HBF+Europe: Distribution Support

Through HBF+Europe: Distribution support, the Hubert Bals Fund aims to offers financial support to the distribution of feature films by filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of Eastern Europe, to stimulate the promotion and circulation of international co-productions in Europe and beyond. Through this scheme, the HBF expects to boost the potential of these films to find their audiences in Europe and beyond. HBF+Europe is supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme of the European Union. 

It is no longer possible to apply for this scheme. The budget for 2017 has been awarded to projects on a first come first serve basis, and the scheme has been discontinued as per 2018. 

Distribution Support

  • The HBF+Europe scheme is designed to provide financial assistance for the Print and Advertising strategy supporting the distribution of a film across territories
  • The scheme especially seeks to encourage new and innovative ways of film distribution
  • The scheme seeks to facilitate experiments with new distribution models or new partnerships between conventional and emerging players within the industry, with a strong focus on exploring the potential of online distribution

As the distribution landscape is rapidly changing, the HBF+Europe scheme seeks to provide a platform for testing these new models. In order to contribute to the debate on contemporary film distribution, the Fund intents to collect and analyze the results and findings of the projects supported and publish these in a report at the end of the funding period. 

The maximum amount awarded per project is € 30,000.

In addition, the selected projects are offered the opportunity to participate in IFFR Unleashed (optional, free of charge and non-exclusive). IFFR Unleashed helps selected festival films to find audiences through key VoD platforms around the world, such as iTunes and Google Play. 

Eligible projects:

  • The application should present a distribution strategy of one individual film that covers a minimum of three different territories, of which at least:
    • one territory participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme;
    • one territory not participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme.
  • This distribution strategy should include:
    • an online strategy, which can be combined with strategies involving other distribution channels or platforms, such as festivals, theatrical, television, DVD or otherwise;
    • a promotion and publicity plan that also incorporates an online publicity and audience engagement plan.
  • The film for which distribution support is requested should correspond to the following criteria:
    • Narrative feature film (minimum 60 min.);
    • The director of the film should be a national from one of the countries mentioned on the HBF list of eligible countries and the film should also be shot in one of these countries;
    • The film concerns an international coproduction involving at least one producer participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme and one producer from the HBF list of eligible countries (that is neither participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme nor a member of Eurimages);
    • The share of the co-producer(s) coming from countries participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme should be between 25-70%. Please note that the division of shares is not necessarily defined in monetary terms.
  • Please note that an application can be submitted before and after the completion of the film. Eligible costs also apply to those expenses made prior to the world premiere of the film, supporting its international release strategy  in the three territories mentioned above (see ‘Eligible costs/activities’).
  • The general timeframe of the action should allow all conditions and requirements as mentioned in the contract (see Contracts and Payments) to be finalized before 1 December 2018.

Eligible applicants:

  • The applicant should be a rights holder of the film – or the coordinator of a consortium of rights holders – for the territories in which the action takes place.
  • The applicant should be a company 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 participation in the distribution of at least two international/European coproduced feature films. Applicants should include list of film titles, nature of the partnership, release dates and sales/ distribution results.

Financial eligibility

  • The funding available for distribution support in the framework of HBF+Europe is €30,000 per project, with a maximum of €15,000 per territory.
  • Funding can be requested to cover costs for Prints and Advertising.
  • The HBF+Europe programme can provide support up to 75% of the total budget of the activity.
  • A maximum of 7,5% of the HBF+Europe grant can be allocated for expenditures on overhead of the partner(s) attached.
  • The budget should include costs reserved for an external auditor.
  • Projects can only receive funding from similar Distribution funds supported by Creative Europe twice, if the territories of two applications do not overlap. For an overview of these funds, please see here and here and here.

Eligible costs/activities:

Funding can be requested to cover Prints and Advertising expenses, such as costs for film prints, subtitles, website, posters, trailer, social media and press promotion and/or the costs to hire freelance experts to handle the publicity and promotion in support of the film’s distribution strategy.  Funding can be requested for such expenses made before or after the world premiere of the film, as long as the action for which HBF+Europe funding is requested is finalised before 1 December 2018.

Requirements for submission

In 2017, the HBF+Europe Distribution Support for International Coproductions scheme will work with an open call for proposals in which applications can be submitted year round. Applications should be submitted to the HBF in digital form. Incomplete applications are not taken into consideration. The application consists of two components: an online application form and a project dossier. 

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