Country Focus: Belgium
Hubert Bals Fund supports young indie filmmakers
by Mazzino Montinari
The initiative, as usual, extended to funding films from development through to post-production and distribution, and crosses all genres, from documentary (Sebastian Diaz Morales’ El Camino Entre Dos Puntos, Argentina), to more experimental works (Paul Agusta’s At the Very Bottom of Everything, Indonesia) and animation (Ayar Blasco’s El Sol, also from Argentina).
As if by textbook, both the Festival in its programming and the Hubert Bals Foundation in its support have favoured some film industries – in particular South America, East Asia and those countries from Africa and Eastern Europe – that with a few solid films have managed to breach the (usually distracted) tastes of critics and European audiences.
These include Rusudan Pirveli’s Susa (Georgia) and Hawa Essuman’s Soul Boy (Kenya). From Eastern Europe comes Armenian film Bounded Parallels di Hovhannes Galstyan, Tajikit title True Noon by Nosir Saidov and two Balkan productions: Antonio Nuic’s Donkey [+see also:
film profile] (co-produced by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, with the UK) and Vladimir Perisic’s Ordinary People [+see also:
interview: Vladimir Perisic: Ordinary …
film profile] (Serbia).
That two of this year’s three Tiger Award winner received support from the Hubert Bals Fund – Costa Rican title Cold Water of the Sea [+see also:
interview: Savina Neirotti
film profile] by Paz Fábrega and Thai film Mundane History by Anocha Suwichakornpong – is just the tip of the iceberg, because some of the funded films have been selected at top international festivals.
Besides the two winners, IFFR’s competition featured two other Fund-funded films, and others still were selected in parallel sections. All were world and European premieres, proof of a commitment on the part of the Foundation to support young independent filmmakers, who at international festivals can affirm languages and, contextually, political and social themes that cannot easily be communicated in other ways.
A further example of how the Foundation’s support isn’t only concentrated during Rotterdam, but lasts throughout the year, is the news that after the wide and exhaustive selection of the section Where is Africa?, Hubert Bals Fund will support 10 African documentary and feature films on a tour that will play at numerous African festivals.