What is the Tiger Film Mecenaat?

“I had no money to work and no producer, just a story. Now I have local producers, a co-producer and a completed screenplay. Above all, HBF’s support gave me the determination to pursue what I believe in.”
(Arun Karthick, director of Nasir)

In order to provide talent with structural support, the Tiger Film Mecenaat (Patronage) was established in 2010, and we are delighted that this patron circle now consists of more than 60 enthusiastic patrons. As a IFFR patron, you contribute 24/7 to scouting, guiding and presenting new talent, whether it's support during the very first phase of a film project, mediating between young makers and the established industry or simply presenting these extraordinary films to a wide audience.

Support Film Talent

When "Film International" was founded in 1972, there were only a handful of international film festivals focused on emerging film talent from all over the world. What makes Rotterdam distinctive now (as well as then) is the personal attention we give to the careers of these talented filmmakers, and the efforts we make to ensure that not only their work is made, but also that it reaches the widest and most diverse audience. With our own Hubert Bals Fund, we have been supporting film makers who are looking for a helping hand, before others believe in their project. Contributions to the fund play an essential role in the career of young talent, and this is especially true for filmmakers from countries where infrastructure is inadequate or freedom of expression is under pressure.

Every year, HBF receives as many as 850 applications from all over the world - but we only have the means to support around 35 film talents in the realisation of their film. These are often projects that we later see during the festival in Rotterdam and as prize winners at other large, international film festivals. Our recent success stories include Alex Piperno’s Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine, which won the Tagesspiegel Readers' Award at Berlinale 2020, having received co-production support from HBF in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund. Nafi’s Father by Mamadou Dia, which received a HBF development grant, won two awards at Locarno, including a Golden Leopard in the Cinema of the Present section. Alejandro Landes’ Monos, which was supported by both HBF and presented at our co-production market CineMart, went on to win the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at Sundance and Best Film at the San Sebástian International Film Festival.

Some of the acclaimed filmmakers that received IFFR Pro initiatives early on in their careers include Chilean director Pablo Larraín, of Ema and Jackie acclaim, and Haifaa al-Mansour, the first female director from Saudi Arabia. With your help, we can continue to support the next generation of filmmakers today, for the stories of tomorrow.

The Hubert Bals Fonds

It all started in 1988, at breakfast in Cannes. Huub Bals, who founded the festival in 1972, interviewed Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige about a sequel to his adventurous debut Yellow Earth (1984). Kaige was indeed working on a new script in New York, he said. But to survive, he had to make a living teaching American housewives how to eat with chopsticks. Bals hated it: a filmmaker needs time and space to write a script. A light came on and Kaige became the first filmmaker to receive support from the festival.

Although European filmmakers were also supported in the first year of the new IFFR fund, the focus quickly shifted to the rest of the world and the fund focused exclusively on countries with developing economies. Huub Bals died in 1988, and the budding fund was named after him in 1989. We are proud to have been investing in exciting film projects via the Hubert Bals Fund for more than 30 years, with recent examples including Monos, Rafiki, A Land Imagined and Tarde Para Morir Joven. In 2021, we celebrate the 50th edition of IFFR.

Since its inception, the Hubert Bals Fund has supported more than 1100 film projects. Many of the creators who got a helping hand at the beginning of their career are now considered some of the top independent filmmakers in the world, such as the Mexican author Carlos Reygadas, Mahamat Saleh Haroun from Chad and the Thai grandmaster Apichatpong Weerasethakul. A complete list of all projects supported by Hubert Bals Fund (last updated in January 2020) can be found here.

As a patron, you directly support film talent from all over the world.

The Tiger Film Mecenaat is a group of people from different backgrounds, who have one thing in common: they give warm and enthusiastic support to the festival and like to meet during several film evenings, such as the celebratory Opening Night. In addition to a discount on the film tickets, the personal Tiger Film Mecenaat pass also gives priority to ticket sales and an invitation to meet the filmmakers supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

All contributions directly benefit the Hubert Bals Fund. By making a donation for a period of at least five years, it is also important to know you receive a large tax benefit. For example, a donation of, for example, € 1,000 can only cost € 425.

If you would like to have a call for more information (without obligation), or if you would like to be invited for an introductory event, please contact Nicole van der Meer via [email protected] or +31 (0)10 8909090.

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About the Hubert Bals Fund