IDFA Bertha Fund to finance record number of projects with new IBF Classic selection

    The IDFA Bertha Fund is pleased to announce a new IBF Classic selection with 20 documentary projects receiving a total of €203,650 in development and (post-)production support. Both established and up-and-coming filmmakers make up the new selection, which is marked by a majority of female directors and several promising entries from lower-volume production countries.

    Operating since 1998, the IBF Classic is the flagship grant program of the IDFA Bertha Fund, providing development and (post-)production support to filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

    Mohamed Siam, Farahnaz Sharifi among selected filmmakers

    Highlights in the new selection include Malek Bensmaïl’s The Earthquake, a poetic exploration into the untold history of Algerian farmland, and Tatiana Huezo’s The Echo, an atmospheric coming-of-age story set in rural Mexico. Respectively in the writing and final development stages, both projects will receive development support from the Fund.

    Among the titles selected for production and post-production support are Mohamed Siam’s Ethel, a character-driven feature on intersectional identity, and Letters from Ms. Iran, Farahnaz Sharifi and Leyla Rouhi’s entry that combines archival and original footage to portray the long-distance friendship of two Iranian women.

    Promising entries from Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru, South Sudan

    The new IBF Classic selection also features 16 projects by up-and-coming filmmakers, with several titles from lower-volume production countries. Highlights include: Baby Jackfruit Baby Guava by Vietnamese director Quang Nong, a personal account of one family’s story with mental illness; Nyandeng by Akuol De Mabior, a reflexive South Sudanese and Kenyan co-production on being vice president in the world’s youngest country; Mist by José Balado Diaz, a three-part essay-style film on Peru’s fishing cycle; and The Tongue of Water by Cambodian director Polen Ly, an observational look at the forced removal of an Indigenous community from their land.

    Record number of applications & selected titles

    The Fund received a record number of 540 film submissions for this IBF Classic selection round, adding up to nearly double the usual amount of submissions. Of the total entries, 438 were eligible to receive funding. A review committee then made a preliminary selection of 64 projects, of which 20 made it into the selection committee’s final decision.

    IBF Classic - Development support

    The complete selection for IBF Classic - Development support is as follows:

    Last Call, dir. Erige Sehiri (Tunisia, France)
    Baby Jackfruit Baby Guava, dir. Quang Nong (Vietnam)
    The Earthquake, dir. Malek Bensmaïl (Algeria)
    The Echo, dir. Tatiana Huezo (Mexico)
    Just Another Year, dir. Ruslan Fedotow (Russia, Belarus)
    Loss Adjustment, dir. Miguel Calderón (Mexico)
    Nocturnes, dir. Anupama Srinivasan & Anirban Dutta (India, Bulgaria)
    PIK-NIK, dir. Arko Datto (India, Hungary)
    Shut the Fuck Up!, dir. Taissia Kutuzova (Ukraine, France)
    Under her Skin, dir. Simon Hernandez Estrada (Colombia)

    IBF Classic - Production & Post-production support

    The complete selection for IBF Classic - Production & Post-production support is as follows:

    Against the Tide, dir. Sarvnik Kaur (India)
    The Case, dir. Nina Guseva (Russia)
    Concrete Land, dir. Ashaman Bkerat (Jordan, Canada, United Arab Emirates)
    Ethel, dir. Mohamed Siam (Egypt, Algeria, France, Denmark)
    Letters from Ms. Iran, dir. Farahnaz Sharifi & Leyla Rouhi (Iran)
    Milisuthando, dir. Milisuthando Bongela (South Africa, Colombia)
    Mist, dir. José Balado Diaz (Peru)
    Sunny, dir. Keti Machavariani (Georgia)
    Nyandeng, dir. Akuol De Mabior (South Sudan, Kenya)
    The Tongue of Water, dir. Polen Ly (Cambodia)

    Film still: PIK-NIK, dir. Arko Datto

    The IDFA Bertha Fund is supported by Bertha Foundation, Creative Europe Media and Special Friends+.


    Apply for IDFA Bertha Fund Classic support by December 10

    • Industry
    • October 29, 2020
    • The staff

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