New appointments in Rotterdam Film Festival Staff

Bianca Taal and Marit van den Elshout appointed Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart Managers

Marit van den Elshout (left) and Bianca Taal (right)
Once CineMart Co-Heads, now: CineMart Manager Marit van den Elshout (left) and Hubert Bals Fund Manager Bianca Taal (right)

The International Film Festival Rotterdam has appointed Bianca Taal to lead the festival’s Hubert Bals Fund as current fund manager Marianne Bhalotra steps down. Marit van den Elshout continues to head the festival’s CineMart.

Bianca Taal started working for the Rotterdam festival in 2000 as CineMart and Hubert Bals Fund staff member. In 2005, Taal and Van den Elshout became co-heads of CineMart. The past years, Taal became increasingly involved in selecting projects for the Hubert Bals Fund grants as well as representing the fund internationally at film festivals, project markets and script workshops.

With Taal leading the Hubert Bals Fund, Marit van den Elshout has been appointed as manager of CineMart. Van den Elshout joined the CineMart Staff in 2000; from 2005 she and Bianca Taal have greatly contributed to the vitality of Rotterdam’s CineMart. The largest co-production outfit for low and medium budget independent film projects, CineMart introduced the widely copied, highly efficient formula of pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings. The 2007 edition presented 48 film projects selected out of 520 entries.
Van den Elshout will now prepare the silver jubilee edition of the co-production market: the 25th CineMart is to take place from January 27-31, 2008.

Marianne BhalotraDuring her years as Hubert Bals Fund manager, Marianne Bhalotra (portrait left) frequently travelled to African, Asian, Latin-American and Eastern European countries to meet local film industry representatives, give lectures in workshops and training sessions, inspire filmmakers to develop their projects and encourage them to apply for Hubert Bals Fund grants. These grants have grown out to become seals of approval that facilitate attracting additional financiers. Bhalotra continues to work for the fund as member of the selection committee.
Strict selection procedures on innovative and artistic quality result in many Hubert Bals Fund-supported films getting their world premieres in Rotterdam but also in Cannes, Toronto or Berlin.
The fund, receiving around 750 applications per year, will publish its Spring 2007 Selection Round by next May.

The 37th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam takes place from January 23 through February 3, 2008.