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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