The Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has selected twenty-nine projects that receive grants for script development, digital production, postproduction, distribution or workshops. In its Spring 2010 selection, the Fund gives 450,000 Euro to projects from twenty-two countries. The selection includes new films by Vimukthi Jayasundara, John Torres, Celina Murga, by many first time filmmakers and, selected for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, A alegria (The Joy) by Felipe Bragança & Marina Meliande (see full list below).
Supported by the Fund for postproduction and final financing, Brazilian filmmaking couple Bragança & Meliande joins the other nine filmmakers that present their Hubert Bals Fund or CineMart linked new films in various Cannes sections this year. Their A Alegria (The Joy) is an allegorical tale interspersed with political and mythical aspects about the hopes and fears of four sixteen-year olds in present-day Rio de Janeiro.
Two further films supported for final financing - from a total of eight this selection round - are Serbian feature film début Tilva Roš (Tilva Rosh) by Nikola Lezaic, a coming-of-age story about two boys from the local skating subculture and Chinese revelation Han jia (Winter Vacation) by Li Hongqi, portraying Inner Mongolian village life in a visually stunning and slightly absurdist way.
Four projects receive Hubert Bals Fund grants for digital production. Sri Lankan film Through the Windshield by Vimukthi Jayasundara, who competed in Venice last year with his Between Two Worlds; Lukas Nino by young Philippine filmmaking talent John Torres; Nigerian tragicomical collage film Confusion Na Wa by Kenneth Gyang and Marimbas del infierno, a portrait by Julio Hernandez Cordon of Guatamala’s first marimba-heavy metal band.
Traditionally the largest group within the Fund’s selection rounds, the twelve projects selected in the script development category support upcoming as well as experienced talents. Alongside new projects by reputed filmmakers like Peng Tao (China), Celina Murga (Argentina), Tariq Teguia (Algeria) and Ruben Imaz Castro (Mexico), this category contains three remarkable début feature films: Uzbek film Aral by Ella Vakkasova, about a boy growing up on the shores of a dried-up lake; Thai film Past Love by Lee Chatametikool, editor of Tiger Award-winners Mundane History and Wonderful Town and Paraguayan film La última tierra by Pablo Lamar, a subtle portrait of an older man mourning his recently deceased wife.
In its special projects category, the Hubert Bals Fund supports local film industry development by giving out a Hubert Bals Fund Award to one of the African projects presented this summer at the inaugural Durban FilmMart and by a donation to organize the first East Timor Production Workshop, aimed at starting an independent film culture.
The line up of the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Spring 2010 Selection Round in full:
Postproduction & final financing
A alegria (The Joy) – Felipe Bragança & Marina Meliande, Brazil
Florentina Hubaldo, CTE – Lav Diaz, Philippines
Cornelia At Her Mirror – Daniel Rosenfeld, Argentina
Harud – Aamir Bashir, India
Hawi – Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt
Ocaso – Théo Court, Chile
Tilva Roš – Nikola Lezaic, Serbia
Winter Vacation – Li Hongqi, China
Confusion Na Wa – Kenneth Gyang, Nigeria
Lukas nino – John Torres, Philippines
Marimbas del infierno – Julio Hernandez Cordon, Guatemala
Through the Windshield – Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka
Script & Project development
Aral – Ella Vakkasova, Uzbekistan
Betok – Sherman Ong, Malaysia
Bull Down! – Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil
Germania – Maximiliano Schonfeld, Argentina
Ibn Battuta – Tariq Teguia, Algeria
Karma Police – Visra Vichit-Vadakan, Thailand
Melaza – Carlos Lechuga, Cuba
Past Love – Lee Chatametikool, Thailand
Straw Man – Peng Tao, China
La tercera orilla – Celina Murga, Argentina
Tormentero – Ruben Imaz Castro, Mexico
La última tierra – Pablo Lamar, Paraguay
Chaque jour est une fête – Dima El-Horr, Lebanon, distribution in Lebanon by MC Distribution
Manuel De Ribera – Christopher Murray & Pablo Carrera, distribution in Chile by Jirafa
Directors Across Borders Script and Project Development Workshop – Yerevan Golden Apricot Film Festival, Armenia
Hubert Bals Fund Award – Durban FilmMart, Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
East Timor Film Production Workshop – East Timor