The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to help remarkable or urgent feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe on their road to completion. It provides grants in various categories that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realise their projects.
Although the fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors to grant support remain the content and artistic value. Since the founding of the fund in 1989, more than a 1,000 projects of independent filmmakers from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support.
The Hubert Bals Fund has funding schemes in several stages of completion: early on for script and project development or after shooting for post-production. With the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Union, production and distribution support is offered to European co-producers and exhibitors. Dutch producers are eligible for NFF+HBF, in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund. Read more about the most recent selection.
Approximately 80% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production. All projects that were selected by the Hubert Bals Fund over the years can be found in a complete overview (updated January 2017). Every year, IFFR screens the majority of recently completed films supported by the fund. An overview of (past) selected HBF projects and Harvests can be found on the HBF History page.
IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund has redesigned its policies and procedures in order to improve the impact of its support and address the current needs of filmmakers and the industry. The main goal of the changes is to optimise the support and services HBF offers to extraordinary film talent from around the world.
The Script and Project Development scheme has been re-designed. There are now two subcategories within this scheme:
- HBF Bright Future (max. €10,000 per project): A special call for feature films by first- and second-time filmmaker;
- 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.
Updated Geographical Focus
- The HBF continues to provide support to talented filmmakers from countries listed on the DAC-list of the OECD;
- In addition, certain countries ranking low on the World Free Press Index are added to this list: Russia, Singapore, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar;
- The HBF will also provide support to feature films by filmmakers from DAC-listed countries, who are living in diaspora (e.g. dual nationality, refugee status or residency permit) in a non-DAC-listed country. Please note priority is given to films that are majority shot in a DAC-listed country.
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).
The Hubert Bals Fund has a new team, with familiar faces: Head of IFFR PRO Marit van den Elshout and IFFR PRO Fund Coordinator Fay Breeman. You can reach them at the usual e-mail address hbf@IFFR.com.
The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Union, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch non-governmental development organisation Hivos, the Dioraphte Foundation and Lions Club L'Esprit du Temps.