IFFR Audience Awards 2015 announced

44th International Film Festival Rotterdam
21st January – 1st February, 2015



Rotterdam, January 30th, 2015:
The awards, as voted for by the public audience attending the Festival, were announced this evening at the IFFR 2015 Closing Night Ceremony, hosted by Festival Director, Rutger Wolfson and Managing Director, Janneke Staarink. James Napier Robertson was awarded the IFFR Audience Award 2015 of €10,000 for his film THE DARK HORSE. The award is Napier’s second of the Festival following the Moviezone Award which was presented on Friday, January 30th at the IFFR Awards Ceremony. The Hubert Bals Fund Dioraphte Award, also of €10,000, presented to the most popular film which received support from the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) went to Oscar Ruiz Navia for LOS HONGOS, an autobiographical drama centering on the youth culture of Cali, Colombia.

On the announcement of the IFFR Audience Award 2015 Wolfson commented “The audiences who come from all over The Netherlands and around the world to participate in the Festival and explore our diverse, thought provoking programme are integral to IFFR. It would not be the special Festival it is without them so we would like to thank all who joined us in celebrating cinema this year and of course congratulations to James who created a wonderful, personal film.”

On the announcement of the Dioraphte Award, Manager of the Hubert Bals Fund, Iwana Chronis commented “I am thrilled with the reception the HBF supported films received throughout the twelve days of the Festival. Oscar Ruiz Navia is a talented filmmaker with a long and successful career ahead of him, this recognition is fully deserved, we are so pleased to have been a part of helping getting this film to the big screen.”

A highly acclaimed drama, THE DARK HORSE tells the true and moving story of Genesis Potini, who fought for the future of disadvantaged children in New Zealand until his death in 2011. In spite of his own bipolar disorder, he taught them to play chess and fight for opportunities. THE DARK HORSE is both amusing and raw, and above all intensely moving. Born in New Zealand, director James Napier Robertson made a name for himself in the world of television before switching to cinema. He appeared as an actor in the series The Tribe and Shortland Street. He directed his first feature film I’M NOT HARRY JENSON in 2009.

Directed by Oscar Ruiz Navia, LOS HONGOS is an autobiographically inspired drama based around two skater friends who are at the heart of the colorful, noisy street and youth culture of Cali, Colombia. With a warm heart, Ruiz tells the story of Ras and Calvin, who are looking for their own voice, a stage and of course freedom, love and fun. Born in Colombia, Oscar Ruiz Navia’s debut film CRAB TRAP won a Fipresci Award at the Berlinale in 2010. Prior to that he was focused on the development and production of independent cinema in Colombia and founded the production company Contravia Films having previously studied Social Communications and Journalism.

About the Hubert Bals Fund: HBF is an initiative of International Film Festival Rotterdam. The Fund has been designed to offer financial support to remarkable and unique feature films by talented filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. Since its creation 26 years ago, over 1,000 projects from over 100 countries have received support from the HBF. As of 2015, the HBF provides support in the following funding categories:

HBF Script and Project Development (max. €10,000)
HBF Postproduction (max. € 20,000)
NFF+HBF - A minority co-production programme for Dutch producers- in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund (€ 50,000)
HBF+Europe – Minority co-production support (€ 55,000)
HBF+Europe - Distribution support for international co-productions (€ 20,000)

The HBF is funded by the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme of the European Union, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hivos, the Dioraphte Foundation, the Tiger Friends Foundation and the Lions Club Rotterdam: L’Esprit du Temps. Information about the Fund and the application procedures can be found via

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. The festival's Tiger Awards Competitions, Bright Future, Spectrum and Limelight sections contain new work by auteurs from all over the world including many World Premieres. In the Signals section, IFFR presents retrospectives and themed programmes. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, its Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab.

For Further Information:
Press Office
Nancy Van Oorschot/Isabelle de Klein
E: press@filmfestivalrotterdam.com
Tel: +31 (0)10 890 90 90
About International Film Festival Rotterdam

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) – one of the largest cultural events in the Netherlands, and one of the biggest audience-oriented film festivals in the world – offers a high quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talkshows. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, through the BoostNL and Propellor initiatives, its Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR takes place from Wednesday 23 January to Sunday 3 February 2019. More information can be found at IFFR.com.