Sunday, February 2, 2014

IFFR 2014: Songs of Rice wins Fipresci Award

The Songs of Rice, the new documentary by Uruphong Raksasad, won the Fipresci Award at the 43rd International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Making its world premiere in the Bright Future program, The Songs of Rice (Pleng Khong Kao) is about such rites as rocket festivals, buffalo races and other traditions that are connected to rice cultivation in Thailand. It is Uruphong's third feature, following his collection of short rural tales Stories from the North and his farm-family portrait Agrarian Utopia.

The Jury of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique selected it as the winner of all the 22 world premieres in Bright Future 2014. “Fully relying on its strong cinematography, it creates an immersive sensory experience that makes us part of a vivid community revolving around the cultivation of a tiny grain,” Fipresci said.

The Songs of Rice, produced by Pimpaka Towira and handled by the new company Mosquito Films Distribution, was among a large selection of Thai indie films at Rotterdam this year.

The main competition, the Tiger Awards for first or second-time features, included the European premiere of Concrete Clouds, the feature directorial debut of long-time film editor Lee Chatametikool.

The Tiger Awards went to filmmakers from Japan, Sweden and South Korea: Anatomy of a Paper Clip (Yamamori clip koujo no atari) by Ikeda Akira, Something Must Break (Nånting måste gå sönder) by Ester Martin Bergsmark and Han Gong-Ju by Lee Su-Jin.

Rotterdam also has a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, and the NETPAC Award when to 28 by Prasanna Jayakody from Sri Lanka.

There's a trailer for The Songs of Rice posted by IFFR. It's embedded below.

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