HBF Harvest 2017

05 January 2017

Like every year, a selection of films in the IFFR programme are partially made possible by Hubert Bals Fund (HBF). Our Harvest for this year consists of 14 feature films, of which one is a Hivos Tiger Award nominee.

Harvest in Hivos Tiger Competition

Niles Atallah, Chile/France/Netherlands/Germany/Qatar, world premiere
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2010 and NFF+HBF support in 2013

In the nineteenth century, a French adventurer established a kingdom in inhospitable southern Chile, managing to unite the feared Mapuche under him. The Chilean army’s response was devastating. Impressively designed adventure film and powerful textural experiment, including sections of half-decayed celluloid: years ago, director Atallah buried certain footage, only to dig it up and use now.

Harvest in Bright Future Award competition

Cactus Flower
Hala Elkoussy, Qatar/Egypt/UAE/Norway, world premiere
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2010

Struggling actress Aida and bourgeois lady Samiha suddenly find themselves on the streets of a tense Cairo. Smooth-operating street urchin Yassin lends the ladies a hand, and this leads to an unexpected trip through the city. A remarkable and exceptional debut that also betrays Elkoussy's background as an artist.


Harvest in Bright Future (out of competition)

All the Cities of the North
Dane Komljen, Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Montenegro
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2013

Highly anticipated first feature of film artist Dane Komljen, about two men who live together harmoniously in an abandoned bungalow park. When a third party arrives, they must find a new balance. Essayist fiction and architectural quest for the fragility of human relationships, told via construction projects, landscapes and archive footage.

Burning Birds
Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Sri Lanka / France, European premiere
HBF Postproduction support in 2015

Eight kids, no husband, no money: how can a woman alone in rural Sri Lanka keep her head above water in a situation like this? Director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara candidly depicts all the suffering to which single mother Kusum is exposed. Burning Birds is a beautifully filmed piece of biting social criticism.

By the Time It Gets Dark

Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand / Netherlands / France / Qatar
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2013 and HBF+Europe: Minority co-production support in 2015

Powerful second feature by Anocha Suwichakornpong, who won a Tiger in 2010 with Mundane History, starts with the Thammasat University massacre of 1976 in Bangkok. In an effortless and elegant manner, the filmmaker then takes the viewer through meandering storylines that examine both Thailand and the medium of film itself.

Elon Doesn't Believe in Death

Ricardo Alves Jr., Brazil, European premiere
HBF Script & Projectdevelopement support in 2012

With compelling intensity, this debut film follows protagonist Elon as he searches for his missing wife in a huge Brazilian city. Viewers are inescapably pulled into a disquieting, claustrophobic world. Wherever Elon goes and whatever he asks, understanding for his concerns is hard to find.

Extraño pero verdadero / Strange but True

Michel Lipkes, Mexico, world premiere
HBF Script & Projectdevelopement support in 2012

A refuse truck driven by Mister Clean crisscrosses the streets of Mexico City with Jonathan and Yesi on board, who are in love – and on the point of losing control of their lives. Sharp black-and-white drama by director Lipkes on the crime and violence blighting his country, with love as a leitmotif.

The Last of Us

Ala Eddine Slim, Tunisia/Qatar/Lebanon/UAE
HBF Postproduction support in 2015

N. travels from Sub-Saharan Africa through the desert and then by boat to Europe, where he is stranded in a mysterious wood and confronted by a silent old man. Both contemporary and surreal, Ala Eddine Slim’s film explores the boundaries of man, country, nature and cinema.


Gastón Solnicki, Argentina
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2015

This highly praised first fiction film by Argentine talent Solnicki (Papirosen, IFFR 2012) is a beautifully filmed portrait of several young daughters of rich industrialists, examining in an equally intangible and compelling way the physical and spiritual aspects of a cultural recession. Tragicomic yet unsettling.

Otra madre / Another Mother

Mariano Luque, Argentina, world premiere
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2012

Extremely precise observations of the many facets of motherhood. Along with her four-year-old daughter, divorced Mabel returns to her mother’s house, where her younger sister and grandmother also live. A tender film by this Argentine talent demonstrates love and attachment, but also impotence. Recognisable and poignant for both mother and (adult) child.

Harvest in Voices (Main Programme)

La idea de un lago

Milagros Mumenthaler, Switzerland/Argentina/Qatar
HBF Digital Production support in 2012

Milagros Mumenthaler returns with a playful family drama set amongst stunning Argentinian mountains. Photographer Inès is pregnant and wants to find out about her father, who disappeared. She only has a single, old photograph of him. Dreamy fantasy elements are expertly interwoven with her reconnaissance of intimacy and undisclosed history.

Harvest in Voices (Limelight)

White Sun
Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA/Qatar/Netherlands
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment support in 2013

Chandra, a Maoist who fought against the regime in Nepal, receives a welcome that is anything but warm when he returns to his village. The ritual in which his recently deceased father has to be carried down the mountain to be cremated at its base exposes the deep scars left by the civil war.

Wolf and Sheep
Shahrbanoo Sadat, Afghanistan/Denmark/Sweden/France
HBF Script & Projectdevelopment in 2011

Old traditions, customs and stories live on in a small shepherd community in the mountains of Afghanistan. The experiences of the village children – their friendships and enmities, work and play – expose the relations within the community. An honest, loving portrait with a hint of mysticism.

Harvest in Deep Focus (Signatures)

La Flor (Parte 1)
Mariano Llinás, Argentina, international premiere
HBF Postproduction support in 2015

Almost 10 years in production, some 12 hours of film. In six stories, Llinas uses the same four actresses in various ways. IFFR is now showing part one, a kind of B genre movie replete with evil mummy/romantic musical drama. Three and a half hours of epic film enjoyment. More to come in IFFR 2018!

Filmprogramme IFFR 2017

Other blog posts on IFFR 2017