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Portraits clockwise: Nathalie Álvarez Mésen, Jenna Cato Bass, João Paulo Miranda Maria, Muayad Alayan

PRESS RELEASE

Rotterdam, 21 July 2017

IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund backs four projects with HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support

The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is proud to announce the 2017 selection for its HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support scheme. Represented by co-producers from Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands, four promising projects from Colombia, South-Africa, Palestine and Brazil have each been awarded a contribution of €55,000. The selection includes projects from both debut and second-time filmmakers.

Nathalie Álvarez Mésens first feature film Clara Sola, is the powerful coming-of-age story of a woman, Clara, and her journey to break free from social and religious oppression. Ciudad Lunar (Colombia), the award-winning production company behind Oscar-nominated El Abrazo de la Serpiente, produces the film in co-production with Swedish producer Hob AB, who receives the HBF+Europe grant, and Danish production company Snowglobe Film. 

With Flatland, South-African talent Jenna Cato Bass will make a Western about three women who embark on a journey of self-discovery in the Karoo semi-desert. Bass is known for her short film The Tunnel, which screened at more than 30 film festivals (including Sundance and the Berlinale), and for her debut feature film Love the One You Love, which has impressed at festivals world-wide. With her producer David Horler of Proper Film she participated in the 2016 Rotterdam Lab. Flatland is produced by Proper Film (South-Africa) and co-produced by Unafilm and IGC Films, both from Germany. Unafilm, known for its award-winning co-productions ReyOur Grand Despair and Heli, receives the HBF+Europe grant.

Memory House is the debut feature film by successful Brazilian short filmmaker João Paulo Miranda Maria. His short film Command, Action (2015) was selected for the Cannes Critics' Week and his short film The Girl Who Danced with the Devil won the Cannes Special Jury Prize in 2016. Memory House tells the story of a Brazilian factory worker from the rural Northeast who works in the cold and inhospitable South. When he discovers a mysterious abandoned house, he reconnects with his primitive roots. The film is produced by Bossa Nova Films (Brazil) in co-production with Maneki Films (Bang Gang, A Modern Love Story) from France. 

In The Reports on Sarah and Saleem the affair of a married Palestinian man and a married Israeli woman in Jerusalem takes on a dangerous political dimension when they are spotted in the wrong place at the wrong time, leaving them to deal with more than their broken marriages. This is the second feature by Palestinian filmmaker Muayad Alayan, whose earlier film Love, Theft and Other Entanglements screened at the Berlinale in 2015. The promising project previously received HBF Script and Project Development Support and was selected for the Netherlands Film Fund+Hubert Bals Fund Co-production scheme. PalCine Productions (Palestine) produces the film in co-production with KeyFilm (the Netherlands), Still Moving Films (France), Manderley Films (Germany), Storm Films (Norway) and Mono Films (Mexico). Dutch producer KeyFilm receives the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support for this project.

Head of IFFR PRO, Marit van den Elshout, on the selection: “The HBF+Europe programme – supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme of the European Union – gives the Hubert Bals Fund the opportunity to step into projects that are well-developed and will go into production soon. With the help of a selection committee consisting of experts from the field, we were able to select four very interesting projects by talents from different parts of the world, each offering us a distinct story and style of its own. We look forward to seeing the results in the near future and are proud to contribute to such remarkable and promising projects.”

About HBF+Europe

HBF+Europe is the international co-production programme of IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund. The programme is designed to provide financial support to European producers serving as minority co-producers on high-quality feature films by talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. Additionally, HBF+Europe is also committed to helping internationally co-produced films through to release by providing a financial framework for distribution. Through this scheme, the HBF expects to boost the potential of these films to find their audiences across Europe and beyond. 

HBF+Europe: Distribution Support for International Co-productions is open for applications year round. The first upcoming selection meeting has been set for September 2017. Applicants wishing to be considered at this selection meeting should apply by 7 August 2017.

HBF+Europe is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union

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Read more on the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support scheme.

Read More on the HBF+Europe: Distribution Support scheme.

Read more on the Hubert Bals Fund.

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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.