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Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2012 Selection Round Winners

11 December 2012 6:30 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) has selected twenty-five film projects that receive grants for script development, digital production, postproduction, distribution or workshops. In its Fall 2012 selection round, the Fund gave 330,000 Euro to projects from seventeen Asian, Eastern European, Latin-American and African countries. (See full list below)

From many strong applications for workshop initiatives, the Hubert Bals Fund chose to support the Naas Training Workshop (Egypt), the Digital Cinema Workshops Series (Morocco) and Cinema Land (Vietnam). The Naas workshop offers a training and networking program for art house and cine club managers in the Mena region. In Morocco, the Workshop Series aims to increase digital filming skills among young film professionals. Cinema Land offers filmmaking talents expertise and training in the Central-Vietnamese cities of Danang and Hue, where there are no such facilities as yet.

In the distribution category, the Hubert Bals Fund supports the plan to screen acclaimed director Riri Riza’s Atambua 39° Celsius (pictured top) during open air screenings – the region has no cinemas - within the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, where the film was shot.

Atambua 39° Celsius received Hubert Bals Fund support for digital production earlier this year, recently premiered in competition at the Tokyo Iff and will see its European premiere during Iffr 2013. The film offers a sensitive portrait of refugees from East Timor and of their scattered families.

One of the eleven projects selected in the script development category is Tarde para morir joven (Late To Die Young), second feature film project by Chilean filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor. Her very successful début feature film De jueves a domingo (Thursday Till Sunday), also supported in script stage by the Hubert Bals Fund, won a Hivos Tiger Award in Rotterdam and subsequently screened in many film festivals worldwide. Tarde para morir joven tells about members of an isolated community that see their existence threatened by a forest fire.

Also selected for script development support is Teboho Edkins, a promising new talent from South Africa, who prepares his first feature length film Days of Cannibalism. Edkins previously made The Gangster Project, a 55-minute documentary/fiction hybrid that was selected for Fid Marseille and Iffr 2012. In Days of Cannibalism, Edkins again uses a clever mix of documentary and fictional elements to focus on the expanding trade relations between China and the African continent.

Milagros Mumenthaler, Golden Leopard-winner for her Hubert Bals Fund-supported first feature film Abrir puertas y ventanas (Back to Stay), has been granted digital production support for Pozo de aire (Air Pocket). This second film, backed again by the ‘Abrir’-team in Argentina and Switzerland, is a more low budget and experimental take on female lead characters and the notion of absence.

When finished in time, the films receiving postproduction grants are expected to screen at the 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam. One of these is Yang Tidak Dibicarakan Ketika Membicarakan Cinta (What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love), second feature film project by Mouly Surya, one the most promising female directors in Indonesia. Her film is a both sensitive and sensual examination of the dynamics among a group of teenagers played by visually and aurally impaired actors.

The harvest of newly finished Hubert Bals Fund-supported films will be screened during the next International Film Festival Rotterdam (23 January – 3 February 2013). The next application deadline for Hubert Bals Fund support is 1 March 2013. All information about the Fund may be found here.

The line up of the Iffr’s Hubert Bals Fund Fall 2013 Selection Round in full:

Post-production & final-financing

Noche (Night) / Leonardo Brzezicki / Argentina

O Rio nos pretence (Rio Belongs to Us) / Ricardo Pretti / Brazil

O Uivo da Gaita (The Harmonica’s Howl) / Bruno Safadi / Brazil

On Mother’s Head / Kusuma Widjaja Putu / Indonesia

Yang Tidak Dibicarakan Ketika Membicarakan Cinta (What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love) / Mouly Surya / Indonesia

Larzanandeye Charbi (Fat Shaker) / Mohammad Shirvani / Iran

Something Necessary / Judy Kibinge / Kenya

Penumbra / Eduardo Villanueva / Mexico

Digital Production

A Corner of Heaven / Zhang Miaoyan / China

Pozo de aire (Air Pocket) / Milagros Mumenthaler / Argentina

Script and project development

Otra madre (Another Mother) / Mariano Luque / Argentina

Tabija / Igor Drljaca / Bosnia and Herzegovina

Elon Rabin Não Acredita na Morte (Elon Rabin Doesn’t Believe in Death) / Ricardo Alves Jr. / Brazil

Tarde para morir joven (Late To Die Young) / Dominga Sotomayor / Chile

Oscuro animal (Obscure Animal) / Felipe Guerrero / Colombia

Court / Chaitanya Tamhane / India

The Room on a Tree / Amit Dutta / India

Extraño pero verdadero (Strange But True) / Michel Lipkes / Mexico

Tempestad (Tempestuous) / John Torres / Philippines

Days of Cannibalism / Teboho Edkins / South Africa

Rüzgarli Bir Güne Agit (Requiem for a Windy Day) / Özcan Alper / Turkey


Atambua 39° Celsius / Riri Riza / Indonesia


Naas Training Workshop / Egypt

Digital Cinema Workshop Series / Morocco

Cinema Land / Vietnam

Profile of the Hubert Bals Fund

The Hubert Bals Fund (Hbf), along with the CineMart, is part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr). The 42nd Iffr will take place January 23 – February 3, 2013. Year-round news on Iffr, Hbf and CineMart can be found on

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 Hubert Bals Fund 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 1989, hundreds of projects from independent filmmakers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe have received support. Approximately 80% of these projects have been realized 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, Media Mundus, Dutch non-governmental development organization Hivos Culture Foundation, the Doen Foundation and the Dioraphte Foundation and Lions Club Rotterdam: L’Esprit du Temps.

Grants and selection rounds

Annually, the Hubert Bals Fund is able to make individual grants of up to Euro 10,000 for script and project development, Euro 20,000 for digital production, Euro 30,000 for post-production, Euro 15,000 towards distribution costs in the country of origin or Euro 10,000 for special projects such as workshops. Selection rounds take place twice a year and have application deadlines on March 1 and August 1.

Hubert Bals Fund-supported films in Iffr and on DVD/VOD

Most of the films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund throughout the year are screened during the International Film Festival Rotterdam in attendance of the filmmaker. Subsequently, part of the Hbf-supported films is released by the Iffr on DVD or VOD, available on (VOD for viewers in the Benelux only).


- Sydney Levine

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Mexico is on the Move!

11 March 2012 7:48 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Guadalajara Wraps and a New Fest Begins

Ficg (pronounced FeeSeeg and standing for the Festival International de Cine in Guadalajara), displayed a new vibrancy. Besides some great films, great attendance and great organization, several Latin American countries are entering the international film business for the first time (Peru and Ecuador) with subsidies from their government pointing to an optimism for film production as an economic factor in their country's growth.  I blogged about the Dominican Republic but not about the new Law 226 in Mexico which encourages businesses to invest up to 20 million pesos (U.S.$2 million) or 10% of the taxes they owed the previous year (whichever is higher) into Mexican film production, or Brazilian access to subsidies.  

In addition, Guadalajara is becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico as its economy is based especially on information technology with a large number of international firms having facilities there. It is also considered to be the home of Mariachi music. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara with the name originating from the Arabic word meaning "Valley of Stones".  It is the highest ranking major Mexican city and has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city.  Only Chicago scores more highly for sheer economic potential  (Per a 2007 report in fDi magazine, an English-language news and foreign direct investment publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd and edited in London). The same research calls Guadalajara the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals.  It was also ranked the third most business friendly city in North America.

A new digital film studio is going up. The University is an important center of culture and learning.

And sadly, violence over drugs is not far away. This past Friday, Narco gangs appropriated 25 vehicles in 16 separate incidents – 11 of them in the Guadalajara metropolitan zone where they set fire to them in retaliation for action taken against them in a military action to capture two Mexican drug cartel members. At the Centro Magno festival venue, festival transport staff stopped filmgoers leaving a screening of Andres Wood's Violeta Went to Heaven as they sought to return to the festival's central Expo Center venue, acknowledging concerns for safety.  A truck was set on fire not far (but not too close either: at Calzada Lázaro Cárdenas and Mezquite, at la Colonia de El Fresno) from the Expo where the festival was still being held, but there was no disruption of the festival.

Our friend, Hebe Tabachnik, Iberoamerican programmer for the Palm Springs Film Festival is on the jury and writes from there:

Dear friends, in spite of the disruptive and unfortunately deadly incidents in Guadalajara today, all the attendees to the Ficg Guadalajara are Ok. We are sorry this beautiful city and specially its amazing people have to experience this kind of criminal acts. The festival is going ahead with its schedule events, as it should be. Celebrating the arts and show no fear is the best way to manifest against the non sense violence. Viva Guadalajara. Viva Mexico!!!!

The activities of the industry, with meetings about Iberoamerican coproductions with its well presented professional projects, the film market itself with films available to watch up to 2 weeks after the closing, the Cannes Marche Producers Network, Works in Progress, Berlinale's Talent Campus and Doculab, and of course, the festival itself with galas every night, a Focus on U.K. and Mike Leigh, Homages, Mexican and Iberoamerican Competition, Sounds of Cinema, Children's Cinema, Lgbt prizes, Open Air Screenings - all defy easy decision making on how best to spend one's time there.

The prize winners:


PalmarÉS FICG27

Premio Maguey

Mención Especial  

“Todo el mundo tiene alguien menos yo” (México) Dir. Raúl Fuentes

Premio Maguey     

Mía“ (Argentina) Dir. Javier van de Couter

Premio del Público Milenio        

Espacio Interior“ (México) Dir. Kai Parlange

Premio Mezcal

“Un mundo secreto“ (México) Dir. Gabriel Mariño

Premio Cinecolor

“Un mundo secreto“ (México) Dir. Gabriel Mariño

Mejor Cortometraje de Animación - Premio Rigo Mora

“Un ojo” (México) Dir. Lorenza Manrique

Mejor Cortometraje Iberoamericano

“Minuto 200” (Colombia)   Dir. Frank Benítez

Mejor Cortometraje Mexicano

“Lucy vs. los límites de la voz” (México)   Dir. Mónica Herrera

Largometraje Iberoamericano Documental

Mención Especial

“El salvavidas“ (Chile)   Dir. Maite Alberdi

Mejor Documental Iberoamericano

“ ¡Vivan las antípodas! “(Argentina - Chile - Alemania - Holanda) Dir. Víctor Kossakovsky

Largometraje Mexicano Documental 

Mención Especial  

“Carrière, 250 metros”   Dir. Juan Carlos Rulfo y Natalia Gil

Mención Especial  

“El paciente interno”    Dir. Alejandro Solar

Mejor Documental Mexicano

Cuates de Australia”  Everardo González

Largometraje de Ficción Iberoamericana

Mejor Guion

Jaime Osorio por “El páramo” (Colombia)

Mejor Fotografía   

Mauro Pinheiro Jr. por “Sudoeste” (Brasil)

Mejor Actriz 

Francisca Gavilán por “Violeta se fue a los cielos” (Chile)

Mejor Actor 

Andrés Crespo por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Premio Especial del Jurado

Los pasos dobles” (España - Suiza)   Dir. Isaki Lacuesta

Mejor Opera Prima

Transeunte” (Brasil)   Dir. Eryk Rocha

Mejor Director

Sebastián Cordero por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Mejor Película Iberoamericana 

"Abrir puertas y ventanas" (Argentina)   "Dir. Milagros Mumenthaler

Largometraje de Ficción Mexicana

Mención Especial

Música Original de "Días de gracia"

Mejor Guion

Miguel Bonilla por “Diente por diente”

Mejor Fotografía

Jerónimo Rodríguez por “Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo”

Mejor Actriz

Martha Higareda por “Mariachi Gringo

Mejor Actor 

Kuno Becker por “Espacio Interior

Mejor Opera Prima

"El fantástico mundo de Juan Orol"       Dir. Sebastián del Amo

Mejor Director

Everardo Gout por “Días de gracia”.

Mejor Película

Mariachi Gringo” Dir. Tom Gustafson  



Premio de los Niños

“El secreto del medallón de jade” (México)   Dir. Rodolfo Guzmán y Leopoldo Aguilar

Premio Feisal      

Mención Especial  

“No hay lugar lejano” (México)   Dir. Michelle Ibaven

Mención Especial  

“Oro Colombiano: 400 años de música del alma” (Colombia) Dir. Sanjay Agarwal e Iván Higa

Premio Feisal

“75 habitantes, 20 casas, 300 vacas”       (Argentina)   Dir. Fernando Domínguez

Premio Fipresci

Violeta se fue a los cielos” (Chile) Dir. Andrés Wood

Guerrero de la Prensa

Mejor largometraje de ficción “Días de gracia” (México) Dir. Everardo Gout Mejor largometraje documental “El paciente interno” (México) Dir. Alejandro Solar

Academia Jalisciense de Cinematografía

Mejor cortometraje jalisciense “La noria”   Dir. Karla Castañeda Mejor largometraje jalisciense “Fecha de caducidad”   Dir. Kenya Márquez    

No sooner does this festival and market wrap when a new Mexican festival, the Riviera Maya Film Festival, begins March 20 - 25 which will play in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and Holbox.  The industry component Rivieralab, a coproduction event will take place in Quintana Roo March 22-25 and will host 158 projects from Latin America and Europe.  10 projects will be showcased to financiers, fund representatives, producers and sales agents, 3 will receive 200,000 pesos or approximately Us$15,500.  8 international works in progress at post-production stage from a pool of 40 will be selected to receive support. 


- Sydney Levine

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2012 | 2011

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