IFFR’s film fund names ten filmmakers as the spring recipients of the Script and Project Development Support scheme.
International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces that its Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has chosen ten new film projects for the Script and Project Development Support scheme. Selected from 308 submissions by a committee of global industry experts, the spring 2022 selection is made entirely of female filmmakers. Each project receives a grant of €10,000 to be spent on development.
Support from the HBF often marks an initial vote of confidence and financial impetus that is a vital first step in a film’s development process. As such, the fund has offered a launchpad to some of the most distinguished filmmakers working across the world today. Three films previously backed by the HBF are currently premiering at the Cannes Film Festival.
Manager of the Hubert Bals Fund, Jeske van der Slikke: “Our fund is committed to defending artistic vision from courageous filmmakers across the globe who may otherwise find it more difficult to access funding, particularly during such a fragile moment as a project’s development.”
Festival Director, Vanja Kaludjercic: “The festival’s mission is to give a platform to distinctive cinematic voices and this latest HBF selection, full of vital, challenging perspectives from a wealth of global talent, does just that. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life and hope our support can make that happen.”
Recurring themes in this selection are re-written histories from filmmakers who delve into national pasts to uncover forgotten or alternative narratives. Marina Stepanska does so with Consider Vera, framing 40 years of Ukrainian history through the life of her protagonist. Siyou Tan’s AMOEBA follows three rebellious classmates at an all-girls school who discover the erased stories of mythical gangsters who ruled the streets of colonial Singapore. With two previous features supported by the HBF, and three IFFR selections, Jazmín López presents her latest project Presidente which confronts the controversial history of the first female president of Argentina – third wife and widow of Juan Perón.
Everlane Moraes, whose Pattaki appeared in the Soul in the Eye programme at IFFR 2019, retells the fantastical century spanning myth of a Nigerian princess in The Secret of Sikán. Her compatriot Maíra Bühler takes inspiration from a 1950s Brazilian photonovel that depicted the marriage of an indigenous girl to a much older white man, offering a radical alternative narrative in The Marriage. Her previous short Diz a Ela que me Viu Chorar won the Special Jury Award at Havana and the Prix des Bibliothèques at Cinéma Du Réel in 2019. The HBF’s partner Projeto Paradiso further strengthens the support offered to these Brazilian projects.
The selection follows the news that IFFR welcomes Bianca Taal as the new Head of the Hubert Bals Fund alongside the fund’s manager Jeske van der Slikke. The festival has announced a restructured team and new hires to deliver the 2023 edition.
The Hubert Bals Fund is a curatorial fund dedicated to supporting filmmakers with a forward-looking artistic vision in every stage of the filmmaking process. Over more than 30 years, the HBF focuses on supporting filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. The HBF has been especially helpful for filmmakers from countries where freedom of speech and a solid film infrastructure are lacking. The fund functions in tandem with other activities of IFFR Pro, which include training talent, providing networking opportunities, and hosting the co-production market CineMart.