Script and Project Development Support

A Script and Project Development grant can be used for the further development of a script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant), but can also be used to present a project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals. The maximum contribution for Script and Project Development is €10,000. For upcoming deadlines, please see here.

It is now possible to apply for Voices. You can find the application form in your MyIFFR-account.

Please note that the upcoming deadline for Script and Project Development Support: Voices has been postponed to 1 September 2018. The deadline for Script & Project Development Support: Bright Future hasn’t been changed and was scheduled for 1 August 2018.

Sub Categories 

HBF Script and Project Development support works with two separate calls for proposals: 

  • HBF Script and Project Development Bright Future (max. €10,000 per project): a special call for filmmakers working on their first or second narrative feature film. Applications can be submitted twice a year and go through a preselection process first. Deadlines: 1 March and 1 August.
  • HBF Script and Project Development 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. Deadlines: 1 April and 1 September.

Regulations & Selection Criteria

Although the fund has no rigid rules and individual projects are judged on their own merits, there are limits to the field in which the Hubert Bals Fund operates.

  • The HBF provides support to talented filmmakers who live and work in countries listed on the HBF list of eligible countries
  • The HBF also provides support to feature films by filmmakers from an eligible country, who are living in diaspora (e.g. dual nationality, refugee status or residency permit) in a non-eligible country. Please note priority is given to films that are majority shot in an eligible country.
  • Information on the required information/materials can be found here.
  • Applications should be written in English.
  • The prime consideration of the selection committee are the artistic qualities of an application.
  • For the fund to participate in a project, there should be a strong possibility that the rest of the financing can be found.
  • The fund is restricted to the support of narrative feature films. Shorts and films specially made for television are not taken in consideration.
  • Due to the high number of applications for this category, projects can only be considered once. Projects can only be re-applied upon invitation by the HBF. 
  • The selection committee's decisions cannot be appealed.

Procedure for Bright Future category

The selection procedure for Script and Project Development: Bright Future applications is divided into two phases, for a more efficient process and quicker answer.

Phase 1 

  • After you have read and understood the HBF Regulations, login to MyIFFR.
  • The application form will be available one week before the deadline in MyIFFR. This form will allow you to include detailed project information. You can save the form without submitting while filling it out. For an overview of what information is requested, see here.
  • It is not possible to edit the form after you have submitted it.
  • The HBF selection committee will reach a decision on all submitted forms about six weeks after the deadline. The pre-selection results will be announced via e-mail. It is not possible to appeal the committee’s pre-selection decisions. 

Phase 2

  • If your project has been pre-selected, you are given one week to submit your full dossier (PDF or Word) by email, including previous work (online streaming). It is not possible to extend this one week period. For more details please see here.

Procedure for Voices category

As of the 1 September 2018 deadline, the selection procedure for Script and Project Development: Voices will no longer consist of two phases, but of only one. Submitted projects don’t have to go through the preselection process anymore.

  • After you have read and understood the HBF Regulations, login to MyIFFR.
  • The application form will be available two weeks before the deadline in MyIFFR. This form will allow you to include detailed project information.
  • In this form, you are also requested to submit your mandatory project dossier directly (Word or PDF), including previous work (online streaming). For an overview of what information in the project dossier is requested, see here.
  • You can save the form without submitting while filling it out. It is not possible to edit the form after you have submitted it.
  • The HBF selection committee will reach a decision on all submitted projects about two months after the application deadline.

The NFF+HBF Co-development Scheme

The Netherlands Film Fund now also finances international film projects with a contribution in the Script and Project Development scheme. Therefore, the HBF is empowered to support ten more projects each year within the Script and Project Development scheme, equally divided between HBF Bright Future and HBF Voices. This NFF+HBF Co-development scheme complements the existing successful NFF+HBF Co-production scheme, which already supports Dutch minority co-productions for over 10 years.

How does it work? After the Hubert Bals Fund has selected the projects for the Script and Project Development scheme, the projects among the selection with the most co-production potential will be supported by the NFF+HBF Co-development scheme. However, the handling will be done by the HBF and the conditions, selection procedure and awarded grant aren't different.

Commitment to Benelux distribution

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).

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Frequently asked questions About the Hubert Bals Fund