Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has announced $464,400 (Euros 362,500) in support to 25 film projects across 19 countries.

The fund brings feature films and feature-length creative documentaries by filmmakers from developing countries closer to completion.

Selected projects in 2008 include new films by acclaimed independent filmmakers Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pablo Larrain, Rodrigo Moreno, Raya Martin, Tariq Teguia and Sinisa Dragin as well as projects by first time filmmakers.

Around thirty new films supported by the HBF will also be selected for the upcoming 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2009.

Two projects received financial support in the HBF's post production category, both will be selected for Rotterdam 2009: Algerian filmmaker Tariq Teguia for Gabbla (Inland) and Serbia's Sinisa Dragin for If the Seed Doesn't Die, which will have its world premiere in Rotterdam.

In the digital production category, funding goes to five filmmakers including:

  • Argentinean short film and video installation maker Sebastian Diaz Morales for El Camino Entro dos Puntos (The Way Between Two Points) about life in a oil extraction town;
  • Raya Martin from the Philippines, for his digital project How to Disappear Completely, a documentary style film following a group of actors trying to survive in the jungle; and
  • India 's Sidharth Srinivasan, for Soul of Sand, a potentially controversial film dealing with the rapid urbanization of Indian metropoles.

In this round of funding, the script development stage of new projects by established filmmakers will also be supported. Selected projects include: Pablo Larrain for Post Mortem; Rodrigo Moreno for Reimon; Apichatpong Weerasethakul 's Primitive-Uncle Boonmee, a multimedia project; and Kleber Mendonca for his debut feature film The Surrounding Sounds.

The fund will also support initiatives in Uruguay and Peru to screen recent national and Latin-American independent films:

  • Efecto Cine organizes 80 screenings in about 40 cities across Uruguay from January to April 2009; and
  • Red de microcines para el Peru (Network of micro cinemas for Peru) supports the establishment of cinema groups that introduce and screen independent films in neighbourhoods and communities throughout Peru.

In addition, HBF will bestow an award of $6,400 (Euros 5,000) for the best project presented at the forthcoming Film Bazaar (November 26-29) organized alongside the International Film Festival of India in Goa.