TV Times

Rotterdam ready to recreate cinema
By Susitha R. Fernando
All arrangements have been made for one of the world's leading international film festivals, Rotterdam Film Festival, a special showcase for classical films and directions from non-western countries to be held in Europe.

The 35th International Film Festival Rotterdam, organized by Stichting Film Festival Rotterdam, will be held from January 25 to February 5 in 2006.
On previous occasions IFFR was a special arena for a number of Sri Lankan filmmakers to make their appearances in the international scene. Participating in the festival a few Sri Lankan filmmakers have made their name in the world of cinema.

Prince Claus Film Grant Award for the best Cine Mart project at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2004 was awarded to Vimukthi Jayasundara's script for Sulanga Enu Pinisa (Forsaken Land) enabling him to garner the prestigious Camera d' Or (Golden Camera) award at the Cannes international film festival. In 2004 another young filmmaker Satyajith Maitipe's 'Boradiya Pokuna' (Scent of the Lotus pond) competed and reached the final rounds at the Rotterdam film festival.

Begun in 1972 the festival-the largest of its kind-pays special attention to non-western films and now has become one of the biggest film festivals with nearly 800 films and the participation 2500 foreign guests including filmmakers, producers, film writers etc from around the world. The festival was started under the inspiring leadership of Hubert Bals, who had earned a reputation as organizer of film festivals.

Speaking about the IFFR, director Sandra Den Hamer says one of the key challenges ahead was to ensure that the festival retains its intimate atmosphere that balances and we have to look very carefully at the future.
"I don't want to ghetto for films from developing countries. I don't like a section that is defined by geography or money," said Ms. Hamer voicing her views about the selection of films.

Funds for filmmakers
The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable or urgent feature films and feature length creative documentaries by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to fulfillment.

The HBF provides grants that often pivot a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects. Although the Fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors remain its content and artistic value. Started in 1988 the fund has supported well over 530 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The Hubert Bals Fund is supported by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, Dutch non-governmental development organisations Hivos and NCDO, DOEN Foundation and Dutch public network NPS.

Annually, the Hubert Bals Fund has close to 1,2 million Euro at its disposal and is able to make individual grants of up to Euro 10,000 for script and project development, Euro 30,000 for post-production or Euro 15,000 towards distribution costs in the country of origin. Selection rounds take place twice a year with application deadlines on March 1 and August 1. The Fund also supports special projects such as training initiatives for filmmakers in developing countries.

Films supported by IFFR and ready for release are Forsaken Land - Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka
Film Resource Unit, South Africa (for distribution of Wooden Camera, Drum and Zulu Love letter), Shi Jie (The World) - Jia Zhangke, China (for the distribution tour through universities)
Invitation for IFFR-2006

The IFFR founded in 1972 as Film International by Hubert Bals has grown to be one of the biggest film events worldwide while retaining its focus on the latest developments in independent, creative and experimental cinema from around the globe as well as on film related art and safeguarding its informal ambience.

Once a year, the IFFR attracts a large audience (2005: 358,000 admissions) and numerous international film professionals to its Rotterdam venues. Together with the Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart, IFFR is able to actively support independent film making in its various stages of realisation. The Hubert Bals Fund provides grants for script development or post production to film-makers from southern or developing countries. The CineMart provides producers of a select number of film projects with the opportunity to find co-producers and additional financing.

Eligible for the Tiger Cub Competition are directors (in an early stage of their career) with a short film of less than 30 minutes. The film should have its world, international or European premiere in Rotterdam. During the festival an international jury selects three winners who will each receive Euro 3.000 in cash.

Film formats and video systems that can be presented during the Festival are: 35mm, 16mm, Betacam SP (PAL), Digital Betacam (PAL), DVcam (PAL or NTSC); presentation of other formats and video systems requires the authorization of the Festival. The requested materials should be submitted as soon as possible upon acceptance of the invitation, but not later than December 1, 2005.

Participation in the Festival is open to feature films, creative documentaries, experimental films, short films and innovative visual productions for digital media completed after January 1, 2005. There is no entry fee. Detailed information about the festival's main strands of interest and programme sections can be found on the festival's

Rotterdam Winners in 2005
This year's Juries award films from the IFFR 2005 programme the VPRO Tiger Awards went to Italy, Spain and Russia, while TV5 Tiger Cub Awards went to The Netherlands and Germany.

During the IFFR 2005 Awards Ceremony on Friday, February 4, 2005 in Concert and Congress Centre 'de Doelen' in Rotterdam, the winning films of the 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam were announced. The three VPRO Tiger Awards were granted to Nemmeno il Destino (Changing Destiny) by Daniele Gaglianone from Italy, El Cielo Gira(The Sky Turns) by Mercedes Alvarez from Spain and the Hubert Bals Fund supported 4 by Ilya Khrzhanovsky from Russia.
The first TV5 Tiger Cub Awards for short films were presented to 'VEERE' by David Lammers and 'INTERLUDE' by Joost van Veen from The Netherlands and to NUUK by Thomas Köner from Germany.


Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.