Bals Fund awards 30 projects

Nine recipients from Middle East, six from Brazil

ROTTERDAM — The Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund has chosen 30 projects in its first round of awards for promising films by non-Western filmmakers.

The fund will dispense $1 million in modest grants for script and project development, post production and distribution in two rounds, the second slated for November.

Among the selections are Chinese director Andrew Cheng’s “Flying Along the Horizon” and Chinese director Wang Bing’s “Trusting the Future,” his second film after his nine-hour documentary Tei Xi Qu: West of The Tracks.”

Projects selected for post production included Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili’s “The First Letter” (Ajad) and Angolan director Maria Joao Gonot’s “Na Cidade Vazia,” (Deserted City). Despite the prominence of Iranian film internationally, none of Jalili’s films have been shown in his home country.

Nine fund recipients were from the Middle East, another six from Brazil.

Four films unspooling in Cannes were supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. They include Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Uzak,” which has been selected for competition, “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” by Yu Lik-wai, selected for Un Certain Regard, and ” Sunday, the Gospel According to Lift-Man Albertas,” by Arunas Matelis, which is in Directors Fortnight.

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