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Hubert Bals Fund gives $570,000 in latest round

Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund supports 29 films from 22 countries.

The Hubert Bals Fund, International Film Festival Rotterdam’s fund for supporting filmmakers from developing countries, has announced details of its latest investments.In its latest spending round,  HBF, which gives grants for script development, digital production, postproduction, distribution or workshops, is to support 29 projects from 22 countries, investing $570,000 (450,000 Euros) in all.

The selection includes new films by Vimukthi Jayasundara, John Torres, Celina Murga, by many first time filmmakers and Cannes Quinzaine title, A alegria (The Joy) by Felipe Bragança & Marina Meliande (see full list below).*

Bragança & Meliande are among a sizeable group of filmmakers in Cannes this year whose projects have received support either from HBF or whose projects have passed through Rotterdam’s coproduction market, The CineMart. Their A Alegria (The Joy) is an allegorical tale interspersed with political and mythical aspects about the hopes and fears of four 16-year olds in present-day Rio de Janeiro.

Two further films supported for final financing - from a total of eight this selection round - are Serbian feature film début Tilva Rosh by Nikola Lezaic, a coming-of-age story about two boys from the local skating subculture and Chinese revelation Han jia (Winter Vacation) by Li Hongqi, portraying Inner Mongolian village life in a visually stunning and slightly absurdist way.

Four projects receive Hubert Bals Fund grants for digital production. Sri Lankan film Through the Windshield by Vimukthi Jayasundara, who competed in Venice last year with his Between Two Worlds; Lukas Nino by young Philippine filmmaking talent John Torres; Nigerian tragicomical collage film Confusion Na Wa by Kenneth Gyang and Marimbas del infierno, a portrait by Julio Hernandez Cordon of Guatamala’s first marimba-heavymetal band.

The 12 projects selected in the script development category support upcoming as well as experienced talents. Alongside new projects by well known filmmakers like Peng Tao (China), Celina Murga (Argentina), Tariq Teguia (Algeria) and Ruben Imaz Castro (Mexico), this category contains three remarkable début feature films: Uzbek film Aral by Ella Vakkasova, about a boy growing up on the shores of a dried-up lake; Thai film Past Love by Lee Chatametikool, editor of Tiger Award-winners Mundane History and Wonderful Town and Paraguayan film La última tierra by Pablo Lamar, a subtle portrait of an older man mourning his recentlydeceased wife.

In its special projects category, the Hubert Bals Fund supports local film industry development by giving out a Hubert Bals Fund Award to one of the African projects presented this summer at the inaugural Durban FilmMart and by a donation to organize the first East Timor Production Workshop, aimed at starting an independent film culture.

Hubert Bals Fund Spring 2010 Selection Round in full:

*Postproduction & final financing*
A alegria (The Joy) — Felipe Bragança & Marina Meliande, Brazil
Agonistes, The Myth of Nation — Lav Diaz, Philippines
Cornelia At Her Mirror — Daniel Rosenfeld, Argentina
Harud — Aamir Bashir, India
Hawi — Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt
Ocaso — Théo Court, Chile
Tilva Ros — Nikola Lezaic, Serbia
Winter Vacation — Li Hongqi, China

*Digital Production*
Confusion Na Wa — Kenneth Gyang, Nigeria
Lukas nino — John Torres, Philippines
Marimbas del infierno — Julio Hernandez Cordon, Guatemala
Through the Windshield — Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka

*Script & Project development*
Aral — Ella Vakkasova, Uzbekistan
Betok — Sherman Ong, Malaysia
Bull Down! — Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil
Germania — Maximiliano Schonfeld, Argentina
Ibn Battuta — Tariq Teguia, Algeria
Karma Police — Visra Vichit-Vadakan, Thailand
Melaza — Carlos Lechuga, Cuba
Past Love — Lee Chatametikool, Thailand
Straw Man — Peng Tao, China
La tercera orilla — Celina Murga, Argentina
Tormentero — Ruben Imaz Castro, Mexico
La última tierra — Pablo Lamar, Paraguay

*Distribution*
Chaque jour est une fête — Dima El-Horr, Lebanon, distribution in
Lebanon by MC Distribution
Manuel De Ribera — Christopher Murray & Pablo Carrera, distribution in
Chile by Jirafa

*Special Projects*
Directors Across Borders Script and Project Development Workshop —
Yerevan Golden Apricot Film Festival, Armenia
Hubert Bals Fund Award — Durban FilmMart, Durban International Film
Festival, South Africa
East Timor Film Production Workshop — East Timor

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