Rungano Nyoni’s ‘I Am Not a Witch’ + John Trengove’s ‘The Wound’ Are Hubert Bals Fund Grant Picks

Rungano Nyoni’s 'I Am Not a Witch' + John Trengove's 'The Wound' Are Hubert Bals Fund Grant Picks

The International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has almost always selected a Diaspora project for its many yearly rounds, for as long as I’ve been following the initiative on this site. Most recently, last December, Donald Mugisha (Uganda) and Vincent Moloi (South Africa) were selected to receive grant money from the fund. And previously, Kenneth Gyang’ (Nigeria) award-winning Confusion Na Wa, was was also an HBF recipient, as was Rwandan filmmaker Kivu Ruhorahoza’s Jomo, and others.

So I’m always anxious to see what new feature film I’ll first learn about, whenever the HBF (an initiative of the International Film Festival Rotterdam that provides production grants) makes its twice-a-year project selections.

Announced this week are the 11 projects selected from 270 entries, for its spring round, which hail from eleven different countries – each project now set to receive contributions towards script and project development, totaling €110,000 (about $150,000).

Of most interest to this blog (given its stated mission) are Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch. Long-time readers of this blog will hopefully recognize her name, given that it’s been mentioned more than a few times. The British/Zambian filmmaker (photo above) whose 2009 short film, the enchanting, whimsical Mwansa The Great, is a Focus Features Africa First alum. She’s also been the recipient of a handful of other grants over the last few years, as she works to realize other projects – specifically features. 

I Am Not a Witch is foreign to me, so I’ll certainly be researching it to add some further commentary on what we can expect. A profile of the project will be published soon thereafter.

And secondly, there’s The Wound from South African filmmaker John Trengove, which is also a new discovery for me. Expect a separate profile of that film as well.

In the meantime, check out the rest of the projects selected to receive HBF grant money this spring:

  • Another Trip to the Moon (Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia)
  • The Calm (Song Fang, China)
  • La Omisión (Sebastián Schjaer, Argentina)
  • Something Useful (Pelin Esmer, Turkey)
  • The Boyfriend (Ashim Ahluwalia, India)
  • The Winds Know That I’m Coming Back Home (José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)
  • The Wound (John Trengove, South Africa)
  • Tiempo compartido (Sebastián Hofmann, Mexico)
  • The Unwelcomed Whirling Wind in Our Stomach
  • Dégradé (Abu Nasser & Tarzan Abu Nasser, Palestine)

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