The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to help remarkable or urgent feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe on their road to completion. It 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 to grant support remain the content and artistic value. Since the founding of the Fund in 1989, more than a 1.000 projects of independent filmmakers from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support.
Approximately 80% of these projects have been realized or are currently in production. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fund, a complete overview
has been made. Every year, IFFR screens the majority of recently completed films supported by the Fund. An overview of (past) selected HBF projects and Harvests maybe found on the HBF History page
Grants and selection rounds
In 2015 the Hubert Bals Fund has close to €800.000 at its disposal and is able to make individual grants in several stages of completion: early on for script and project development or after shooting for postproduction. With the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Union, production and distribution support is offered to European co-producers and exhibitors. Dutch producers are eligible for NFF+HBF, in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund.
HBF Script & Project Development and HBF Postproduction
A HBF Script and Project Development
grant can be used for the further development of the script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant) but can also be used to present the project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals. The maximum contribution for Script and Project development is €10.000.
A HBF Postproduction
grant can be used for various activities in the post-production process (e.g. editing, colour grading or sound mixing). Please note that in return for post-production support, the HBF requests that the world premiere of the film takes place at IFFR. Also, the Fund requests the distribution rights for the Benelux. The maximum contribution of the HBF for this category is €20.000.
HBF+Europe offers minority co-production support to European producers to participate in high-quality feature films by talented filmmakers from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and certain countries in Eastern Europe. The funding is designed for international co-productions, in which at least one European and one non-European producer is involved and the maximum amount awarded per project is € 55.000. Additionally, the HBF+Europe distribution scheme offers financial support to the distribution of feature films by filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of Eastern Europe, to stimulate the promotion and circulation of international co-productions in Europe and beyond. The scheme is designed to provide financial assistance for the Promotion and Publicity and the maximum amount awarded per project is € 20.000.
NFF+HBF (previously HBF Plus) Netherlands Film Fund - Hubert Bals Fund Coproduction Scheme
In order to offer Dutch producers the possibility to get involved more often in international productions, and to support the Hubert Bals Fund projects in the stage of actual production, the Netherlands Film Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund set up NFF+HBF. Since 2006, the Netherlands Film Fund has annually made €200.000 available for NFF+HBF. Selected applications are granted with a maximum of €50.000.
HBF-supported films at International Film Festival Rotterdam
Each edition, International Film Festival Rotterdam screens a large part of the year's so-called Hubert Bals Fund Harvest
of completed films supported by the HBF. Hubert Bals Fund-supported films may be selected in Competition or for the main sections Bright Future, Spectrum or Signals. The 2015 Harvest can be found here
In 2015, IFFR screens 19 HBF-supported films of which no less then 5 films are nominated for the Hivos Tiger Award Competition. At the 2014 edition of the festival, the HBF Dioraphte Award was given to Qissa
by Anup Singh. The HBF Dioraphte Award
of €10.000 is annually presented to the HBF-supported film at the festival with the highest ranking in the audience votes.
Besides the IFFR, many international film festivals keep a close eye on completed HBF-supported films and select them for their own programmes. Each year, HBF-supported films are screened and win awards at, among others, the Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Toronto and Busan film festivals, such as La tierra y la sombra (Camera d’Or for best debut, Cannes 2015), El abrazo de la serpiente (Art Cinema Award Quinzaine des réalisateurs, Cannes 2015), The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Abrir puertas y ventanas
by Milagros Mumenthaler, Winter Vacation
by Li Hongqi, Goodbye
by Mohammad Rasoulof, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.