The Sea Is Calm Tonight

Hubert Bals Script & Project Development Winter 2023: Funding News

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International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund selected 10 projects for its 2023 Script and Project Development Support scheme.

The ten projects, which will receive a grant of €10,000 to support their development, were selected from more than 760 applications. The fund aims to support new and diverse voices from across the globe, mainly backing filmmakers making their debut or second fiction feature projects.

Two African projects were selected for support. Ghanaian filmmaker Nuotama Frances Bodomo is developing her short film Afronauts, about the true but forgotten events of the Zambian space programme, into a feature with the same name. Senegalese-French filmmaker Katy Léna Ndiaye’s feature debut Lënd is a story that touches on the climate crisis, centring on rising waters threatening a fishing neighbourhood as a family battles to preserve their way of life.

“In these complex times, when uncertainty seems to reign, the significance of impactful storytelling becomes even more pronounced,” said the HBF’s incoming head Tamara Tatishvili. “In the midst of a fiercely competitive round and guided by the diligent efforts of the HBF selection committees, I am delighted to extend a hand of companionship to the creative teams that’s about more than just financial backing.” 

Hubert Bals Fund Script & Project Development Support 2023:

Afronauts (Zambia-US)
Dir: Nuotama Frances Bodomo
Birdwoman (India)
Dir: Lipika Singh Darai
Corte Culebra (Panama)
Dir: Ana Elena Tejera
Daughters Of The Sea (Philippines-Spain-Brazil)
Dir: Martika Ramirez Escobar
A Distant House Smokes On The Horizon (China-US)
Dir: Shengze Zhu
Fantasma Neon (Brazil)
Dir: Leonardo Martinelli
I Recognized Him By His Hands (Turkey)
Dir: Omer Capoglu
Lënd (Senegal-Belgium-France)
Dir: Katy Léna Ndiaye
Moonblind (Egypt)
Dir: Nada Riyadh

The Sea Is Calm Tonight (Singapore-Vietnam)
Dir: Le Bao
[Conceptual artwork pictured above]