During the CineMart 2009 Closing Night Party tonight in Rotterdam, the Arte France Cinema Award for Best CineMart 2009 Project went to "HIM," by American Lance Weiler. "HIM" is a cross-media project - a collision of film, gaming, and interactive technology, placing the viewer literally in the shoes of the protagonist.
The Arte France Cinema Award is worth 10,000 Euro, given to the producer(s) towards financing the development of the awarded project. With this Award, Arte France Cinema and CineMart "aim to further support and promote the development and production of independent filmmaking."
Additionally, the ninth Prince Claus Fund Film Grant (worth 15,000 Euro) was awarded to CineMart 2009 Project "Birdie" (Shuvuukhai) by Mongolia's Byamba Sakhya.
"Birdie" is about a boy from a poor Mongolian family who struggles with the enduring harsh reality of a society in transition. The film works as a poetic narrative that moves between the boy's reality and his vivid imagination.
The Jury of the 2009 Prince Claus Fund Film Grant consisted of: jury chair Karim Traidia (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 Rene Mioch (Netherlands), film critic and producer. The Grant "aims at supporting the first creative phase of the development of a film production."