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A Wow For Wouter

Tuesday, May 20---------At a special reception held yesterday in Cannes at the Plages des Palmes Cafe, the Hamptons International Film Festival and indieWIRE announced the recipient of their annual Industry Toast Honoree, to be presented during thed 16th edition of the Festival, from October 15 to 19, 2008.

This year's recipient is Wouter Barendrecht, founder and co-chairman of Fortissimo Films, one of the world's leading international film, television and video sales organizations specializing in the production, presentation, promotion and distribution of award-winning and innovative feature films. With offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, New York, Sydney and Paris and agents in the USA, Europe, Tokyo, Beijing and the Middle East, the company has a truly global presence and reach.

Dutch-born Wouter Barendrecht founded Fortissimo in 1991 after years of experience working as a programmer for the Rotterdam International Film Festival and a press officer for the Berlin International Film Festival´s Forum. His company has guided the international careers of such important international films as Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, Heavy, Prisoner of the Mountain, Iron Ladies, Super Size Me, Shortbus and Shine A Light. Together with Co-chairman Michael Werner, Barendrecht was awarded a Golden Kinnaree for their contribution to Asian cinema by the Bangkok Film Festival and the Excellence Award from Cineasia. He has lived in Hong Kong since 1997.

Fortissimo Films represents over 250 films from around the globe. Approximately 20 films per year are added to the line-up. Over the past few years the company started to acquire and manage existing libraries on behalf of independent producers and directors, such as those of Wong Kar Wai’s Jet Tone, leading US-based producers Killer Films, Hart Sharp Entertainment and directors Jim Jarmusch and Hal Hartley.

Barendrecht follows in the footsteps of several celebrated past recipients, including Sony Picture Classics co-President Marcie Bloom, Picturehouse Entertainment President Bob Berney and producer Ted Hope. "This year we decided to broaden our geographic scope", Festival Executive Director Karen Arikian declared. “Wouter Barendrecht immediately stood out as an individual whose experience, body of work and the respect garnered from his peers around the world skyrocketed him to the top of our list.”

For more information on the Hamptons International Film Festival, log on to their website:

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor


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