The International FilmFestival Rotterdam (Jan 24-Feb 4, 2007) will introduce a new digital productiongrant to the Hubert Bals Fund.

The 36th Rotterdam festival has announced a new $24,980 (Euros 20,000)grant for low-budget digital video productions from developing countries. Thegrants can be used to fund total production costs.
During the Fund's autumn 2006 selection round, four projectshave been supported within the new category. They are Ho Yuhang's At The End Of TheDaybreak from Malaysia; Liew Seng Tat's InWhat City Does It Live' from Malaysia; Khavn De La Cruz's Mondomanila from the Philippines; and Wang Liren's Weed from China.

"Recent developments withinfilm technology allow filmmakers to create films on ultra-low budgets," organiserssaid in a statement. "However, financing these independent and innovativefeature projects remains very difficult. With its new grant category aimed atthese daring projects, the Hubert Bals Fund intends to be a main financier forlow-budget, independent and creative, digital features."

The Fund's other selections inexisting categories of script development, post-production and distribution willbe announced later this week. Since its inception 20 years ago, the Hubert BalsFund has supported nearly 600 films including recent projects such as NuriBilge Ceylan's Climates, Manuel NietoZas' The Dog Pound and Alexis DosSantos' Glue. The fund offers up to $1.5m(Euros 1.2m) per year.