International Film Festival Rotterdam’s resurgent Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has announced its spring 2015 selection.
The Fund is geared toward supporting filmmakers from developing countries.
HBF will be investing in the script and project development of four titles from first-time feature filmmakers - Alice Furtado, Maya Da-Rin, Hugo Gimenez and Kaouther Ben Hania - and four projects directed by women.
The crop includes: Brief Story From The Green Planet, the latest feature by Santiago Loza; Three Missing Policemen, the new film by Chinese director Ju Anqi; and Alice Furtado’s Sick Sick Sick.
Two international co-productions have also received support from HBF together with the Netherlands Film Fund: These are Something Useful by Pelin Esmer (Turkey), which is co-produced by Dutch outfit Topkapi, and White Sun by Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), co-produced by another Dutch company, Waterland Film
HBF backed five titles in Cannes’ official selection this year: Gurvinder Singh’s Punjab-set drama Fourth Direction; Cemetery of Splendour by Apichatpong Weerasethakul; Arab & Tarzan Nasser’s Degradé; Land And Shade by César Acevedo; and Embrace Of The Serpent by Ciro Guerra.
Most of these titles are expected to screen at the next IFFR.
The Fund will shortly be announcing the first awards through its newly launched distribution support scheme. “The Fund is much healthier now than it was a few years back when it was all very shaky,” said HBF manager Iwana Chronis.
Through new scheme HBF+Europe, supported by Media Programme’s Creative Europe, the fund is now backing European producers who act as minority co-producers in projects by filmmakers from emerging countries. HBF is also supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Hivos among other backers.