45th edition 27 January - 7 February 2016

HBF leaders: specially commissioned short films by directors close to the Fund

<strong>Lublae</strong> HBF leader 2013
<strong>Lublae</strong> HBF leader 2013
<strong>Lublae</strong> HBF leader 2013
Every year for more than 20 years now, all Hubert Bals Fund-supported films find their own place in IFFR's programme. Over the course of time the HBF has been at the start of many filmmaking adventures and have proudly followed the growing careers of filmmakers throughout the world. To come full circle, from 2010 until the Fund's anniversary in 2014 the HBF has invited a different director each year to freely interpret his or her relationship with the HBF and the IFFR and to come up with a one-minute leader.

These short films (or 'leaders') specifically created for the HBF were put before all films that make up the annual Harvest of films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. This way we present the Rotterdam audience the results of the Harvest in our cinemas during the festival.

2013: Lublae
Directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong
Lublae is a district in northern Thailand that used to be known as the 'hidden' land, due to its remote location ('lub' means 'hidden' in Thai). Others say that Lublae is a derivative of Lublang, the name of the forest in the area. 'Lang' means 'evening' in the language of Lanna (an old kingdom in present day northern Thailand) as the forest was so dense it often got dark before sunset. Legend has it that the residents of Lublae were all women and that they tolerated no lies, no matter how small.

The ten women who appear in Lublae are the director's friends, all of whom work in the arts: a film director, an architect, an actress. They walk through a field, torches in hand, searching for something. The beams of light from their torches briefly illuminate the soon-to-be dark landscape. The director likes to think of them as modern-day usherettes – while these ten women may be searchers, they also show us the way.

2012: Copia imperfecta
Directed by José Luis Torres Leiva
Jose Luis Torres Leiva created his short film as an homage to Raul Ruiz, who was enormously inspirational for many filmmakers. Torres Leiva: 'To make an homage to Raúl Ruiz is almost an uncontrollable impulse. "La ville des pirates" was one of the first Ruiz movies I was able to watch and even if I saw it on a small TV and played from a old VHS, the image of Anne Alvaro and her beautiful sleep-walk stayed in my memory until today. I felt it's an image that contains a lot of Raul Ruiz's universe: his sense of humour, his reverie, his provocation and his elegance.'

2011: Ars colonia
Directed by Raya Martín
A conquistador counts and celebrates his blessings.

2010: El inflador
Directed by Lisandro Alonso
The camera shows us the rugged landscape of the pampa, while searching for something that approaches in the distance. A twenty three years old boy appears, obviously tired of having travelled a lot of kilometres and carrying his bike at his side by the handlebars, as we see that he has a flat back tire. The boy, perspiring all over, is looking between the branches for something we cannot see. We follow his actions via a steady cam. The boy bends over and from somewhere in the green grass he picks up an inflator and starts to inflate the back tire of his racing bicycle. He's working fast and energetically. One moment he stops to see if the tire is inflated enough. He then mounts his bike and rides off and the camera follows him until he disappears between the trees and the bushes of the overgrown terrain. When he is out of sight the camera slowly pans down to the ground and shows us – with a close up – the inflator; while we hear the sound of a bird singing, the serene quietness of the now empty space returns. After a few seconds we begin to understand the importance of this inflator and his indispensability for the continuation of the voyage of the boy in the middle of this unknown territory. Finally the image turns black.