HBF Script and Project Development

What type of projects are you looking for?

Projects from a country on the HBF list of eligible countries, or the diaspora of one of these countries, with a director attached, who is a national from one these countries or lives in diaspora. The artistic quality of an application is the main criteria for selection. The selection committee will also look closely at the viability of a project.

The Hubert Bals Fund is part of International Film Festival Rotterdam and generally speaking, the type of projects that the HBF supports are in line with the type of films that are screened at IFFR. Please see the past Harvests of HBF supported films that were part of IFFR’s programme as a reference.

How do the subcategories for HBF Script and Project Development work?

There are two subcategories in the HBF Script and Project Development category, in line with the programme sections of IFFR.

  • HBF Bright Future (max. €10,000 per project): A special call for feature films by first- and second-time filmmakers. 
  • HBF Voices (max. €10,000 per project): A special scheme for feature films by filmmakers more advanced in their career. Selection criteria include verifiable interest from potential co-producers, sales agents and/or distributors. 
Is a co-directed project eligible?

The director(s) of the film should be a national from one of the countries mentioned on the HBF list of eligible countries, or the diaspora of one of these countries. If one of the directors is not a national one of these countries or does not live in diaspora, it is not possible to apply.

What does pre-selection mean (only Bright Future sub-category)?

In phase 1 of the selection process for HBF Script and Project Development, the selection committee assesses all application forms submitted. Out of these submitted forms, a limited number of projects is invited to send in their complete application dossiers. These projects are 'pre-selected' and enter phase 2 of the application process.

Applicants that are not 'pre-selected' will be notified by e-mail. It is not possible to enter phase 2 without passing phase 1, so please make sure you fill out our online application form though MyIFFR. If you haven’t been pre-selected, it is not possible to submit the same project in the same category again.

Please note: as of the 1 September 2018 deadline for Script and Project Development Support: Voices this selection procedure no longer includes pre-selection and it is mandatory to submit your project dossier in the application form upon submission.

What does first and second feature films mean?

As per 2017 the HBF has split up its Script and Project Development category in two sub-categories: Bright Future for first and second time feature filmmakers and Voices for more established filmmakers.

In principle the HBF Bright Future category is meant for filmmakers who are working on their first or second narrative/fiction feature film. This means that directors who have made one fiction feature and one (or more) documentary features should usually apply in the Bright Future category. Of course there are exceptions, as filmmakers can be considered 'more established' without having made two fiction features or more. If you are unsure in which category your film belongs, please contact HBF-staff through [email protected]

What does the HBF expect in return after selection?
  • To guarantee that HBF-supported films reach an audience within the Benelux territory, IFFR becomes the 'custodian' of the Benelux distribution rights of all films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund as of 2017. This means that the Benelux rights remain with the legal rights-holder, but IFFR will collaborate with Benelux distributors in the release of the film and/or release the film through its own channels (e.g. IFFR.com/Unleashed).
  • A front credit with the Hubert Bals Fund logo in the finished film.
Will the HBF have any (distribution) rights to my film project if it is selected?

To guarantee that HBF-supported films reach an audience within the Benelux territory, IFFR becomes the 'custodian' of the Benelux distribution rights of all films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund as of 2017. This means that the Benelux rights remain with the legal rights-holder, but IFFR will collaborate with Benelux distributors in the release of the film and/or release the film through its own channels (e.g. IFFR.com/Unleashed). 

What information is required in the application form?

The Hubert Bals Fund application form allows applicants to submit detailed information about their project. The form is available in MyIFFR two weeks before the deadline. The following information is required in the form:

For Script and Project Development Support: Bright Future

  • General info: title, production country/ies, type of film;
  • Film credits: name and contact details of director, and if applicable, of (co-)producer, writer, financier, sales agent;
  • Technical info: running time, shooting format, colour/b&w, languages;
  • Financial info: total budget (in Euro), financing already secured (amount as well as explanatory overview);
  • Project info: logline (max. 60 words), synopsis (max 1,500 words), director’s statement (max 1,500 words), sold territories, most successful recent festival selections or awards for director and producer (list 3 each), possible Dutch cooperation e.g. co-producer, distributor, crew (optional).

Script and Project Development Support: Voices

  • General info: title, production country/ies, type of film;
  • Film credits: name and contact details of director, and if applicable, of (co-)producer, writer, financier, sales agent;
  • Technical info: running time, shooting format, colour/b&w, languages;
  • Financial info: total budget (in Euro), financing already secured (amount as well as explanatory overview);
  • Project dossier, including:

                    - Synopsis (max. 3 pages)
                    - Treatment (max. 12 pages, sending in a script instead of a treatment is not allowed)
                    - Director’s biography and filmography
                    - Director’s statement (max. 3 pages)
                    - Producer’s biography and filmography (if a producer is attached)
                    - Producer’s statement (max. 3 pages) (if a producer is attached)
                    - Budget for script and project development phase
                    - Financial plan for total production
                    - Written explanation on finance strategy
                    - Pre-production schedule
                    - Previous work of the director: online available on streaming platform (such as Vimeo and YouTube)
                    - Optional: visual reference material
                    - Optional: intended Dutch collaboration(s), e.g. co-producer, crew, services, distributor

What do you mean with most successful recent festival selections or awards for director and producer?

The application form requires you to include information about previous accomplishments of the director and the producer. It is important for us to know more about your previous work. In these fields you can summarise three important awards, selections or premieres of your work. For instance: 3 different awards for one film, three festival selections for three different films, one scholarship and two grants for one project, you decide!

Which information is required in the dossier I have to submit when I’m pre-selected for HBF Script and Project Development?

For the Script and Project Development Support: Voices category, it is mandatory to submit the project dossier in via the application form before the deadline.

For the Script and Project Development Support: Bright Future category, it works as follows: within one month after the deadline the HBF selection committee will reach a decision on all HBF Script and Project Development submissions in the Bright Future category and all pre-selected projects will receive an e-mail notification to submit their full dossier. You have one week to submit the complete dossier after notification, you can send it via e-mail to [email protected]. It is not possible to extend this one week period, therefore we recommend that you make sure you have the materials available.

For both categories the following materials should be included in the project dossier:

  • Synopsis (max. 3 pages)
  • Treatment (max. 12 pages, sending in a script instead of a treatment is not allowed)
  • Director’s biography and filmography
  • Director’s statement (max. 3 pages)
  • Producer’s biography and filmography (if a producer is attached)
  • Producer’s statement (max. 3 pages) (if a producer is attached)
  • Budget for script and project development phase
  • Financial plan for total production
  • Written explanation on finance strategy
  • Pre-production schedule
  • Previous work of the director: online available on streaming platform (such as Vimeo and YouTube)
  • Optional: visual reference material
  • Optional: intended Dutch collaboration(s), e.g. co-producer, crew, services, distributor

These materials should be compiled into one PDF or Word document and sent as per instructions. All materials should be written in English. Only complete dossiers will be taken into consideration.

Can I send a script instead of a treatment when applying for HBF Script and Project Development?

No. You cannot send a script instead of a treatment in the application process. Due to the amount of applications we receive, and given the fact that the Hubert Bals Fund has a small selection committee, it is not possible for us to accept scripts for this category due to time issues.

What type of budget plan should I include?

For HBF Bright Future

Phase 1: Please fill out the (estimated) total budget of the film in the entry form.
Phase 2: Please send us the budget for your current production phase. This means that, when applying for HBF Script and Project Development, we would like to receive the development budget. You may also include (a summary of) the total budget, if available.

For HBF Voices

Please send us the budget for your current production phase. This means that, when applying for HBF Script and Project Development, we would like to receive the development budget. You may also include (a summary of) the total budget, if available.

What is a financial plan?

A financial plan should explain which financiers you have on board and for which amount. The plan also explains how you are planning to cover the remaining financing. You can include all sorts of financiers (producers, funds, awards, etc.). Please also indicate any pending applications. Your financial plan should concern your current production phase. If you have a finance plan for your total film available, please include this as well. In the written explanation you can further explain the amounts and status of your financial plan.

Is it necessary to have other financiers/partners in place?

For the fund to participate in a project, there should be a strong possibility that the rest of the finance can be found. If you are submitting your project in a development phase, it is not necessary to have other financiers in place, since especially at this stage, the Hubert Bals Fund is often the first partner. However, we do need to know about your finance strategy.

What kind of previous work should I include?

This applies to pre-selected HBF Script and Project Development projects in the Bright Future Category, accepted in phase 2 of the application process, and to all HBF Script and Project Development projects in the Voices category: you will be invited to submit an online streaming link to your previous work.
Preferably your previous work supports and clarifies your Script and Project Development application. You can always explain the relation between your previous films and project you are applying. Your previous work needs to be subtitled in English and the online link to your film needs to be available until three months after the deadline. We do not accept showreels.