Locarno Festival: Top prizes for Hubert Bals Fund films and symposium
about films from developing countries
Two films to which the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has contributed
won first and second prize at the 56th Locarno Film Festival. The
Leopard went to the Pakistani film Khamosh Pani (Silent Water).
The makers of Gori Vatra (Fuse) from Bosnia-Herzegovina won the
The HBF is part of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR)
and supports films from independent filmmakers in southern and
developing countries. Earlier this year the Turkish film Uzak won
the prize for best actor as well as the Large Jury prize at the
Cannes film festival. Osama from Afghanistan, also supported by
the HBF, received a special Golden Camera award.
During the festival in Locarno a symposium was held about financing
films from developing countries. There is less money in the market
for these types of films. Gerwin Tamsma, programmer of the Rotterdam
International Film Festival and member of the HBF committee, attended
the symposium. According to him German, Spanish and French commercial
television companies are investing less money in special projects
these days. So the money must be sought elsewhere.
There are a few other institutions like the HBF in Europe. Switzerland
has the MonteCinemaVerita Foundation, Sweden has the Göteburg
Film Festival Film Fund and France has the Sud Cinéma fund.
These funds only finance part of a film. For example, the HBF generally
provides money for the development stage and the post production
phase. ‘But’, says Tamsma, ‘a great deal of money
is also required for the middle stage, the production.’ Sometimes
the funds collaborate on a production. They all four contributed
to the prize winner Khamosh Pani. ‘But even then the funds
are not sufficient to cover the entire project, which is why we
discussed how it would be possible to involve distributors and
sales agents financially in productions that are supported by the
funds at an earlier stage’, explained Tamsma.
The 60th Venice film festival, which is being held from 27 August
through 7 September, selected three films supported by the HBF:
Abjad from Iran, Last Life in the Universe from Thailand and Ana
y los otros from Argentina.