VPRO Tiger Awards go to Iran, South Korea and Turkey

8th International Film Festival Rotterdam
January 21 - February 1, 2009

PRESS RELEASE Friday 30 January 2009

· Juries award films from the IFFR 2009 programme
· VPRO Tiger Awards go to Iran, South Korea and Turkey


During the IFFR 2009 Awards Ceremony on Friday, January 30, 2009 in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, the winning films of the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam were announced. The three VPRO Tiger Awards were granted to the Hubert Bals Fund supported film Be Calm and Count to Seven (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar) by Ramtin Lavafipour (Iran), to Breathless (Ddongpari) by Yang Ik-June (South Korea), and to Wrong Rosary (Uzak ihtimal) by Mahmut Fazil Coskun (Turkey). On Saturday January 31st, 2009 the KPN Audience Award and the Dioraphte Award for Best Hubert Bals Fund Supported Film 2009 will be announced.

VPRO Tiger Awards
Fourteen films by first or second filmmakers competed in the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition 2009. The Jury consists visual artist Marlene Dumas (South Africa/The Netherlands), Turkish writer, filmmaker and Jury Chair Yesim Ustaoglu (her Journey To The Sun (1999) and recent Pandora’s Box, both supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, screen in the festival), Mr Park Ki-Yong, Director of the Korean Academy of Arts and Co-Director of the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, Hungarian writer, director and actor Kornél Mundruczó (his Delta screens in the festival) and Kent Jones, Associate Director of Programming Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York.

The jury statements on the VPRO Tiger Award winning films:

Be Calm and Count to Seven (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar) by Ramtin Lavafipour (Iran, 2008)
‘We were extremely impressed by the artistry and vigor of the first film – the level of craft and cinematic intelligence on the one hand, the dedication to rendering the reality of a particular way of life on the other. For us, this film did what all films strive to do: it represented and dramatized a way of life in terms that were at once specific and universal, not to mention unfailingly vivid.’

Be Calm and Count to Seven is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

Breathless (Ddongpari) by Yang Ik-June (South Korea, 2008)
‘A powerfully rendered and acted film with a keen sense of reality in its portrayal of a situation that has been seldom seen in cinema. We were also surprised to see an extremely troubling subject matter treated with a welcome sense of warmth and humor.’

Wrong Rosary (Uzak ihtimal) by Mahmut Fazil Coskun (Turkey, 2008)
‘A uniquely creative film of the most eloquent simplicity, a film built from a feeling of immediacy, moment by moment, breath by breath; a film that builds an absolutely unique form of suspense; a film that stays true to itself from beginning to end.’

Each VPRO Tiger Award comes with a prize of Euro 15,000 and guaranteed broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO.


NETPAC Award
The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury, consisting of Film producer Shan Donbing (China), film journalist Okubo Ken’ichi (Japan), and filmmaker Sun Koh (Singapore), presented the NETPAC Award to:

The Land (Dadi) by He Jia (China, 2008)
"The jury awards The Land for achieving in cinema what is impossible through any other art form by showing its subjects and the viewers how humanity remains unchanged with the passage of time."

A Special Mention was awarded to:

Agrarian Utopia by Uruphong Raksasad (Thailand, 2009)
"The jury would like to commend the maker of Agrarian Utopia for his bravery, his folly and his determination in showing us his little piece of heaven."

Agrarian Utopia is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

FIPRESCI Award
The jury of the international association of film critics FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), consisted of Leo Soesanto (France, ‘Les Inrockuptibles’, Jury Chair), Dana Linssen (Netherlands, ‘Filmkrant’), Maya McKechneay (Austria, ‘Blickpunkt:Film’), Firat Yücel (Turkey, ‘Altyazi’), Ashok Rane (India, ‘Sakal’).

The FIPRESCI decided to award the International Critics’ Prize to Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (Babi buta yang ingin terbang) by Edwin (Indonesia, 2008), selected for the the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition of the 2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

The Jury statement:
"A brave film, fragmented in a way that each bit is very sharp as an edgy, personal and political statement. As critics, we were most challenged on many levels by this work which kept coming back again and again in our discussions as the song "I Just Called to Say I love You" did infectiously in the film".

Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (Babi buta yang ingin terbang), supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, was selected for CineMart 2008.


KNF Award
The jury of the KNF, the Association of Dutch film critics, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam consisting of jury president Ronald Rovers (‘Filmkrant’, The Netherlands), Jann Ruyters (‘Trouw’, The Netherlands), Leo Bankersen (‘Filmkrant’, The Netherlands), Berend-Jan Bockting (‘VPRO Gids’, The Netherlands), and Sven Gerrets (‘Oor’, The Netherlands).

The KNF Jury has chosen its winner among films in Rotterdam 2009 official selection that have not yet been acquired for Dutch distribution. To the KNF Award, a grant is attached for subtitling the film, sponsored by Holland Subtitling. The Award of the KNF is meant to promote the acquisition for distribution within The Netherlands.

The winner of the KNF Award is Tony Manero by Pablo Larraín (Chile/Brazil, 2008). The Jury stated:
The young director of this film dared to take one of cinema's most beloved icons to tell a grim and subversive story about the nature of dictatorship. He delivers his message with a beautiful deadpan expression in the form of a middle aged psychopath on his quest to become the leading John Travolta impersonator on a nineteen seventies tv-show, thereby providing a mirror for ruthless authoritarianism.
Tony Manero is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.


Earlier in the festival, the following awards were announced:

Tiger Awards Competition for short film
The three Tiger Awards for Short Film were granted to A Necessary Music by Beatrice Gibson (UK), Despair (Otchajanie) by Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorov (Russia) and Bernadette by Duncan Campbell (UK).

The jury for Tiger Awards for Short Film comprised Malaysian writer and director Tan Chui Mui (her seven recent short films screen in the festival), Maria Pallier, buyer and programme maker for the Spanish broadcasting company TVE, and the British journalist, curator and artist George Clark.


MovieSquad Award
The Rotterdam young people’s jury, consisting of Ms. Charlotte Eskens (16), Ms. Katinka Nauta (17), Mr. Alain Tjiong (17), Mr. David Hofland (15) and Ms. Thecla Baas (18) chose the winner out of twenty films in official Rotterdam 2009 selection. The award comprises Dutch distribution within the MovieZone educational film programme for young people and 2,000 Euro to be spent on its promotion among young people in The Netherlands.

The jury presented the MovieSquad Award to Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan (United Kingdom, 2008).

MovieSquad is an initiative of the Nederlands Instituut voor Filmeducatie (Dutch Institute for Film Education) in collaboration with the International Film Festival Rotterdam.


Arte France Cinéma Awards
The Arte France Cinema Award (10,000 Euro) for the best CineMart 2009 Projects was given given to Him by Lance Weiler, a production of Seize The Media (USA).

The Arte France Cinema Awards Jury 2008 consisted of Michel Reilhac (France, General Manager Arte France Cinéma).

The Arte France Cinéma Awards are in cash, given to the producers towards financing the development of the awarded projects. By introducing the Award, Arte France Cinéma and CineMart aim to further support and promote the development and production of independent filmmaking.


Prince Claus Fund Film Grant
The ninth Prince Claus Fund Film Grant of 15,000 Euro has been awarded to the CineMart 2009 Project Birdie (Shuvuukhai) by Byamba Sakhya (Mongolia). The Grant was announced during the CineMart Closing Night Party on January 28, 2009.

The Jury of the 2009 Prince Claus Fund Film Grant consisted of: jury chair Karim Traïdia (Algeria / Netherlands), filmmaker and a member of the Prince Claus Fund Board and jury members Harutyun Khachatryan (Armenia), filmmaker and Prince Claus Laureate 2007; Alicia Scherson (Chile), filmmaker; Monique Hendrickx (Netherlands), actress; and René Mioch (Netherlands), film critic and producer.

The Prince Claus Fund Film Grant is annually awarded in cooperation with CineMart to support the very first creative phase of the development of a film production. Every year, the Film Grant is presented to a CineMart project by a filmmaker from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Caribbean, and selected for its excellent concept and innovative quality by an international expert jury.
Over International Film Festival Rotterdam

With nearly 330,000 admissions and over 2,400 film professionals attending, IFFR is one of the largest audience and industry-driven film festivals in the world, offering a high quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talks.IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, the Reality Check conference, the BoostNL initiative, the Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR's 49th edition takes place from Wednesday 22 January to Sunday 2 February 2020. More information can be found at IFFR.com.

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