The NFF+HBF Co-production Scheme awards autumn 2018 grants
by Chris Frieswijk
- The animated documentary Ningdu by Lei Lei and the feature debut by Nepalese duo Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have been granted €50,000 each
The Netherlands Film Fund (NFF) and the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) have awarded two projects within the scope of their half-yearly co-production grants. The animated documentary Ningdu by Chinese director Lei Lei and the Nepalese fiction project The Whole-Timers by directorial duo Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet will both receive €50,000 for (post-)production. In 2017, both projects received HBF Script and Project Development support.
Ningdu is about the director’s grandfather and his desire to live a normal life in the politically turbulent China of the 1950s and 1960s. The project was presented at CineMart 2017 during International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). After winning several awards for his animated shorts at the Ottowa International Animation Festival in 2010 (This Is Love) and the Holland Animation Film Festival in 2012 (Recycled), Lei Lei is making his feature debut with Ningdu. The film will be produced by Hong Kong-based production company Chinese Shadows, whose aim is to represent a new generation of Chinese directors, alongside Amsterdam-based outfit Submarine.
The debut feature by Poojang Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet, The Whole-Timers, is set during the Nepalese Civil War, which raged between 1996 and 2006. The conflict is seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Guran, who, as a member of the Maoist Communist Party of Nepal, is opposed to the Nepalese government. Instead of guns, he develops a fascination for the cameras carried by soldiers to document the war. The film has taken part in the Atelier, organised by the Cinéfondation, and the Jerusalem International Film Lab. It is being produced by Les Films du Tambour, based in Paris, and Dutch firm Circe Films.
The NFF+HBF Co-production Scheme (previously named HBF Plus) is granted twice yearly to a total of four projects that involve Dutch co-producers. The maximum contribution is €50,000, of which 50% has to be spent in the Netherlands. The scheme is intended to encourage Dutch producers to get involved in international co-productions.
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