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 2013 the Hubert Bals Fund had close to €500.000 at its disposal and was 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.
Each year, five projects selected for HBF Script and Project Development support are 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.
Cinema Mondial Tour
Since 2010, the Hubert Bals Fund and the IDFA Bertha Fund (formerly known as the Jan Vrijman Fund) have joined forces in organising the Cinema Mondial Tour. This special film festival tour brings fiction films and documentaries supported by the two Funds to film festivals in Africa and the Middle East. Through this special tour, the Funds hope to increase the visibility of these films in the region.
Hubert Bals Fund Awards
The HBF occasionally hands out special Hubert Bals Fund Awards to promising film projects that are presented a (regional) coproduction markets, such as recently at the Durban FilmMart.
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.
The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Media Mundus, Dutch non-governmental development organisations Hivos, the DOEN Foundation, the Dioraphte Foundation and Lions Club L'Esprit du Temps.
Read the HBF annual report 2012-2013 here