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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Netherlands / Ukraine

The IDFA Bertha Fund backs 21 new non-fiction projects, including seven from Ukraine


- The fund is awarding a total of €235,000 to 14 projects and an additional €122,500 to seven Ukrainian ones through the support of the Open Society Foundation

The IDFA Bertha Fund backs 21 new non-fiction projects, including seven from Ukraine
Director Iryna Tsilyk, who is receiving support for Red Zone

On 26 September, the IDFA Bertha Fund announced that it was lending development, production and post-production support to 21 new non-fiction projects. Fourteen of these are directly backed by the IBF Classic funding strand with a total of €235,000, whilst seven Ukrainian projects will be in receipt of €122,500 through the support of the Open Society Foundation.

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According to the official press release, the projects “delve into different ways in which power balances are being challenged, engaging with themes like the colonial past, politics and identity”, but also “underscore the difficulties and risks filmmakers are facing today, and the ways in which freedom of creative expression is increasingly under pressure”. Moreover, five recipients are not being disclosed for their own safety.

The announced IBF Classic projects in receipt of development support are Raydel Araoz’s Dreams and Sleeplessness Before Dawn in the Nineties (Cuba), Sourav Sarangi’s Fair-Home Fairy-Tales, Alaa Eldin el Dajani’s The Native Dance (Egypt) and Erhan Arik’s Our Seeds (Turkey). The projects in receipt of production and post-production support are Germán Scelso’s The Businessman (Argentina), Mahmoud Massad’s Cinema Kawakeb (Jordan), Everlane MoraesGermano Black Society (Brazil), Simón Uribe Martínez’s Grounded (Colombia) and Misha Vallejo Prut’s Light Memories (Ecuador).

Finally, the Ukrainian projects benefiting from the fund’s development bursaries are Alina Gorlova, Maksym Nakonechnyi, Yelizaveta Smith and Simon Mozgovyi’s The Days I Would Like to Forget, Iryna Tsilyk’s Red Zone, and Zoia Laktionova’s Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface, whilst those awarded with production and post-production grants are Lesia Diak’s Dad’s Lullaby, Alisa Kovalenko’s Expedition 49, Maria Stoianova’s Fragments of Ice and Olga Chernykh’s A Picture to Remember.

Speaking about this special round of founding, committee member and producer Yulia Serdyukova said: “I was humbled and deeply touched to have a glimpse of what my colleagues are working on at this tragic time. Once again, I saw how cinema becomes a tool for attempting to make sense of a reality that is falling apart.”

Fellow committee member and filmmaker Audrius Stonys commented: “The stories of Ukrainian filmmakers are the most real and authentic historical documents. It is amazing how many important, emotional and dramatic stories are waiting to be told. We have discovered so many outstanding talented documentary filmmakers!”

Finally, producer Anna Gawlit added: “I am not naïve enough to believe that films can change the world, but I do believe that they can help one get through difficult times in life. It is my deepest hope that the films we have selected will not only gain by being supported, but that by being made, they can become a source of support for viewers.”

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