The International Film Festival Rotterdam announced its spring 2017 selections for its Hubert Bals Fund.

The latest selections come after the fund renewed its policies and guidelines last January, splitting up the Script and Development Scheme into two categories – Bright Future for first- and second-time filmmakers and Voices for more experienced filmmakers. In addition to providing funding for filmmakers from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s DAC-listed countries, the HBF added countries that ranked low on the World Free Press Index – Russia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar – as eligible for the HBF.

Asian recipients in the Script and Development Scheme’s Bright Future category include India’s Arun Karthick (The Strange Case of Shiva) for Nasir, Thailand’s Sivaroj Kongsakul (whose Eternity ที่รัก won IFFR’s Tiger Award in 2011) for Regretfully at Dawn, and China’s Yang Zhengfan (whose previous film Where Are You Going 你往何處去 had its world premiere at IFFR) for The Stranger.

Nepal’s Deepak Rauniyar (Highway हाइवे, White Sun सेतो सुर्य) landed in the Voices category for his new project Raja.

Each of the recipient will receive €10,000 (US$11,200) to develop their script. According to the HBF, approximately 80% of HBF funded projects have been made or are in production. Recent HBF projects include Davy Chou’s Diamond Island (កោះពេជ្រ), By the Time It Gets Dark (ดาวคะนอง) and Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendour (รักที่ขอนแก่น).