Rotterdam fund dishes pic coin

Pix from China, Balkans, Albania granted monies

ROTTERDAM — The Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam Hubert Bals Fund has awarded E525,000 ($642,000) to 39 films, the largest selection of projects in its history.

It is the first of two annual grant rounds, which run to more than $1 million a year and are a major force in backing non-Western films with coin for script and project development, post-production and distribution.

Asia came out with the largest grant support for script and development, including three films from China, Zhang Ming’s “Dark Legend,” Gan Xiaoer’s “Raised From the Dust” and Ju An-Qi’s “Trip.”

Four projects chosen for script and development were from the Balkans, three from Bosnia Herzegovina and one from Albania.

The Arabic Middle East, including Palestinian lenser Rashid Masharawi’s “My Brother Is Arafat,” as well as Argentina, a favorite territory of the IFFR, accounted for three projects each in script and development.

Half of the eight post grants went to Latin America, while nine distrib grants were awarded to projects that stretched across the globe from Sri Lanka to Russia to Iran and Peru.

Grants also went to support media and festival workshops in Morocco, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Bosnia Herzegovina and the Philippines.

The IFFR runs Jan. 26-Feb. 6.