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Clockwise: Juruna Mallon, Flore Dias,  Laura Baumeister, Ana Cristina Barragán, Zhengfan Yang, Fernando Guzzoni, Ely Dagher. 

Rotterdam, 2 July 2019

IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund reveals HBF+Europe selection

Six film projects receive €50,000 each via their European co-producer

The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces the 2019 selection of its HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support scheme. Six film projects from Chile, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, Lebanon and China have each been awarded a contribution of €50,000 through their European co-producers.

Fay Breeman, manager Hubert Bals Fund: “The selection consists of two film debuts and three sophomore films and a third feature. Every single one of them looks to become an interesting and fresh contribution to cinema. We can’t wait to see the end results.”

Marit van den Elshout, head of IFFR Pro: “Out of 38 eligible applications we’ve selected six very promising-looking projects. The scheme, which is funded by the EU’s Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, is set up to strengthen intercontinental ties with European co-producers, in this case from Poland, the Netherlands, France and Greece.”


In Chilean filmmaker Fernando Guzzoni’s third feature Blanquita, 18-year-old Blanca becomes a key witness of a high-profile sexual scandal and turns into a feminist martyr to some, and a villain to others. IFFR previously showed Guzzoni’s Carne de perro at IFFR 2013.

Prod.: Rampante Films (Chile). Co-prod.: Bonne Pioche Cinéma (France), Abrolhos Filmes (Brazil) and Madants Ltd. (Poland, HBF+Europe grant recipient).


Harvest, about a young woman’s sudden return to a life Beirut she had left behind, is Ely Dagher’s first feature film. The Lebanese filmmaker’s animated short film Waves ’98 won the short-film Palme d’or in Cannes in 2015.

Prod.: Abbout Productions (Lebanon). Co-prod.: Andolfi (France, HBF+Europe grant recipient), Wrong Men (Belgium), Beachside Films (USA).

La hija de todas las rabias

Nicaraguan filmmaker Laura Baumeister’s debut feature-film project La hija de todas las rabias has received Script and Project Development support from HBF in 2018, has participated in the BoostNL programme and has won the Wouter Barendrecht Award at CineMart 2019. The film follows eight-year-old Maria, who struggles to survive in the poverty-stricken realms of Nicaragua.

Prod.: Felipa Films (Nicaragua). Co-prod.: Mart Films (Mexico), Halal (Netherlands, HBF+Europe grant recipient), Halal (Germany).

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Project still: The Intrusion

The Intrusion

The Intrusion by Brazilian filmmakers Flore Dias and Juruna Mallon directs its gaze at the 35,000 workers supporting the operation of one of the busiest airports in Brazil. Dias was credited as director of photography for Your Bones and Your Eyes by Caetano Gotardo (IFFR 2019), Ramon Porto Mota’s Yellow Night (IFFR 2019) and the short film First Act by Matheus Parizi (IFFR 2019).

Prod.: Filmes de Abril (Brazil). Co-prod.: Pomme Hurlante Films (France. HBF+Europe grant recipient), Enquadramento Produções – Lira Cinematográfica (Brazil)

La piel pulpo

Ecuadorian filmmaker Ana Cristina Barragán is no stranger to HBF. Her debut film Alba received post-production support in 2015 and screened at IFFR 2016. Her second feature project, La piel pulpo, received Script and Development support in 2016, and was selected for CineMart 2017. It tells the story of a set of 14-year-old twins living on a beach, forced to move to the city for the first time.

Prod.: Caleidoscopio cine (Ecuador). Co-prod.: Desenlace films (Mexico), Graal S.A. (Greece, HBF+Europe grant recipient), Unafilm (Germany).

The Stranger

The different Chinese hotel occupants in Zhengfan Yang’s The Stranger feel like strangers not only in the rooms but also in their home country. The project, Yang’s second feature film, received HBF Script and Development support in 2017, and was part of BoostNL in 2018. Yang works together with Shengze Zhu: when one of them directs, the other produces. Yang’s previous film Where Are You Going premiered at IFFR 2016 and Zhu’s Present.Perfect. won the Tiger Award at IFFR 2019.

Prod.: Burn the Film (China). Co-prod.: BALDR Film (Netherlands, HBF+Europe grant recipient), Norsk Filmproduksjon A/S (Norway), Les films de l’après-midi (France).

About HBF+Europe

HBF+Europe is the international co-production scheme 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.

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

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

About 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 fund’s establishment in 1988, more than 1,100 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.

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