press release

PRESS RELEASE November 3, 2005

- Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2005 Selection Round supports 37 film projects - Rotterdam film festival to screen record number of films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (January 25 – February 5, 2006) is expected to screen over thirty new films that have received support from the festival’s own Hubert Bals Fund. Today, the Fund announced its Fall 2005 selections. The total amount of support provided to 37 film projects is just over half a million euros, with seven films receiving post-production funding and 20 filmmakers receiving a script-development grant.

Never before has the Hubert Bals Fund harvested so many new films. While economic and political conditions in the developing countries have hardly been favorable, 2005 has nevertheless proved a particularly fruitful year for filmmakers supported by the Hubert Bals Fund at either the script development or post-production stage. The Hubert Bals Fund operates in developing countries or countries in the southern hemisphere where an independent film industry and production money are virtually non-existent, and where filmmakers often face political resistance.

While some Hubert Bals Fund-supported films have already been presented at Cannes (e.g. BATTLE IN HEAVEN, THE FORSAKEN LAND, SANGRE), Locarno (A PERFECT DAY, PRESIDENT MIR QANBAR) or Venice (WRITING ON THE EARTH), many recently completed films feature in the record-breaking 2005 ‘Hubert Bals Fund Harvest’.

Among the completed films to be presented within Rotterdam’s festival programme are the world premieres of LA PERRERA (THE DOG POUND) by Manuel Nieto Zas and Uruguayan production company Control Zeta Films (25 WATTS; WHISKY), and THE NIGHTLY SONG OF THE TRAVELLERS by writer Chapour Haghighat (France). The programme also includes the international premieres of QUANTO VALE OU E POR QUILO? (WHAT IS WORTH?) by Sergio Bianchi (Brazil) and POETI VERADARDZE (RETURN OF A POET) by Harutyun Khachatryan (Armenia), as well as the European premieres of FULL OR EMPTY by Abolfazl Jalili and GIE, by Riri Reza from Indonesia. All filmmakers supported by the Hubert Bals Fund are expected to attend the festival.

The Hubert Bals Fund today announced the results of its Fall 2005 Selection Round. A total amount of €514.000 is to be given to 37 film projects. The list features new film projects by well-known filmmakers such as Babak Payami, Josué Mendez, He Jianjun, Lisandro Alonso, but also introduces new talents such as Alejandro Hartmann (Argentina), Aram Shahbazyan (Armenia) and Deepak Kumaran Menon (Malaysia).

The line up of IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2005 Selection Round in full:

Script and project development HEZARO YEK SHAB (1001 NIGHTS) – Ali Mohammed Ghasemi, Iran AGUA Y SAL (WATER AND SALT) – Alejo H. Taube, Argentina CHILDREN OF THE SUN – Prasanna Vithanage, Sri Lanka CHNCHIK – Aram Shahbazyan, Armenia XIN SHI (CROSSCURRENT) – Yang Chao, China SALLANGAI (DANCING BELLS) – Deepak Kumaran Menon, Malaysia THE DAY LASTS MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS – Babak Payami, Iran DIOSES (GODS) – Josué Mendez, Peru GORIZ (ESCAPE) – Niki Karimi, Iran AHASIN WÉTEY (FALLEN FROM THE SKY) – Vimukthi Jayasundra, Sri Lanka FEBRE DO RATO (RAT FEVER) – Claudio Assis, Brazil ZAMIN-É MOHKAM (THE FIRM LAND) – Chapour Haghighat, Iran DA FENG SHOU (THE HARVEST) – He Jianjun, China JERMAL – Ravi L. Bharwani, Indonesia LIVERPOOL – Lisandro Alonso, Argentina AI QING ZHANG SHENG YI QIE (LOVE CONQUERS ALL) – Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia SALON DE BELLEZA (BEAUTY SALON) – Marité Ugás, Venezuela PRIMAVERAL CRECIMIENTO COSECHANTE PRUEBA (SPRING-GROWING HARVESTING TEST) – Alejandro Hartmann, Argentina TATIL KITABI (SUMMER BOOK) – Seyfi Teoman, Turkey VERANO (SUMMERTIME) – José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile Post Production ANTONIA – Tata Amaral, Brazil BARAKET – Djamila Sahroui, Algeria BARCA! (ENOUGH!) – Tariq Teguia, Algeria EL CUSTODIO (THE MINDER) – Rodrigo Moreno, Argentina GLUE – Alexis Dos Santos, Argentina HEREMIAS – Lav Diaz, Philippines INDIO NACIONAL – Raya Martin, Philippines Distribution AHLAAM (THE DREAMS) – Mohamed Al Daradji, Iraq JIFFEST TRAVELING - Jakarta International Film Festival, Indonesia SAFARE MARDANE KHAKESTARY (JOURNEY OF THE GREY MEN) – Amir Shahab Razavian, Iran KUMAR TALKIES – Pankaj Rishi Kumar, India MONDOMANILLA FILMFEST – Khavn De La Cruz, Philippines PLAY – Alicia Scherson, Chile SANGRE – Amat Escalante, Mexico Workshops and Training Gold Coast: Silver Screen, Ghana HAF – Hong Kong Asia Finance Forum, Hong Kong Surinaamse Film Academie, Surinam

Hubert Bals Fund Award presented October 2005 during the Cinemanila/Boracay co-production meeting to: NOW SHOWING –Raya Martin, Philippines Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund

Along with CineMart, the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) is part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 35th IFFR will take place January 25 – February 5, 2006. Year-round news on IFFR, HBF and CineMart can be found on the festival website

The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable or urgent feature films and feature-length creative documentaries by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to completion. The HBF provides grants that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects. Although the Fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors remain its content and artistic value. Since the Fund started in 1988, well over 530 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support. Approximately 80% of these projects have been realised or are currently in production. Every year, the IFFR screens completed films supported by the Fund. The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch non-governmental development organisations Hivos and NCDO, the DOEN Foundation and Dutch public broadcasting network NPS.


35th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2006

Programme Sections:
VPRO Tiger Awards Competition
Sturm und Drang
Maestros: Kings and Aces
Filmmakers in Focus: Stephen Dwoskin, Nagasaki Shunichi
Exploding Cinema
White Light, Kurator: Gertjan Zuilhof
Tiger Cub Awards Competition
Time and Tide
Short Films
Cinema Regained, Kurator: Erwin Houtenbrink
Hot Spots, Kurator: Kees Brienen