44th edition 21 January - 1 February 2015

Frequently Asked Questions about Hubert Bals Fund


ABOUT US:
IMPROVED APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

ON APPLYING:

WHAT MATERIALS TO SUBMIT:
DO’s and DON’Ts:
AFTER SELECTION:









ABOUT US
Why do I receive an automatic reply in response to my email?
Annually, close to 800 applications are submitted to the Hubert Bals Fund. The Fund is run by a small team, consisting of two people year round. Given the vast amount of inquiries that we receive during the Spring and Fall selection rounds, we can unfortunately not respond to all questions directly. On this Frequently Asked Questions page you can find answers to most of the questions we annually receive. Hopefully, you will be able to find your answer in here. In case you cannot find an answer to your question through this page, please know that we will try to get back to you as soon as possible, but within three weeks at the latest.

What are the Hubert Bals Funds Rules and Regulations?
Our Rules and Regulations can be found here.

What is the postal address of the Hubert Bals Fund?
Please know that we prefer to receive all applications digitally. Do not send us any dossiers, scripts or rough cuts by post or courier service, unless we have requested you to do so.

For all other matters, these are our address details:
By regular (air) mail:
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Attn. Hubert Bals Fund
P.O.Box 21696
3001 AR Rotterdam
THE NETHERLANDS

By express courier:
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Attn. Hubert Bals Fund
Karel Doormanstraat 278 B
3012 GP Rotterdam
THE NETHERLANDS
(please mark: 'no value' or 'value 10 US$')

Who selects the projects?
The Hubert Bals Fund works with a selection committee consisting of film industry professionals from the Netherlands and abroad, including IFFR programmers and CineMart staff. All committee members have extensive experience in the assessment of applications and films and often bring specific regional expertise to the committee. All applications will be assessed by multiple committee members and over the course of several meetings a final selection is made.

What type of projects are you looking for?
Most important for the selection committee is the artistic quality of an application. We will also look closely at the viability of a project. The project should contribute to the development of the local film industry and the local filmmaking skills. The story of the project should be rooted in the culture of the applicant's country. However, the Fund has no rigid rules and each individual project will be judged on its own merits. However, please consider if your project is at a right stage to be submitted. The Hubert Bals Fund is part of International Film Festival Rotterdam and generally speaking, the type of projects that the HBF supports are in line with the type of films that are screened at IFFR. Please see the past Harvests of HBF supported films part of IFFR’s programme as a reference.

When and how do I hear any results?
The Hubert Bals Fund committee needs about one month to finish the pre-selection (Phase 1) for the Script & Project Development category. Every applicant will receive an e-mail informing if the project is pre-selected or not. For the pre-selected projects that enter Phase 2, the HBF committee needs about two months to finish their final selection. Again, every pre-selection applicant will receive a notification by e-mail.
For the Post-production category the committee needs about three months to finish their final selection. Every applicant will be notified by e-mail about the final selection. A full list of all selected projects will be published in a press release and also on our website shortly after the selection is made.

ON APPLYING
Who can apply to the Hubert Bals Fund?
Filmmakers or producers from developing countries (as listed on the DAC-list). Only projects with a director attached are eligible.

What is the DAC-list?
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has a committee that deals with development co-operation matters. The name of this committee is Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and every three year this committee revises their so-called DAC-list. The DAC-list of ODA Recipients shows developing countries and territories eligible for receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA). The different financiers of the Hubert Bals Fund require the Fund to use the DAC-list as a guideline for which countries projects can be supported. It is not possible for the HBF to make any exceptions.

What can I apply for?
For the current 2014 Spring selection round (deadline 1 March 2014), only the category Script and Project Development was open for applications.
For the upcoming 2014 Fall selection round, both the categories Script and Project Development and Post-production support will be open for applications.
  • What is the Script and Project development category?
    A Script and Project Development grant can be used for the further development of the script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant) but can also be used to present the project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals. The maximum contribution for Script and Project development is €10.000.

  • What is the Post-production category?
    A post-production grant can be used for various activities in the post-production process (e.g. editing, colour grading or sound mixing). The maximum contribution of the HBF for this category is €20.000. Please note that in return for its post-production support, the Hubert Bals Fund requests that the world premiere of the film takes place at International Film Festival Rotterdam. Also, the Fund requests the film's distribution rights for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Why is it not possible to apply for any of the other categories?
Due to a decrease in the available budget, the HBF has reviewed its policies and regulations. Therefore, not all funding categories will be open for applications these coming rounds. The Digital Production category is unfortunately no longer available for applications. The Hubert Bals Fund will continue to support film projects in the categories Script and Project Development and Post-production. Over the years, the Fund has realized that its support in these two categories can have the greatest impact on the further development or international launch of a film. It is therefore, that the Fund has decided to focus its attention on these two categories.

Does the Fund also support the production of feature films?
No. Only applications for the categories Script and Project Development and Post-production can be submitted to the Hubert Bals Fund. The Digital Production category is unfortunately no longer available for applications.

When can I apply?
The Hubert Bals Fund gives financial support twice a year. The next application deadline is 1 August 2014. This deadline cannot be extended. Applications can only be processed if all necessary information has been submitted online. The Application Form will be available from 1 week before, up until 2 days after the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

WHAT MATERIALS TO SUBMIT:

Should I send you any materials by post?
No, we strongly prefer to receive everything digitally! In MyIFFR you can find the online Application Form that allows you to fill out all details of your project. (Fall selection round only: When you apply for the Post-production category, you can include a link to a rough cut of your film on an online streaming platform. You don’t have to send us any paperwork or any DVDs.)

What information is required in the Application Form?
The Hubert Bals Fund Application Form is divided in five sections, allowing to you submit detailed information about your project. The Form is available in MyIFFR 1 week before the deadline and will remain online up until 2 days after the deadline. Here you can find a summary of what you will need to fill out:
  • General Info: Title, Production country/ies, Type of film
  • Film credits: Name and contact details of Director, and if applicable, of (Co-)Producer, Writer, Financier, Sales agent
  • Technical info: Running time, Shooting format, Colour/B&W, Languages
  • Financial info: Total budget (in Euro), Financing already secured (amount as well as explanatory overview), Requested contribution
  • Project info: Project status / Production status, Expected date of completion, Logline (max. 60 words), Synopsis (max 1.500 words), Director’s Statement (max 1.500 words), Sold territories, Most successful recent festival selections or awards for director and producer (list 3 each)

What do you mean with “Most successful recent festival selections or awards for director and producer”?
The Application Form requires you to include information about previous accomplishments of the director and of the producer. It is important for us to know more about your previous work. Unfortunately at this stage, it is not possible for us to review your work, but in these fields you can summarize three recent important awards, selections or premieres of your films. For instance: 3 different awards for 1 film, or 3 world premieres of 3 different films, or 1 scholarship and 2 grants for 1 project. You decide!

What is a director’s statement?
In this statement the director should explain and share anything (s)he feels is important for the selection committee to know. Consider writing about your inspiration, your method of working, how you visualize your story, what you would like to accomplish, background information on your story, your previous experiences or your future strategies – or all of the above.

What information is required in the dossier I have to submit when I’m pre-selected for Script & Project Development?
One month after the deadline the HBF selection committee will reach a decision on all submitted Script & Project Development applications and all pre-selected projects will receive a notification to submit their full dossier. If you have received our notification that your project is pre-selected, you have 1 week to submit your complete dossier. It is not possible to extend this 1 week period, therefore we recommend that you make sure you have the following materials available for immediate submission:
  • Synopsis (max. 3 pages)
  • Treatment (max. 12 pages)
  • Director’s Biography and Filmography
  • Director’s statement (max. 3 pages)
  • Optional: Visual reference material, if relevant
  • Producer’s Biography and Filmography (if a Producer is attached)
  • Producer’s statement (max. 3 pages) (if a Producer is attached)
  • Budget for Script & Project Development phase
  • Financial plan for total production
  • Written explanation on finance strategy
  • Pre-production schedule
  • Previous work of the director: online available on streaming platform (such as Vimeo, YouTube)

Compile all items above in 1 PDF or Word document and upload this within 1 week as per instructions. Only complete dossiers will be taken into consideration.

What is a treatment?
A treatment is generally longer and more detailed than a synopsis and it may include details of directorial style. A treatment reads like a short story: it is the full story of the film in its simplest form. The average number of pages is 7-12 but the Fund does not have a limitation to the amount of pages.

What information is required in the dossier for Post-production? (Fall selection round only)

  • Synopsis (max. 3 pages)
  • Director’s Biography and Filmography
  • Director’s statement (max. 3 pages)
  • Producer’s Biography/ies and Filmography/ies
  • Producer’s statement (max. 3 pages)
  • Budget for Post-production phase
  • Financial plan for total production (include copies of agreements, if available)
  • Written explanation on finance strategy
  • Written explanation on distribution strategy/audience engagement plan for finished filmPost-production schedule
Compile all items above in 1 PDF or Word document and upload this in MyIFFR before submitting your Application Form and link to your rough cut. Only complete dossiers received by the deadline will be taken into consideration.

What is a producer’s statement?
This statement can include anything the producer feels is important to share about his/her view and (financial) strategy on the project, as well as his/her collaboration with the director. Consider explaining why you are applying to the HBF at this moment, why you are involved in this project, what you expect from this film, which other financial options you have tried or are considering – or all of the above. Or something completely different!

What type of budget plan should I submit?
Please send us the budget for your current production phase. This means that, when applying for Script and Project Development, please send us the Development budget; and if applying for Post-production, please send us the post-production budget. You may also include the total budget but we are mainly interested in the budget for the phase for which you are applying.

What is a financial plan?
A financial plan should explain first of all which financiers you have on board and for which amount. The plan also explains how you are planning to cover the remaining financing. You can include all sorts of financiers (producers, funds, awards, et cetera) and please also indicate any other pending funding applications.

What is a (pre-/post-)production plan?
We don’t need a full shooting schedule. We would like a simple timeline or calendar of the estimated period that you are developing the film, financing, when you ideally will go into production, in post production and what is your estimated date of finalizing the film. Of course we are aware that these plannings are subject to change.

Can I send you my previous work?
Only upon request, but do mention the recent accomplishments of director and producer. When all filled out application forms for Script & Project Development have been assessed by our selection committee, a limited amount of projects is requested to send us their complete application dossier: this also requires previous work. These pre-selected projects enter Phase 2 of the application process and only in Phase 2 previous work can be considered.

Can I upload my film to the HBF? >
No. We only accept rough cuts of films available on online streaming channels such as Vimeo or YouTube. You can include a link to your film in the Application Form in MyIFFR, as well as the password if the link is protected.

Can I send you a link to my film online?
Yes, if your film is available on an online streaming platform with unrestricted viewing, such as Vimeo, YouTube or Dailymotion (or similar). Links to platforms that require registration or have any other restrictions are not accepted. Your link can be password protected and needs to be active until three months after the HBF’s deadline. Preferably the film is subtitled in English. You can include the link to your rough cut in the Application Form in MyIFFR. For Script & Project Development applications who have reached Phase 2, you will be invited to submit two links to your previous work already available on an online streaming channel.

Phase 2: What sort of previous work should I include?
For Script & Project Development applications who have reached Phase 2, you will be invited to submit 2 links to your previous work already available on an online streaming channel. Please carefully consider what you are going to submit: preferably your previous work supports and clarifies your Script and Project Development application. We therefore do not accept showreels. In case of a previously made documentary, please consider how this work relates to your current (fiction) Script and Project Development application.
Your previous work needs to be subtitled in English and the online link to your film needs to be available until 3 months after the deadline.

What is an Audience Engagement plan?
The environment in which independent films are distributed is constantly changing. That makes the distribution of your film difficult to predict. At the same time there is an even bigger need to think about appropriate and realistic distribution methods. We would like to read about your strategies for creating an awareness about your film. How do you intend to find and to attract your audience?


IMPROVED APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

How do I apply?
Please read our Rules & Regulations first, to make sure your project is eligible for submission.
Please note that the Hubert Bals Fund will be employing a new application and selection process for Script & Project Development applications the upcoming selection rounds, taking place in two phases.

Script & Project Development category:
Phase 1: After you have read and understood the Hubert Bals Fund’s Rules & Regulations, login to MyIFFR. From one week before the deadline the Hubert Bals Fund Application Form will be available in MyIFFR. This deadline cannot be extended. Applications can only be processed if all necessary information has been submitted online. The Application Form will be available up until 2 days after the deadline.
When applying for Script & Project Development category, the Form will allow you to include detailed project information. For an overview of what information is requested, see here. It is not possible to edit the Form after you have submitted it to the HBF, so please be thorough and careful when filling out.
One month after the deadline the HBF selection committee will reach a decision on all submitted Script & Project Development applications. You will receive notification through e-mail if your project was pre-selected or not. It is not possible to appeal the committee’s pre-selection decisions.

Phase 2: If your project is pre-selected you are given one week to submit your complete dossier (PDF or Word document) and include previous work (online streaming). It is not possible to extend this one week period. For the Spring 2014 selection round (deadline 1 March 2014) the selection committee will reach their final decision on all pre-selected projects by mid May 2014 and you will be notified by e-mail.

Post-production category: (Fall selection round only)
After you have read and understood the Hubert Bals Fund’s Rules & Regulations, login to MyIFFR. From one week before the deadline the Hubert Bals Fund Application Form will be available in MyIFFR. We need to receive your filled out Form, dossier and rough cut ultimately 1 day after the deadline.
When applying for Post-production category, the Form will allow you to include detailed project information: for an overview see here. It is not possible to edit the Form after you have submitted it to the HBF, so please be thorough and careful when filling out.
Before submitting the Form, please include the URL to an online streaming platform (such as Vimeo, YouTube) where we can stream your rough cut and upload your dossier for Post-production in MyIFFR. An overview of what to include in this dossier can be found here, details about online streaming videos are here.

Only upon request from the Hubert Bals Fund, you can submit an updated online version.
The selection committee will reach their final decision on all Post-production projects after approximately 3 months and you will be notified by e-mail.

The Application Form will only be available one week before the deadline. Is there something I can do to prepare my application?
Yes there is. When the form is not yet available in MyIFFR, you can check the required information that will be asked for on the form here.

What does pre-selection mean?
When all filled out application forms for Script & Project Development have been assessed by our selection committee, a limited amount of projects is requested to send us their complete application dossier. These projects are so-called ‘pre-selected’ and can enter Phase 2 of the application process. If your project is not pre-selected, you will receive an e-mail notification that your project is not selected for support. In Phase 2 only pre-selected projects are considered and the final selection will be made based on their dossiers. It is not possible to enter Phase 2 without passing Phase 1, so please make sure you fill out our online Application Form in MyIFFR – even if you are an IFFR regular!

What does it mean if my project is not pre-selected?
After the selection committee has assessed all submitted application forms, a decision is reached on all Script & Project Development applications. The Hubert Bals Fund is a small Fund with limited means and can annually support around 25 projects. Therefore only a limited amount of projects, that best fit into our selection criteria, can be considered for the final selection. These pre-selected projects receive a request to submit their full dossiers for consideration. In case you haven’t been pre-selected you are welcome to submit a new project for one of the future selection rounds. It is not possible to resubmit the same project.

Why have you changed the application process?
Annually the Hubert Bals Fund receives close to 800 applications, many of which are of great quality. The Hubert Bals Fund works with a small team to process all applications and the amount of applications has steadily increased. At the same time, we know that it takes a lot of time and effort to put together an application dossier. As a filmmaker or producer you are likely to send out quite some applications annually as well. We hope to facilitate the process by having one Application Form that covers the information we need from you.

How do I send you my complete project dossier for Script & Project development?
Only pre-selected projects for Script & Project Development should present us their complete project dossier. If you receive the notification about your pre-selection there will be instructions on how to submit your dossier. When pre-selected your Script & Project Development application reaches Phase 2 of the application process and the final selection will be made based on the dossier you’ll send us. Please note that it is not possible to submit your dossier for Phase 2 unless your project has passed Phase 1, so make sure you fill out our online Application Form in MyIFFR – even if you are an IFFR regular!

DO’s and DON’Ts:

I am a producer/writer with a project, but no director is attached yet. Can I apply?
No. To the Fund, the vision and the talent of a director are essential when making choices; we can thus only accept projects with a director attached.

My country of development/production is not on the DAC-list, can I still apply?
No. In order for a project to be eligible for support from the Hubert Bals Fund, both the country of development and of the production should be on the DAC-list. It is also essential that the filmmaker is a citizen of one of these countries.

I am a filmmaker from one of the DAC-listed countries, but my film will be set elsewhere. Can I apply?
The Hubert Bals Fund support should contribute to the local film industry in one of the DAC-listed countries. Consequently, if a film is set and shot outside one of those countries, the project cannot be accepted by the Fund.

What is a right stage for a project to apply for Hubert Bals Fund support?
Due to the large amount of applications the Hubert Bals Fund receives, it is not possible to resubmit your project for the same category, if the project was not selected. So please consider the moment you send us your application!

For the Script & Project Development category we welcome feature fiction applications in all stages of development, but even in an early stage you need to have at least a treatment available. Only directors who have previous work to show are eligible. It is not a requirement to already have a producer attached to the project but you need to have an idea of your development and finance strategy. In the complete dossier you need to include detailed budget and finance information. If you are close to start production, it is probably too late to apply. But you might want to consider an application for CineMart?

For the Post-production category we welcome feature fiction films and occasionally feature length creative documentaries (with theatrical potential) that have finished shooting. You need to have a rough cut of the full film available, with English subtitles. If a large part of the film is still to be shot, it is too early to submit your project. If your film will have its first public screening during the period of the HBF’s selection procedure, it is too late to submit your project. But you might want to consider entering the film for IFFR?

Can I send you my script?
No. Unfortunately it is not possible for the Hubert Bals Fund committee to consider full scripts, but please inform us about the current status of your script. If your project is pre-selected, you have to present us your treatment. Please make sure you have an up-to-date treatment in English available around the time you submit your application form.

In which languages may I apply?
Application materials (and subtitles) should be in English.

Can I send you DVDs?
We highly prefer to receive your previous work (when pre-selected) or rough cut online: as an online streaming video on a platform such as Vimeo, YouTube or Dailymotion. If you are unable to send us a link to your film, please contact us before applying.

Can I apply with a short film project?
No. The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to support feature length fiction films. Only films over 60 minutes in length are eligible for support.

Can I submit a creative documentary project?
Creative documentary applications are only accepted for the Post-production category. The main focus of the Fund is the support of feature fiction films. Shorts, documentaries and films made for television will not be taken in consideration. All regular (creative) documentary projects are advised to apply to the IDFA Bertha Fund of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. In some specific cases, the Hubert Bals Fund has supported documentary films. These projects always had a strong cinematic approach and were usually films that play with fiction or have a more experimental approach. Please keep in mind that the Hubert Bals Fund is designed to support feature fiction films.

Is it necessary to have other financiers/partners in place?
For the Fund to participate in a project, there should be a strong possibility that the rest of the finance can be found. If you are submitting your project in a development phase, it is not necessary to have other financiers in place, since especially at this stage, the Hubert Bals Fund is often the first partner. We do need to know about your finance strategy.

Which other Funds do you recommend?
For (post-)production funding, you can apply to different funds, whose mission resembles that of the Hubert Bals Fund, such as:
  • World Cinema Fund
  • Aide aux Cinémas du Monde
  • Sørfond
  • Global Film Initiative
  • IDFA Bertha Fund (please note: only for documentary projects)
  • Visions Sudest
  • Asian Cinema Fund
  • Sanad
  • Doha Film Institute


  • I have submitted my project to the Hubert Bals Fund before, but it was not selected. Can I apply again in the same category?
    No. Due to the amount of applications the fund receives it is not possible to submit the same project twice. Projects can only resubmit for the same category upon invitation by the HBF.

    Can I submit more than one project for a selection round?
    Please be aware that it is highly unlikely that more than one project by the same director or producer will be selected. Also, it is not possible to resubmit a project if it was not selected. We advise you to carefully think about the project that has the most priority for you.

    AFTER SELECTION:

    What does the Fund expect in return after selection?
    Script and Project development:
    * If no third party acquires the exclusive distribution rights of the film in the Benelux (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) within six months after the film première in the Netherlands, the Hubert Bals Fund wishes to obtain the Benelux distribution rights in order to promote the distribution of your film.
    * Front credit with the Hubert Bals Fund logo in the finished film


    Post-production:
    The finished film will have its world premiere at the IFFR. Premiere invitations from other festivals can only be accepted upon written approval of the Hubert Bals Fund.
    In exchange for its financial contribution, the Hubert Bals Fund wishes to obtain the exclusive distribution rights of the film in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg; after recoupment of the HBF’s support, the income will be shared with the filmmaker.
    Front credit with the Hubert Bals Fund logo in the finished film


    What is Boost!?
    As of 2011, the HBF has joined forces with IFFR's CineMart and Binger Filmlab in organising a special coaching trajectory for HBF supported projects. For more information on Boost! click here.

    My project is selected. Can I submit the project for another category as well?
    Yes, if your project is selected for Script and Project development support, you are welcome to submit it again after shooting for Post-production support.

    What is HBF Plus?
    In order to stimulate Dutch producers to get involved in international co-productions, and to support Hubert Bals Fund projects in the stage of actual production, The Netherlands Film Fund and the HBF set up Hubert Bals Fund Plus. Only projects that have previously received support by the HBF in the stage of Script and Project Development are eligible.