Selected filmmakers Rungano Nyoni, Soudade Kaadan and Fireflies, Bani Khoshnoudi and Benjamin Naishtat
The Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam selects four projects for its new HBF+Europe Minority Coproduction Support scheme, represented by co-producers from Greece, France and the Netherlands.
The selection includes three feature films by emerging female directors: I Am Not a Witch by Rungano Nyoni from Zambia, The Day I Lost My Shadow by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan and Fireflies, the second film by Iranian filmmaker Bani Khoshnoudi. The HBF+Europe selection finally includes Rojo, the third film by Benjamin Naishtat from Argentina. Selected coproducers are Haos Film (Greece), Clandestine Films (France), Viking Film (The Netherlands) and Acrobates Films (France). Each project has received a contribution of €55.000. The HBF+Europe programme is supported by the Creative Europe-MEDIA programme of the European Union.
Fireflies tells the story of Ali, a young homosexual who escaped the repression in Iran by fleeing to Veracruz, Mexico, where he tries to move forward with his life. Director Bani Khoshnoudi’s first feature, Ziba, and two of her shorts, screened at previous editions of IFFR. Fireflies will be produced in Mexico, as a coproduction between Zensky Cine (Mexico) and Haos Film (Greece).
Rungano Nyoni’s succesful short Mwanza the Great screened at IFFR 2012. Her new project, I Am Not a Witch was supported for HBF Script and Project Development. The film follows Shula, a young girl who is accused by her community of witchcraft and exciled to a witch-camp in the middle of the desert. The film will be a coproduction between ICREATE FILM (Zambia), Clandestine Films (France), Soda Pictures (UK) and OAK Motion Pictures (The Netherlands).
Rojo by Benjamin Naishtat was previously supported by HBF Script and Project Development and NFF+HBF. The film looks at a small town on the edge of the desert, where a series of strange, vaguely connected events illustrate the violent times of the mid 1970s in Argentina. Rojo will be made in coproduction with Pucará Cine (Argentina), Desvia (Brazil), Viking Film (The Netherlands), Ecce Films (France) and Sutor Kolonko (Germany).
The Day I Lost My Shadow by first-time filmmaker Soudade Kaadan, portraits Syria during the Arab Spring in 2011. Between water outages and power cuts, Sana is determined to obtain cooking gas to prepare a meal for her son. When the country is hit by a gas crisis, she takes a day off from work to search for a gas cylinder. The film will be shot in Lebanon and produced by KAF Productions (Lebanon), in coproduction with Acrobates Films (France).
In preparation for the 46th edition of IFFR, the festival is taking the momentum to critically rethink its industry activities. The main goal is to optimize the support and services the festival offers to extraordinary film talent worldwide.
IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund is therefore also actively redesigning its policies and procedures in order to improve the impact of its support and address the current needs of filmmakers and the industry. Consequently, for Fall 2016, the HBF will not open a call for proposals for its HBF Postproduction category, nor will it publish a call for proposals for its HBF Script and Project Development category.
The calls for proposals for NFF+HBF Coproduction Scheme (deadline 4 October 2016) as well as its new funding scheme HBF+Europe Distribution Support for International Coproductions will remain open for applications.
As of 2017, the HBF will once again open calls for proposals for all its funding categories, including HBF Script and Project Development and HBF Postproduction. New regulations and application deadlines for 2017 will be announced in the coming months. For the latest news, stay tuned to IFFR.com/HBF
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.