The Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) grants a total of 435,500 Euro to 33 film projects and initiatives from 23 developing countries. The Spring 2007 Selection Round of the fund includes many first feature film projects from, among others, Mozambique. In Margarida, filmmaker Licinio Azevedo, portrays a Mozambique woman wrongfully sent off to a re-education camp for prostitutes.
Othe first feature film projects come from Uzbekistan, Costa Rica and Peru. Established independent film makers He Jianjun (China) and Lav Diaz (The Philippines) are among those receiving post production grants.
In the post production category, the Hubert Bals Fund further supports I am from Titov Veles by Macedonian filmmaker Teona Mitevska. A CineMart Project in 2005, the film is a tale of sacrifice and abandonment of three sisters in a decrepit industrial town. Mitevska’s feature debut, How I killed a saint, was selected for Rotterdam’s Tiger Awards Competition in 2004.
Also awarded is To Go by Turkish filmmaker Huseyin Karabey, who received script development support in 2005. The project was presented at CineMart 2006 and has Dutch production company Motel Films attached through Hubert Bals Fund Plus, a programme that encourages producers from The Netherlands to invest in international projects. In To Go a Turkish actress journeys eastward to Iraq to be reunited with her Kurdish lover.
The support category for low budget digital features from developing countries includes Adep Akhlak, an absurdist comedy by Kyrgyz filmmaker Marat Alykulov. The film will reflect on the situation in his country where globalization and democracy have replaced the Soviet system. John Torres has been awarded for Moro2Moro Maharlika 2Moro. To be filmed in the director’s very personal and improvised style, the project addresses colonial history and is set in the Philippines’ predominantly Muslim South.
One of the twelve film projects selected in the script development category is Paz Fabrega’s feature debut Agua Fria de Mar. Set in the Costa Rican countryside, a young woman becomes more and more aware of the limitations and loneliness of her privileged life as an upper middle class housewife. The film will star both professional and amateur actors.
In support of training workshops, the Hubert Bals Fund has selected four initiatives. Among them is the Blue Nile Film Academy, a project of Abraham Haile Biru (Ethiopia), DOP of Daratt and Abouna by Mahamat Saleh-Haroun. Also selected for a grant, the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda brings together filmmaking talents from East Africa, India and Pakistan.
For the line up of the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Spring 2007 Selection Round in full please see www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com