This year's three VPRO Tiger Awards winners, selected from the fifteen first or second films in the competition, were announced last night at the awards ceremony in the Oude Luxor Theater. The winning films show a broad geographical spread, with two of the three having received support from IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund.
The jury, made up of French actress and singer Jeanne Balibar (star of Ne change rien), Polish-Dutch filmmaker Úrszula Antoniak (Nothing Personal), former director of the Singapore Film Festival Philip Cheah, Mexican filmmaker (and jury chair) Amat Escalante (Sangre, Los bastardos and attending CineMart with his project Heli) and Ugandan actor and activist Okello Kelo Sam, awarded the three prizes, worth €15,000 each, to: Agua fría de mar (Cold Water of the Sea) by Paz Fábrega, Mundane History (Jao nok krajok) by Anocha Suwichakornpong and Alamar (To the Sea) by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio. Last Wednesday, Anocha Suwichakornpong was also awarded the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant (also worth €15,000) for her CineMart project By the Time It Gets Dark.
The jury commended Agua fría de mar (Costa Rica, France, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, 2010), for "superb editing [that] builds organic flow of images while the strong directing creates an unnerving atmosphere and tension." It said Mundane History (Thailand, 2009)
"offers philosophical and political dimension of Thai society, while presenting a seemingly mundane story." Alamar (Mexico, 2009) was praised for a simplicity "that cuts straight to a heart while avoiding sentimentality. The bondage between humans and Nature is beautifully rendered."
Other awards presented included the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award, which went to Moscow (Yang han-mari, yang doo-mari) by South Korean Whang Cheol-Mean and the FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Award, granted to Let Each One Go Where He May by Ben Russell (USA, Suriname). The Association of Dutch film critics (KNF) presented its KNF Award to Norteado (Northless) by Rigoberto Perezcano of Mexico.