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52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam

25 January – 5 February 2023

Rotterdam, 16 November 2022

The Hubert Bals Fund unveils new scheme with latest support round

11 new projects supported under the Script and Project Development Support scheme as HBF deadlines for 2023 are announced.

The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has chosen 11 new feature film projects to be awarded a grant of €10,000 under its Script and Project Development Support scheme. A committee of international industry experts assessed more than 500 applications and selected projects by directors from Rwanda, Tunisia, Serbia, Kosovo, India, China, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. The HBF is also pleased to announce it is launching a new scheme to support the post-production of minority European co-productions.

Among the range of themes, characters and styles found in the selection is the urge of the filmmakers to dive into family dynamics. Self-taught Rwandan filmmaker Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo is supported for her debut feature Benimana in which ethnic tensions and reconciliation are explored by a mother and her daughter. Colombian animator María Cristina Pérez González will use the richness of painting on paper to tell a father-daughter adventure story in her feature debut Mi papá el camión. 

Cannes and Locarno award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Segundo is selected for Milk Powder, where the title evokes the absurd struggle that the protagonist has growing up and moving out of his grandmother’s house. The protagonist in Chinese filmmaker Hao Zhao’s If I See A Rainbow spent years trying to escape the controlling grip of her family, but when her mother dies realises she is stuck in a new trap. Secrets are protected fiercely and exposed in a Christmas holiday between two different families in Cold Ashes Can Cause Forest Fires by Indian filmmaker Ashmita Guha Neogi, who won prizes at Cannes and San Sebastián for her last short film. 

See below for the full list of supported projects. Concept images are available here

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Selected filmmakers

Upcoming HBF support

The HBF is pleased to announce it is launching a new scheme, financially supported by Creative Europe MEDIA, to provide funding for the post-production of minority European co-productions. The call for applications will open during IFFR 2023 until the deadline on 1 April 2023, which will also apply to projects for the HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Scheme. 

Unlike the past few years, there will not be a Script and Project Development Support call for spring 2023, and therefore the next deadline for the scheme will be 1 August 2023. 

Bianca Taal, head of the Hubert Bals Fund: “We are delighted that we will be able to offer support in the crucial phase of post-production with the help of Creative Europe. We are constantly assessing the changing needs of filmmakers and always striving to see how we can continue to be a crucial partner for groundbreaking film projects. After announcing another remarkable round of filmmakers and projects in this development round, the next call for the scheme will be August 2023 as we use the time to consider how best to develop and revitalise the fund for the years to come.” 

Next HBF deadlines

  • 6 March 2023: NFF+HBF: Co-production Scheme
  • 1 April 2023: HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Scheme
  • 1 April 2023: HBF+Europe: Post-production Scheme (new for 2023)
  • 1 August 2023: Script and Project Development Support
  • 2 October 2023: NFF+HBF: Co-production Scheme 

Script and Project Development Support 2022 round two complete selection:


Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo, Rwanda, Côte d'Ivoire, SenegalJust when she thought her past was behind her, Veneranda, a survivor of the Tutsi genocide working for reconciliation, sees her old demons resurface when she learns of her daughter Tina's pregnancy, shaking the family balance.


Kaltrina Krasniqi, KosovoFatime (50s), a domestic worker from Prishtina, gets a new job as a cleaner in an advertising agency run by Elvira (40s), a charismatic entrepreneur. While the agency develops the brand for a new bleach product, Fatime gets close to Elvira, and for the first time finds herself exploring the possibility of friendship outside her social class.

Cold Ashes Can Cause Forest Fires

Ashmita Guha Neogi, IndiaWhile dealing with her parents' recent separation, 15 year old Uma is visited by old family friends during the Christmas holidays. Through the course of their stay, secrets between the two families are revealed, compelling Uma to desperate actions, thus creating secrets of her own.

If I See A Rainbow

Hao Zhao, ChinaAfter the death of her mother, Li Qingshui finds herself becoming more and more like her. She now agrees with her mother that she has married the wrong guy.

Leila's Trial

Charlie Kouka, Tunisia, FranceIn Cité Nour, a run-down neighbourhood in a small Tunisian town, Leila, a 13-year old girl performs miracles and pits locals against one another: is she a witch or a saint.

Long Weekend

Katarina Koljevic, SerbiaOne woman’s leap to death will lead to another woman’s leap of life.  

A Margem do Rio

Enock Carvalho, Matheus Farias, Brazil, FranceHaving hit hard times, the street-side cinema where Izaquiel works is sublet to a Pentecostal church. Izaquiel is sucked into a spiral of harassment by the new tenants, with whom he wages a muted and increasingly violent war.

Milk Powder

Carlos Segundo, Brazil, France, GermanyVicente is a wannabe rocker who still lives with his grandmother at nearly 40. When she commits suicide, he figures he will keep her body at home for a few days until her pension arrives. Meanwhile, he accepts a job as a graduation photo album salesman, which will put on his path a constellation of women who will make him gain some much-needed perspective on his own life.

Mi papá el camión

María Cristina Pérez González, ColombiaAfter losing everything, Bonifacio is forced to leave the countryside and travel to the city with his little daughter to pursue his dream of being a truck driver. While misadventures take father and daughter down opposite paths in the city, Bonifacio discovers his true calling: being a dad.

La sombra de los peces

Leandro Listorti, Argentina, GermanyAfter spending one year in Argentine Antarctica a female palaeontologist returns to her home in Buenos Aires. In the city and while she prepares to introduce a new specimen of Jurassic fish recently discovered, a series of alterations that seem to be triggered by the finding affect her daily routine.

A Tied Woman

Miguel Ángel Moulet, Olivia Manrufo, Peru, Dominican RepublicIn an Andean community in Peru, a nurse dutifully complies with her superiors' instructions in order to attain her long-awaited transfer to the capital, ignoring the consequences of the mass sterilisation campaign carried out by the government.

Concept images are available here

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