By Brian Brooks | Indiewire February 2, 2007 at 8:28AM
Four titles received accolades at the 2007 International Film Festival Rotterdam Friday evening in The Netherlands. Traditionally, three films take the festival's VPRO Tiger Awards, however four were named in this year's 36th edition, including Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui's "Love Conquers All," "The Unpolished" (Die Unerzogenen) by Pia Marais (Germany), while both Claudio Assis' "Bog of Beasts" (Baixio Das Bestas, Brazil) and Morten Hartz Kaplers' "AFR" (Denmark) tied for the third Tiger. The festival will conclude on Sunday in Rotterdam.
Fifteen films by first or second time filmmakers competed for the VPRO Tiger Awards. Each winner received a 10,000 Euro cash prize ("Beasts" and "AFR" split the cash prize) as well as a guaranteed broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO. In "Love Conquers All," a young woman falls into the hands of a big-city lover who turns out to be a pimp in Kuala Lampur, while "Unpolished" centers on a 15 year-old girl with two "stray hippies" as her parents. Her family decides to move to the countryside, which she hopes will 'stabilize' her family, but to no avail. "Bog of Beasts," meanwhile, centers on a Brazilian girl growing up in an environment full of violence and sexual abuse that is a microcosm of the country's current difficulties. In "AFR," the director "reconstructs" a political murder about an alleged attack on the prime minister by a young anarchist. In the film, Kaplers composes an investigative doc in which fictional evidence by close friends of both the victim and the accused create credibility--at the expense of other possibilities.
In other prizes, "Fourteen" (Ju-Yon-Sai) by Hirosue Hiromasa (Japan) received the NETPAC Award (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), while "Dancing Bells" by Deepak Kumaran Menon (Malaysia) and Xiaolu Guo's "How Is Your Fish Today?" (China/UK) received special mentions. This year's FIPRESCI Award went to Rafa Cortes' "Me" (Yo), and the Association of Dutch Film Critics awarded its KNF Award to Nina Davenport's "Operation Filmmaker" (USA).
The three Tiger Awards for short film were given to Vipin Vijay's "Video Game" (India), "Hinterland" by Geoffrey Boulange (France) and "Bayrak" (The Flag) by Koken Ergun (Turkey).
The festival's audience award has yet to be announced, but as of late-Friday, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others" (Das Leben der Anderen) is leading the pack, currently topping Linda Hattendorf's "The Cats of Mirikitani" and Barbara Kopple & Cecilia Peck's "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing."
indieWIRE published a Critics Notebook by Dennis Lim today and additional festival coverage will be published in the coming days.
Full list of winners (information provided by IFFR):
VPRO Tiger Awards
Love Conquers All, directed by Tan Chui Mui (Malaysia, 2006)
The Unpolished (Die Unerzogenen), directed by Pia Marais (Germany, 2007)
Bog of Beasts (Baixio das bestas), directed by Claudio Assis (Brazil, 2006)
AFR, directed by Morten Hartz Kaplers (Denmark, 2006)
Fourteen (Ju-yon-sai), directed by Hirosue Hiromasa (Japan, 2006)
Dancing Bells (Chalanggai), directed by Deepak Kumaran Menon (Malaysia, 2007)
How is Your Fish Today? (Jin tian de yu ze me yang?), directed by Xiaolu Guo (China/United Kingdom, 2006)
Me (Yo), directed by Rafa Cortés.
Operation Filmmaker, directed by Nina Davenport (USA, 2007)
Tiger Awards Competition for Short Film
Video Game, directed by Vipin Vijay (India, 2006)
Hinterland, directed by Geoffrey Boulangé (France, 2007)
Bayrak (The Flag), directed by Köken Ergun (Turkey, 2007)
Vom innen; von aussen (About the Inside; From the Outside), directed by Albert Sackl (Austria, 2006)
You Can Walk Too, directed by Cristina Lucas (Spain, 2006)
Prix UIP Rotterdam
Amin by David Dusa (France/Germany/The Netherlands, 2006)
Reprise by Joachim Trier (Norway, 2006)
Arte France Cinema Awards
A Rational Solution by Jörgen Bergmark (Hepp Film, Sweden)
Les pieds nus sur les limaces by Fabienne Berthaud (Agat Films & Cie, France)
Prince Claus Fund Film Grant
Independencia by Raya Martin (Cinematografica Independiente en Filipinas, Philippines)
Movies That Matter Award
The Mark of Cain, directed by Marc Munden (UK, 2007)
Bil'in habibti (Bil'in My Love), directed by Shai Carmeli Pollak (Israel, 2006)