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Filmmakers of the HBF Spring Selection 2016: Sebastian Schjaer, Laura Citarella, Leonardo Brzezicki, Muayad Alayan, Ana Cristina Barragán, José Luis Torres Leiva, Alex Piperno, Oliver Hermanus, and Hala Lofty

Rotterdam, 13 May 2016

Hubert Bals Fund announces its line-up for script development and NFF+HBF selection

This spring the Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam has selected 7 projects, all receiving a fund for script development. Two other projects will receive production grants provided by the Netherlands Film Fund in the NFF+HBF programme. The 9 promising film plans are from 7 different countries across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

New projects by established filmmakers José Luis Torres Leiva from Chile (The Winds Know That I'm Coming Back Home, IFFR 2016) and Oliver Hermanus (The Endless River, IFFR 2016) are part of the script development selection. Hermanus’ new project White Widow tells the story of how a small town widow is pushed to the point of breakage by the inhabitants of her home town. The topical project promises to be a heart wrenching fourth film.

Three other projects are by female filmmakers, amongst which Octopus Skin, the second feature film project by Ana Cristina Barragán whose debut film Alba had its world premiere at IFFR 2016. Also new projects by Egyptian Hala Lotfy and Laura Citarella from Argentina (La mujer de los perros, Hivos Tiger Awards Competition IFFR 2015). Highly anticipated second films within the selection are: Almost In Love by Leonardo Brzezicki (Noche, Hivos Tiger Awards Competition IFFR 2013) and Muayad Alayan’s new film The Reports on Sarah and Saleem. In Alayan’s project a love affair of a married Palestinian man and a married Israeli woman takes a sudden political turn. Each individual project received a fund for script development of € 9.000.

For the NFF+HBF coproduction scheme – a joint initiative of the Netherlands Film Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund –,  two film projects co-produced by Dutch producers BALDR Film and Volya Films were selected. BALDR Film, with producers Frank Hoeve and Katja Draaijer, is involved in the exciting new project by Alex Piperno from Uruguay, Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine (HBF Script & Project Development 2012). As a producer Piperno was part of the Hivos Tiger Awards Competition at IFFR 2015 with the film Parabellum by director Lukas Valenta Rinner. Denis Vaslin of Volya Films co-produces The Omission by Argentinian Sebastian Schjaer. This realistic story of a young woman in crisis received HBF script development support in 2014. Both projects receive a production grant of € 50.000. 

Selection Script Development:

Almost In Love, Leonardo Brzezicki – Argentina

Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes, José Luis Torres Leiva – Chile

Octopus Skin, Ana Cristina Barragán – Ecuador

The Bridge, Hala Lotfy - Egypt

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, Muayad Alayan – Palestine

Trenque Lauquen, Laura Citarella – Argentina

White Widow, Oliver Hermanus - South Africa

Selection NFF+HBF:

Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine, Alex Piperno – Uruguay (co-producer BALDR Film – NL)

The Omission, Sebastian Schjaer – Argentina (co-producer Volya Films – NL)

- End of Press Release - 

The NFF+HBF Coproduction Scheme (previously HBF Plus) is a joint programme of the Netherlands Film Fund and IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund that has been successfully stimulating Dutch producers to get involved in international coproductions supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. Since 2006, the Netherlands Film Fund annually reserves € 200,000 for NFF+HBF and selects four film projects per year.

The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) provides financial support to remarkable feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. Since the Funds establishment in 1989, more than 1,000 projects have received support. Each year, a rich harvest of films supported by the HBF is presented at IFFR and at various major festivals around the world.  Stay tuned for HBF’s new regulations, procedures and application deadlines, to be announced mid-June.

The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Creative Europe-MEDIA programme of the European Commission, the Human Rights Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hivos, the Dioraphte Foundation and the , Lions Club Rotterdam: L’Esprit du Temps and the Tiger Friends Foundation.

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About International Film Festival Rotterdam

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) – one of the largest cultural events in the Netherlands, and one of the biggest audience-oriented film festivals in the world – offers a high quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talkshows. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, through the new BoostNL and Propellor initiatives, its Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR takes place from Wednesday 24 January to Sunday 4 February 2018. More information can be found at IFFR.com.