The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to help remarkable or urgent feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe on their road to completion. It provides grants that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects.
Although the Fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors to grant support remain the content and artistic value. Since the founding of the Fund in 1989, more than a 1.000 projects of independent filmmakers from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support.
Approximately 80% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production. Every year, IFFR screens the majority of completed films supported by the Fund. An overview of (past) selected HBF projects and Harvests maybe found on the HBF History page
Grants and selection rounds
In 2014 the Hubert Bals Fund has close to €500.000 at its disposal and is able to make individual grants of up to €10.000 for script and project development and €20.000 for post-production. Selection rounds take place twice a year, with application deadlines on 1 March and 1 August.
Besides individual grants to film projects, the Hubert Bals Fund is also involved in several programmes that aim to further stimulate the potential and visibility of film projects and the professional development of talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.
Hubert Bals Fund Plus
Additionally, in order to offer Dutch producers the possibility to get involved more often in international productions, and to support the Hubert Bals Fund projects in the stage of actual production, the Netherlands Film Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund set up Hubert Bals Fund Plus. Since 2006, the Dutch Film Fund has annually made €200.000 available for the Hubert Bals Fund Plus. Selected applications are granted with a maximum of €50.000.
Supported by MEDIA Mundus, Boost! is a new initiative by IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart, Binger Filmlab and the National Film Development Corporation of India. Boost! aims to provide a financial, creative and networking stimulus to high potential film projects from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe, by offering these projects a tailor-made coaching trajectory.
In 2011, 2012 and 2013, five projects selected for HBF Script and Project Development support were offered the opportunity to develop their project at Binger Filmlab, as part of its Binger On Demand programme, after which they are presented at the CineMart, IFFR's co-production market.
African Metropolis is a new initiative by South African producer Steven Markovitz and the Goethe Institut, realized with the support of the Nigerian GT-bank and the Hubert Bals Fund. Through this programme, six emerging filmmakers from six different African cities were asked to produce a short film and received professional guidance and training in the process. The project aims to stimulate emerging African filmmakers in their professional development, promote innovative short films from the continent and enable African filmmakers to compete in filmfestivals internationally. The completed short films were launched at the 2013 edition of the Durban International Film Festival (South Africa) and had their European premieres at IFFR 2014.
HBF-supported films at International Film Festival Rotterdam
Each edition, International Film Festival Rotterdam screens a large part of the year's so-called Hubert Bals Fund Harvest
of completed films supported by the HBF. Hubert Bals Fund-supported films may be selected in Competition or for the main sections Bright Future, Spectrum or Signals.
In 2014, IFFR screened 11 HBF-supported films and the six shorts of the African Metropolis project, of which Concrete Clouds
was nominated for the Hivos Tiger Award Competition. At the 2014 edition of the festival, the HBF Dioraphte Award was given to Qissa
by Anup Singh. The HBF Dioraphte Award
of €10.000 is annually presented to the HBF-supported film at the festival with the highest ranking in the audience votes.
Besides the IFFR, many international film festivals keep a close eye on completed HBF-supported films and select them for their own programmes. Each year, HBF-supported films are screened and win awards at, among others, the Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto and Busan film festivals, such as Abrir puertas y ventanas
by Milagros Mumenthaler, Winter Vacation
by Li Hongqi, Goodbye
by Mohammad Rasoulof, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.