IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) director Ally Derks has made an outspoken plea for the Dutch Government to continue to support the Festival’s Jan Vrijman Fund.
Her remarks follow the announcement this week that the fund (which supports documentary filmmaking in developing countries) has cancelled its second selection round of 2012, which was planned for this month. The decision was taken in view of the fact that, after 2013, the Fund will cease to receive Government support through the Dutch Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
“We are trying to find ways to get money from other foundations,” Derks (speaking from Toronto where she is attending Hot Docs) commented. “With this right-wing government (in the Netherlands), it is so tough to get the money…we have huge problems right now so we decided not to organise now the (selection) second round.”
Derks insisted that the Jan Vrijman Fund will remain a core part of IDFA which, this year, celebrates its 25th anniversary (14 to 25 November.)
The Jan Vrijman Fund organisers are currently engaged on a fund raising drive. Both The Jan Vrijman Fund and International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund are applying for National Lottery money in a bid to bolster their coffers.
Over the last 20 years, the Jan Vrijman Fund has backed over 400 film projects from developing countries while also supporting workshops and festivals. Recent projects it has supported include Vivan Las Antipodas! and Sundance winner, 5 Broken Cameras.
“We are fighting very, very hard,” Derks stated. “We are going to manage. I do think that we’ve done a very good job with the Jan Vrijman Fund. It has nothing to do with the quality of the fund and the projects - it has to do with our government.”