Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wonderful Town, Flower in the Pocket share honors again in Rotterdam

After their New Currents Win last year at the Pusan International Film Festival, Aditya Assarat's romantic drama, Wonderful Town, and Liew Seng Tat's kids' story Flower in the Pocket, have been named among the three winners of the VPRO Tiger Awards at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

The jury statement said Wonderful Town, a romantic drama set in post-tsunami Phuket, was awarded "for its amazing imaging through the film and a fresh perspective on the disaster of tsunami. The film is a societal mirror in which we see tsunami’s loss in different layers. The jury also values the unconventional ending of the film."

Wonderful Town was made with help from Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund. The 15,000 euro in Tiger Award prize money should help the film see greater exposure. Part of the deal is that the winning films are broadcast on Dutch television, which is pretty cool. Wonderful Town next heads to the Berlin International Film Festival, where it will screen in the Forum section, with Aditya sitting on the Forum competition jury.

Flower in the Pocket, about two bratty Chinese-Malay boys and their strained relationship with their emotionally troubled single father (James Lee), was awarded "because of its well considered and aware look in the world of children. The actors are chosen correctly and guided and directed properly. The film has an excellent visual expression." Flower in the Pocket screened at last year's World Film Festival of Bangkok, where it made quite an impression.

The 15,000 euro in prize money for Liew Sing Tat is in addition to another 15,000 he received on Wednesday for the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant, which he'll put towards his next feature film, What City Does It Live?

The third film to receive a Tiger Award was Go With Peace Jamal, by Denmark-based filmmaker Omar Shargawi.

The Tiger Awards jury consisted of Singaporean director Royston Tan; Russian filmmaker, actress and film producer Renata Litvinova; Rieks Hadders, former deputy director of the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Tiziana Finzi, deputy director of the Locarno International Film Festival; and Iranian director-producer Jafar Panahi (jury president).

Also of interest was the NETPAC Award, which included a special mention for Crude Oil by Wang Bing of China, a 14-hour documentary about a crew on an oil rig. It ran as a video installation.

More information:

Look at all the Thai films at Rotterdam

(Via IFFR press release)

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