By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 30, 2009 at 7:15AM
During the IFFR 2009 Awards Ceremony Friday in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, the winning films of the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam were announced. The three VPRO Tiger Awards were granted to Iran's "Be Calm and Count to Seven" (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar), directed by Ramtin Lavafipour, South Korea's "Breathless" (Ddongpari), directed by Yang Ik-June, and Turkey's "Wrong Rosary" (Uzak ihtimal), directed by Mahmut Fazil Coskun.
Fourteen films by first or second filmmakers competed in the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition 2009. The Jury consists visual artist Marlene Dumas, Turkish writer, filmmaker and Jury Chair Yesim Ustaoglu, Mr Park Ki-Yong, Director of the Korean Academy of Arts and Co-Director of the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, Hungarian writer, director and actor Kornel Mundruczo and Kent Jones, Associate Director of Programming Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York.
Each VPRO Tiger Award comes with a prize of Euro 15,000 and guaranteed broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO.
Other awards included the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award, presented to China's "The Land," directed by He Jia, while a special mention was given to Thailand's "Agrarian Utopia," directed by Uruphong Raksasad.
The FIPRESCI Award, given by the jury of the international association of film critics FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique), went to Indonesia's "Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly" (Babi buta yang ingin terbang) by Edwin (Indonesia, 2008).
The Jury statement: "A brave film, fragmented in a way that each bit is very sharp as an edgy, personal and political statement. As critics, we were most challenged on many levels by this work which kept coming back again and again in our discussions as the song "I Just Called to Say I love You" did infectiously in the film".
The KNF Award, given by the Association of Dutch film critics, chose its winner among films in Rotterdam 2009 official selection that have not yet been acquired for Dutch distribution. The winner was "Tony Manero," directed by Pablo Larrain.
Earlier in the festival, the following awards were announced:
Tiger Awards Competition for short film The three Tiger Awards for Short Film were granted to" A Necessary Music," by Beatrice Gibson (UK), "Despair" (Otchajanie), by Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorov (Russia) and "Bernadette" by Duncan Campbell (UK).
The MovieSquad Award, presented by the Rotterdam young people's jury (consisting of Ms. Charlotte Eskens (16), Ms. Katinka Nauta (17), Mr. Alain Tjiong (17), Mr. David Hofland (15) and Ms. Thecla Baas (18)) chose the winner out of twenty films in official Rotterdam 2009 selection. They presented the MovieSquad Award to "Slumdog Millionaire," by Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan.
The Arte France Cinema Award (10,000 Euro) for the best CineMart 2009 Projects was given to "Him," by Lance Weiler, while the ninth Prince Claus Fund Film Grant of 15,000 Euro was awarded to the CineMart 2009 "Project Birdie" (Shuvuukhai), by Byamba Sakhya (Mongolia).
On Saturday January 31st, 2009 the KPN Audience Award and the Dioraphte Award for Best Hubert Bals Fund Supported Film 2009 will be announced.