HBF General

What is the Hubert Bals Fund?

The Hubert Bals Fund is a curatorial fund dedicated to supporting filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe in every stage of the filmmaking process – from script development to post-production. Over more than 30 years, the fund has developed a distinguished taste for filmmakers with a forward-looking artistic vision. Read more about the HBF in our profile.

When can I apply to the Hubert Bals Fund?

For upcoming deadlines please see here.

Who can apply to the Hubert Bals Fund?

For Script and Project Development: filmmakers from countries listed on the HBF list of eligible countries are eligible for HBF support. The director, writer, and main producer of eligible projects should live and work in one of these countries. The HBF also provides support to feature films by filmmakers from eligible countries, who are living in diaspora (e.g. dual nationality, refugee status or residency permit) in a non-eligible country. Please note that priority is given to films that are majority shot in an eligible country.   

For the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production support: the applicant should be a production company that is constituted and active for at least two years in a country participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme and owned - directly or by majority participation - by nationals from such countries. The track record of the applicant should demonstrate a (majority or minority) participation in at least two completed feature films, including one international or European co-produced feature film. 

For NFF+HBF, the collaborative programme of the HBF and the Netherlands Film Fund, the applicant should be a Dutch producer who fits the eligibility criteria of the Netherlands Film Fund.

Which documents form the basis of the HBF list of eligible countries?

The HBF list of eligible countries is roughly based on the DAC-list of the OECD and the World Free Press Index' two low ranking categories: red and black. 

The DAC-list 
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has a committee that deals with development co-operation matters. The name of this committee is Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and every three year this committee revises their so-called DAC-list. The DAC-list of ODA Recipients shows developing countries and territories eligible for receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The World Free Press Index
The World Free Press Index is an annual ranking of countries ordered by the amount of freedom that journalists, news organisations and citizens enjoy in each country. The list is compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders, and is based on their research and assessment. We have included certain countries ranking low on the HBF list of eligible countries. Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. The organisation has consultant status at the United Nations.

Who select projects for the Hubert Bals Fund?

For Script and Project Development, the selection committee consists of film industry professionals from across Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as IFFR programmers and IFFR Pro staff. All committee members have extensive knowledge of filmmaking and film funding processes. In every committee, different regions and perspectives are represented (i.e. producing, directing, scriptwriting, curating, etc.). 

For the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production support, the committee assessing the projects consists of members from Europe and outside Europe, each with distinct and relevant expertise and experience within the film industry.

For NFF+HBF the collaborative programme with the Netherlands Film Fund, the selection committee consists of several staff members from the Netherlands Film Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund.

For the Dutch Post-production Awards, an independent jury of three industry professionals decides which projects win the awards. 

Can I apply with a short film project?

No. The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to support feature length fiction films. Only films over 60 minutes in length are eligible for support.

Can I submit a documentary project?

The main focus of the fund is the support of narrative feature films. Shorts and films made for television will not be taken in consideration. Documentary projects are advised to apply to the IDFA Bertha Fund of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.

In some specific cases, the Hubert Bals Fund has supported creative documentary films. These projects always had a strong cinematic approach and were usually hybrid films with both fiction and documentary elements or had a more experimental approach. Projects that fit this description can be submitted to the HBF. 

 For an extensive overview of other funding possibilities worldwide, we recommend Olffi, a database on all public funding programs and production incentives for film, TV, new media.

In which language should I apply?

Application materials (and subtitles) should be written in English.

Can I submit my project in multiple categories?

Yes, you may submit the same project in different categories.

Can I re-submit my project in the same category?

For Script and Project Development support: No. Due to the amount of applications the fund receives in this category, it is not possible to submit the same project twice. Projects can only be resubmitted upon invitation by the HBF.

For HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production support: Yes, if a project has been rejected in a previous round, it can be submitted for a second time in a following round. 

For NFF+HBF:  Yes, if a project has been rejected in a previous round, it can be submitted for a second time in a following round. 

Can I submit more than one project for a selection round?

Yes. However, please be aware that it is unlikely that more than one project by the same director or producer will be selected in the same selection round. We advise you to submit the project that has the most priority for you.

When do I hear news about the results of the selection rounds?

Script and Project Development
Phase 1: Within 1 month after the application deadline.
Phase 2: Approximately 3 months after the application deadline.

HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support
Approximately 3 months after the application deadline.

Approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline.

What is the best way to contact the HBF?

The most effective way to contact the HBF is by writing an email to [email protected]. This inbox is read by the HBF team: Fay Breeman and Jeske van der Slikke. If you want to reach one of the team members specifically, please address your email accordingly. 

You can also reach us via telephone at +31 10 8909090. Please ask for the Hubert Bals Fund. If you want to discuss something more elaborately, it is advisable to make an appointment by email first. 

Should you want to send us anything by regular (air) mail or courier, please use the following addresses:

By mail:
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Attn. Hubert Bals Fund
P.O.Box 21696
3001 AR Rotterdam

By express courier:
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Attn. Hubert Bals Fund
Karel Doormanstraat 278 B
3012 GP Rotterdam
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