Hubert Bals fund rolls coin to 24 projects

More than $444,000 handed to filmmakers from developing countries

LONDON — The Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund, aimed at fostering filmmaking in developing countries, has awarded Euros 353,000 ($444,462) to 24 projects in its fall 2006 selection round.

The grants are awarded over four categories: script and project development, post-production and distribution, and the recently announced digital production section (Variety, Oct. 16, 2006).

The selection includes Thai Anocha Suwichakornpong’s “The Sparrow,” Palestinian Ismail el Habbash’s “Dancing at the Checkpoint” and Argentine Milagros Mumenthaler’s “Absences,” all of which are in development.

Pics in post-production include Armenian Hovahannes Galstyan’s “Bonded Parallels,” about a female teacher in contemporary Armenia, and Malaysian Woo Ming Jin’s post-Tsunami tale “The History of Pink Elephants.”

More established directors to have picked up grants include South African Ntshaveni Wa Luruli, whose Cape Town township-set “Wooden Camera” previously screened in competish in Rotterdam, and Iranian Mohammad Shirvani, who attended the 2006 edition of the fest with “President Mir Qanbar.”

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