The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), administered by the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), has announced its 2019 selection for the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support scheme.
Six projects from Chile, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil and China will receive €50,000 ($44,840) each through their European co-producers. The selection includes two debuts, three sophmore films and a third feature, and were picked from 38 applications.
Funded by the EU’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, the fund provides financial support to European producers serving as minority co-producers on features by filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.
This year’s projects are:
The third feature of Chilean filmmaker Fernando Guzzoni centres around 18-year-old Blanca who becomes a key witness of a high-profile sex scandal, becoming a feminist martyr to some but a villain to others. Produced by Rampante Films (Chile), it was co-produced by Bonne Pioche Cinéma (France), best known for producing the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary La Marche de l’empereur, Abrolhos Filmes (Brazil) and Madants Ltd. (Poland, HBF+Europe grant recipient).
The first feature film of Ely Dagher, the Lebanese filmmaker whose animated short film, Waves ’98, won the short-film Palme d’or in Cannes in 2015. Harvest is about a young woman’s sudden return to a life in Beirut that she had left behind. Produced by Abbout Productions (Lebanon), in co-production with Andolfi (France, recipient of HBF+Europe grant), Wrong Men (Belgium) and Beachside Films (USA).
La Hija De Todas Las Rabias
Nicaraguan filmmaker Laura Baumesiter’s debut feature-film project follows eight-year-old Maria as she struggles to survive on the streets of poverty-stricken Nicaragua. The film received script and project development support from HBF in 2018 and won the Wouter Barendrecht Award at CineMart 2019. Produced by Felipa Films (Nicaragua), and co-produced by Mart Films (Mexico), Halal (Netherlands, recipient of HBF+Europe grant) and Halal (Germany).
Co-directed by Brazilian filmmakers Flore Dias (director of photography for Your Bones and Your Eyes, Yellow Night and First Act) and Juruna Mallon, The Intrusion focuses on the 35,000 workers at one of the busiest airports in Brazil. Produced by Filmes de Abril (Brazil), in co-production with Pomme Hurlante Films (France, HBF+Europe grant recipient) and Enquadrameno Produções – Lira Cinematográfica (Brazil).
La Piel Pulpo
Ecuadorian filmmaker Anna Cristina Barragan’s debut film Alba received post-production support from HBF in 2015 and screened at IFFR the following year. Her second feature film, La piel pulpo, the story of 14-year-old twins who live on a beach being forced to move to the city, received Script and Development support in 2016, and was selected for CineMart 2017. It was produced by Caleidoscopio cine (Ecuador), and co-produced by Desenlace films (Mexico), the HBF+Europe grant recipient Graal S.A. (Greece) and Unafilm (Germany).
Chinese director Zhengfan Yang’s second feature film, produced by Shengzhe Zhu, tells a story of Chinese hotel occupants who strangers not just in the rooms, but in their home country. The film received HBF Script and Development support in 2017. Produced by Burn the Film (China), in co-production with HBF+Europe grant recipient BALDR Film (Netherlands), Norsk FIlmproduksjon A/S (Netherlands) and Les filims de l’après-midi (France).