Magazine article Screen International

Future Looks Secure for Hubert Bals Fund Ahead of 2018 Rotterdam Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

Future Looks Secure for Hubert Bals Fund Ahead of 2018 Rotterdam Film Festival

Article excerpt

The Fund, which support filmmakers from developing countries, is aiming to provide more opportunities for female directors.

There may be fewer than usual Hubert Bals Fund titles in this edition’s IFFR programme (seven in all, down from 14 in 2017) but HBF is now in a far more stable situation than it has been for many years.

That was the message from Head of IFFR Pro Marit van den Elshout and IFFR Pro Fund Manager Fay Breeman in a year in which the HBF films, including I Am Not A Witch and A Man Of Integrity, have again been feted at many major festivals.

HBF supports filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. It was founded in 1988 and has long been regarded a core part of IFFR activities. However, in the long period in which HBF was dependent on the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for financial backing, its financial situation was often precarious.

Now, it works with a number of different partners, among them the Netherlands Film Fund (on the NFF+HBF Co-production Scheme) and the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme (on HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support.) It is also supported by Hivos, the Dioraphte Foundation, Lions Club L’Esprit du Temps and IFFR’s Tiger Film Mecenaat (which solicits donations from private sources.)

“We’ve spread our risks now,” van den Elshout says of the current strategy.

One current aim is to provide more opportunities for female filmmakers in the regions HBF is active in. There will be brainstorming about how this can be best achieved during the festival.

Van den Elshout and Breeman confirmed that HBF+Europe will no longer be supporting distribution. Originally, the scheme offered 4 production awards of 55,000 Euros for minority coproduction and two of 30,000 Euros for distribution. …

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