Twenty-three projects from non-Western filmmakers are to receive a total of Euros 330,000 in grants from the International Film Festival Rotterdam's (IFFR) Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), as was decided during the fund's autumn selection round.

The selection includes six projects from Argentina, two from Brazil, as well as works by filmmakers in Afghanistan, Belarus, Benin, Chile, China, Congo, Egypt, Estonia, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Thailand and Tunisia.

On the occasion of the Fund's 15th anniversary, a third HBF Conference will be held during the International Film Festival Rotterdam (January 22 - February 2, 2003). Its focus will be on film distribution, DVD-release and film preservation in developing countries.

The festival will also present the recent harvest of Hubert Bals Fund-supported films. The 25-title programme will include the award-winning Divine Intervention, Madame Sata, Abouna, Waiting For Happiness (Heremakono), as well as a number of world and international premieres.

IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring plans for feature films and creative documentaries by filmmakers from developing countries closer to fulfilment. It provides grants that often turn out to be crucial towards enabling these filmmakers to realise their projects. Although the Fund closely looks at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors remain its content and artistic value. Since its start in 1988, well over 400 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America received support. Approximately 60% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production.

Annually, the HBF has close to Euros 935,000 at its disposal, being able to make individual grants of up to either Euros 10,000 for script and project development, Euros 30,000 for post-production, or Euros 15,000 for distribution in the country of origin.

Selection rounds take place twice a year, in March and November. Twenty-six projects were selected for support in the first round this year. The next application deadline is March 1, 2003.

In recent years the Fund also started supporting special projects such as training initiatives for filmmakers in developing countries. At the autumn round, it was decided to back the Tanzania Short Film Project. At the recent Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage, the Euros 6,700 Hubert Bals Fund Award went to Moroccan filmmaker Daoud Aoulad Syad's Bab Lbhar.

The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, Hivos, NCDO, DOEN Foundation and Dutch public network NPS.

IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund Selection Round (November 2002):

Script and project development
La Antena - Esteban Sapir, Argentina
Arlit - Destins Croisés - Idrissou Mora Kpai, Benin
Bab Aziz - Nacer Khémir, Tunisia
Judios En El Espacio/Jews In Space - Gabriel Lichtmann, Argentina
Al Manfah/The Exile - Atef Hetata, Egypt
Puentes - Julian Giulianelli, Argentina
Rangin Kaman/Rainbow - Sadiq Barmak, Afghanistan
Set - Carlos Morelli, Peru
Tal Vez/May Be - Diego Lerman, Argentina
El Vestidor - Alicia Scherson, Chile
Zaïna - Bourlem Guerdjou, France/Morocco
- Rafael Conde, Brazil

33 - Kiko Goifman, Brazil
4 - Ilya Khrjanovsky, Russia
Ah Ying/All Tomorrow's Parties - Yu Lik-Wai, China
Grieta - Santiago Loza, Argentina
Los Guantes Magicos - Martin Rejtman, Argentina
Le Jardin De Papa - Zeka Laplaine, Congo
Last Life In The Universe - Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand
Mysterium Occupation - Andrei Kudinenko, Belarus
Somnanbulance - Sulev Keedus, Estonia

Lalsalu - Tanvir Mokammel, Bangladesh

Training and workshops
Tanzania Short Film Project - Savannah Films, Tanzania

Hubert Bals Fund Award
On the occasion of the Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage:
Bab Lbhar - Daoud Aoulad Syad, Morocco