The screenings have taken place, the discussions are over, and the awards are finally in. This year’s VPRO Tiger Awards jury, chaired by Toronto International Film Festival director Piers Handling, took an unusual decision to award the VPRO Tiger Awards to four films, rather than the usual three.
VPRO Tiger Awards
On Friday night in de Doelen, Tan Chui Mui’s Love Conquers All, Pia Marais’ The unpolished, Claudio Assis’ Bog of Beasts and Morten Hartz Kapler’s AFR, were honoured by the 36th IFFR. To reach their decision, the jury saw 15 Tiger films by first or second-time directors. An impressive eight of these were world premieres, four were international premieres, three European premieres, and two had received HBF support.
Love Conquers All, a disturbing romance from Malaysia, is one of the two HBF-supported films. “Classical in style and structure, it is a film which speaks to the heart,” said the five-person jury in a joint statement. The jurors commended Marais’ The Unpolished “for its nuanced portrayal of a young girl trying to find meaning in a society that has lost all sense of direction. Bog Of Beasts was praised for its “crudeness, energy and visual strength”, while AFR impressed because it was a “well-crafted polemical film which utilizes a conceptual approach that comments on the blurring of reality and fiction”.
Each VPRO Tiger Award comes with a prize of €10,000 and guaranteed broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO. Bog Of Beasts and AFR will split the €10,000 award between them.
NETPAC, FIPRESCI, KNF Awards
Other awards announced Friday night included the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award, the FIPRESCI award and the KNF (Association of Dutch Film Critics) awards.
NETPAC chose Hirosue Hiroyama’s tense psychological drama Fourteen, citing its “insight into psychology and generational barriers, and its bold analysis of a complex culture”.
FIPRESCI selected Rafa Cortes’s Yo, quoting its intense depiction of one man’s struggle to acquire an identity.
The KNF (the jury of Dutch film critics) chose US filmmaker Nina Davenport’s Operation Filmmaker, a documentary film which follows an aspiring film director in Baghdad. “The director is constantly challenging herself and the viewer to reconsider Western opinions on cultural differences,” states the KNF jury. The award enables the winning film to be subtitled in Dutch to help it achieve distribution in the Netherlands.