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Lamb of God to open Rotterdam

Fifteen films have been selected for Rotterdam’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition. The line up consists of eight world premieres, two international premieres and five European premieres. As always, all are first or second features by young, promising filmmakers. Five competition films have been supported by IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund.
The festival will open January 23 with the world premiere of LAMB OF GOD (CORDERO DE DIOS), the first feature by Lucía Cedrón (Argentina). The film is also selected for the Tiger Competition. For the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films, the festival has selected twenty films.

Rutger Wolfson, director of the 37th Rotterdam festival, says about the Tiger Competition line up: “This edition’s Competition for first or second films reflects the festival’s diversity in programming, and features what may be a wider range than ever in style, attitude, origin or topic. Festival programmers Ludmila Cvikova, Gerwin Tamsma and Gertjan Zuilhof have chosen films that are striking on a visual, formal, and narrative level, and show the unmistakable talent of the makers. We are proud to present this very strong group of talents in the Tiger Competition, our platform that has launched so many of their colleagues into the international film world over the last thirteen years.
Making this selection, we have been moved by the many different stories told in very different ways, taking us to the hearts and minds of characters from all over the world, from Kazakhstan, USA, Denmark, Ukraine, China, Greece and Chile, amongst others. This Tiger Competition shows the ways of filmmaking and the filmmakers for the future”.
“I feel LAMB OF GOD (CORDERO DE DIOS) is an Opening Night Film made in true Rotterdam vein. Produced by veteran producer Lita Stantic, Lucía Cedrón’s film stands out as an exceptionally accomplished feature film début. LAMB OF GOD shows the connections between very personal stories and family histories and the political, historical events of her country, Argentina, in an intelligent, controlled and, finally, emotional way.”

IFFR 2008’s Opening Night film, LAMB OF GOD (CORDERO DE DIOS) tells a gripping family drama about the kidnap of 77-year old Arturo during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2002. This forces his daughter, who has been living in exile since 1978, to return to Buenos Aires. Little by little, the past is echoed in the present, reshaping the way current events are understood. LAMB OF GOD is selected for Rotterdam’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition and has been supported by the festival’s Hubert Bals Fund. Earlier Lita Stantic productions are wayward masterpieces like Lucrecia Martel’s THE HOLY GIRL (LA NINA SANTA, 2004) and Paz Encina’s PARAGUAYAN HAMMOCK (HAMACA PARAGUAYA, 2006).

The Tiger Awards Jury to select the winning feature films consists of Iranian filmmaker and Jury President Jafar Panahi (who’s film project RETURN is one of the 2008 CineMart Projects), Russian filmmaker and actress Renata Litvinova (she can be seen in Kira Muratova’s TWO IN ONE that screens in the festival), Locarno Film Festival Deputy Director Tiziana Finzi, Dutch former Filmmuseum Deputy Director Rieks Hadders and Singapore filmmaker Royston Tan (his feature film 881 and short documentary SIN SAI HONG screen in the festival).

The Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films consists of Dutch visual artist Moniek Toebosch, Belgium programmer of Cinema Nova Katia Rossini and Canadian video artist Mike Hoolboom (his experimental short feature SCHOOL screens in the festival).

The three winning short films will be announced in Monday January 28 and the winning features during IFFR 2008’s Award Ceremony, to be held on Friday February 1. The three equal VPRO Tiger Awards each come with Euro 15,000 and guaranteed Dutch television screening by IFFR’s main sponsor, public network VPRO; the three equal Tiger Awards for Short Films each come with Euro 3,000.


The 15 films in IFFR 2008’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition
(in alphabetical order by international film title)

EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (MANGE, CECI EST MON CORPS) by Michelange Quay (France/Haïti, 2007), European premiere

FLOWER IN THE POCKET by Liew Seng Tat (Malaysia, 2007), European premiere

FUJIAN BLUE (JIN BI HUI HUANG) by Wemg Shou-ming (China, 2007), European premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

GO WITH PEACE JAMIL (MA SALAMA JAMIL) by Omar Shargawi (Denmark, 2008), world premiere

THE KING OF PING PONG (PINGPONG-KINGEN) by Jens Jonsson (Sweden, 2007), European premiere

LAMB OF GOD (CORDERO DE DIOS) by Lucía Cedrón (Argentina, 2008), world premiere, Opening Film, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

LAS MENINAS by Igor Podolchak & Dean Karr (Ukraine, 2008), world premiere

SHANGHAI TRANCE by David Verbeek (The Netherlands, 2008), world premiere

THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN (EL CIELO, LA TIERRA Y LA LLUVIA) by José Luis Torres Leiva (Chili, 2008), world premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

STRIZH by Abai Kulbai (Kazakhstan 2007), international premiere

TALE 52 (ISTORIA 52) by Alexiou Alexis (Greece, 2008), world premiere

WALTZ IN STARLIGHT (HOSHIKAGENO WALTZ) by Shingo Wakagi (Japan, 2007), international premiere

WELLNESS by Jake Mahaffy (USA, 2008), world premiere

WONDERFUL TOWN by Aditya Assarat (Thailand, 2007), European premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

YEARS WHEN I WAS A CHILD OUTSIDE (TAON NOONG AKO’Y ANAK SA LABAS) by John Torres (Philippines, 2008), world premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film



The 20 short films in IFFR 2008’s Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films:
(in alphabetical order by international film title)

27,000 DAYS by Naveen Singh (USA, 2007), 10’, international premiere

5 WALKS by Anna Abrahams (The Netherlands, 2008), 15’, world premiere

THE ADVENTURE by Mike Brune (USA, 2008), 22’, world premiere

AH, LIBERTY! by Ben Rivers (UK, 2008), 20’, world premiere

ALLEN GINSBERG GIVES GREAT HEAD by X’Ho (Singapore, 2007), 15’, European premiere

AS I LAY DYING by Ho Yuhang (Malaysia, 2007), 10’, European premiere

BATBOX/BEATBOX by Jani Ruscica (Finland, 2007), 17’, international premiere

DEAR BILL GATES by Sarah Christman (USA, 2006), 17’, European premiere

ELEMENTS OF NOTHING by Makino Takashi (Japan, 2007), 19’, international premiere

FOGGY MOUNTAINS BREAK DOWN MORE THAN NON FOGGY MOUNTAINS by Jessie Stead (USA, 2006), 59’, European premiere

HALF TEASPOON (SETENGAH SENDOK THE) by Ifa Isfansyah (Indonesia, 2008), 18’, world premiere

LAUNCH by Brian Doyle (USA, 2007), 24’, European premiere

LOUD_THINGS by Telcosystems (The Netherlands, 2008), 10’, world premiere

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA by Angelika Brudniak & Cynthia Madanski (USA, 2008), 18’, world premiere

MOSAIK MÉCANIQUE by Norbert Pfaffenbichler (Austria, 2008), 9’, world premiere

NOOK & CRANNY by Francien van Everdingen (The Netherlands, 2008), 3’, world premiere

OBSERVANDO EL CIELO by Jeanne Liotta (USA, 2007), 19’, European premiere

THE ROCKET by Uruphong Raksasad (Thailand, 2007), 19’, European premiere

SKETCH FILM #5 by Tomonari Nishikawa (USA, 2007), 3’, European premiere

VERTIGO RUSH by Johann Lurf (Austria, 2007), 19’, international premiere


(end of press release)

Notes to the editorial desk (not for publication)

Please find hereafter: IFFR 2008 VPRO Tiger Awards Competition including notes and sales contacts.

Press information/image material/interviews: IFFR Press Office, Bert-Jan Zoet or Nancy van Oorschot
Press accreditation: IFFR Press Office, Edwige Leblay
+31 (10) 890 9090 or press@filmfestivalrotterdam.com


FACT SHEET


The 15 films in IFFR 2008’s VPRO Tiger Awards Competition
(in alphabetical order by international film title)

EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (MANGE, CECI EST MON CORPS) by Michelange Quay (France/Haïti, 2007), European premiere

Elegant, lyrical surrealism and restrained angry political pamphlet in one. Filmmaker from Haïti treats in breathtaking tableaux vivants the dramatic colonial heritage of his native country. With Sylvie Testud and a remarkable amateur cast.
Sales: Memento Films, sales@memento-films.com

FLOWER IN THE POCKET by Liew Seng Tat (Malaysia, 2007), European premiere

A film without a mother. A film with a father who has withdrawn into himself. And especially a film with two charming young crooks. Liew Seng Tat’s début feature film has an outspoken style of its own and is characterised by a melancholy absurdism and a slightly perverted cheerfulness. FLOWER IN THE POCKET was awarded in Pusan by both audience and Jury as Best Film in the New Currents Competition.
Sales: Da Huang Pictures Sdn. Bhd., info@dahuangpictures.com

FUJIAN BLUE (JIN BI HUI HUANG) by Wemg Shou-ming (China, 2007), European premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

Attractive, energetic and topical début feature film is situated in Fujian, one of the first Chinese provinces to be opened to the outside world and currently the nexus of modern day Chinese diaspora. First part tells about petty criminals who finance their modern life style with blackmail; the second part about a young man who doubts if he should try his luck in the West.
Sales: Fantasy Pictures Entertainment, chaitaoron@gmail.com

GO WITH PEACE JAMIL (MA SALAMA JAMIL) by Omar Shargawi (Denmark, 2008), world premiere

GO WITH PEACE JAMIL is about Arabic people in a Western country, in this case a city in Denmark. The story is based on the cultural, religious and traumatic ballast many people from the Middle East carry along when they arrive at their new home in the West. A family drama propelled by the power of family ties, loyalty among friends and the religious dividing lines within the Arabic communities.
Sales: Trust Film Sales, post@trust-film.dk

THE KING OF PING PONG (PINGPONG-KINGEN) by Jens Jonsson (Sweden, 2007), European premiere

The life of adolescents: a classic basis for a début film and Jens Jonsson, who has already come to fame with his short films, proves with THE KING OF PING PONG that he can look at it from a very original perspective. In the wintry north of Sweden, adolescent Rille rules over his subjects in the local table-tennis centre but is bullied outside. This portrait of a boy whose consciousness about uneasy and unpleasant things slowly comes to the surface is recognisable, moving and funny.
Sales: Bob Film Sweden AB, bob@bobfilmsweden.com


LAMB OF GOD (CORDERO DE DIOS) by Lucía Cedrón (Argentina, 2008), world premiere, Opening Film, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

IFFR 2008’s Opening Night film, LAMB OF GOD tells a gripping family drama about the kidnap of 77-year old Arturo during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2002. This forces his daughter, who has been living in exile since 1978, to return to Buenos Aires. Little by little, the past is echoed in the present, reshaping the way current events are understood. Lucía Cedrón’s film stands out as an exceptionally sophisticated feature début.
Sales: Lita Stantic Producciones, info@litastantic.com.ar

LAS MENINAS by Igor Podolchak & Dean Karr (Ukraine, 2008), world premiere

Feature film début by Ukrainian visual artist Igor Podolchak evokes a dysfunctional family life as if it were a painting in movement. One musical part is co-directed by well known music video director Dean Karr. Cutting-edge and enchanting, LAS MENINAS is not a film about a story; it is a film about senses - you see, you hear, you almost touch it and you certainly experience the full strength of its flow.
Sales: MF Films, masochfund@yahoo.com

SHANGHAI TRANCE by David Verbeek (The Netherlands, 2008), world premiere

Young Dutch director made an almost entirely Chinese film in a metropolis where all is new and an outsider is not more lost then the locals. SHANGHAI TRANCE is a cinematic portrait of Shanghai in three interconnected love stories. Each layer of the film explores a different social layer of the city. All stories are about people between the age of 20 and 30, hereby shaping the face of a generation.
Sales: IdtV Film/Motel Films, info@motelfilms.nl

THE SKY, THE EARTH AND THE RAIN (EL CIELO, LA TIERRA Y LA LLUVIA) by José Luis Torres Leiva (Chili, 2008), world premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

The first feature by Torres Leiva provides an idiosyncratic, pure contribution to a new Latin American wave of filmmakers. In the South of Chile, on a thinly populated island, he follows the lonely lives of three women and a man. The lyricism of Torres is self-assured and modest, his mise-en-scène is stunning and calm, his characters moving in their lonely, precise simplicity.
Sales: Jirafa Films, bruno@jirafa.cl

STRIZH by Abai Kulbai (Kazakhstan 2007), international premiere

STRIZH is a coming-of-age film that seems to be universal in theme. On the other hand though, it offers a chance to get to know the young generation in Almaty. One that is totally unaware of the Soviet past and in search of its own identity. Kulbai’s début feature film is shot in the tradition of modern Kazakh cinema, but has a very personal style that stands out. Teenage girl Ainur struggles with her life, her only resort to peace seems to be her father.
Sales: Kazakhfilm National Company, filmcompany@nursat.kz

TALE 52 (ISTORIA 52) by Alexiou Alexis (Greece, 2008), world premiere

Right from the start, TALE 52 puts the perception of truth of both the protagonist and the viewer to the test. Iasonas meets Penelope at a dinner with mutual friends. At some point Penelope moves in with him. Until, one morning, she has disappeared. Despite his outspoken visual language, Alexis Alexiou leaves the viewer uncertain about the origins of the emotional suffering of the timid looking Iasonas. His feature début turns into a psychological thriller without deliverance.
Sales: Tugo Tugo Productions, istoria52@gmail.com

WALTZ IN STARLIGHT (HOSHIKAGENO WALTZ) by Shingo Wakagi (Japan, 2007), international premiere

A first feature by a photographer with an experienced and trained eye. This personal film reconstructs an episode from the childhood of the photographer/filmmaker, focusing largely on his admired grandfather, a performer of Manzai, a specific Japanese form of stand-up comedy. Succesful in creating an authentic mood, Shingo Wakagi creates the images that translate his memories to the screen.
Sales: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, tani-p@tfc.co.jp

WELLNESS by Jake Mahaffy (USA, 2008), world premiere

At first sight, Thomas Lindsey is an ordinary man. Less usual is his sales campaign for a fake product. WELLNESS is a strong and unpolished low-budget film about the conflicts of conscience a lonely man faces after realizing he has been cheated out of his life’s savings. In the town of Warren the inhabitants, none of them professional actors, played almost all the roles. The film is not a documentary, but that is how it was shot, providing an unusually realistic effect.
Sales: Jake Mahaffy, jake@handcrankedfilm.com

WONDERFUL TOWN by Aditya Assarat (Thailand, 2007), European premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

WONDERFUL TOWN, a Pusan New Currents Award winner, is situated in a Thai village that never recovered from the 2004 tsunami devastation. In the refined treatment of these sad surroundings, something beautiful and fragile emerges between an architect who monitors a reconstruction project and the sensitive hotel owner. Slowly, violence and drama also emerge in the film.
Sales: Memento Films, sales@memento-films.com

YEARS WHEN I WAS A CHILD OUTSIDE (TAON NOONG AKO’Y ANAK SA LABAS) by John Torres (Philippines, 2008), world premiere, Hubert Bals Fund supported film

This poetic, complex and personal film, is both a diary and an essay about the relationship between the film maker and his father, an author and seller of self-help books. After discovering his father has another complete family alongside his own, the son flees the house. A contemplative travelogue about a quest with which he tries to create order in the chaos, YEARS WHEN I WAS A CHILD OUTSIDE begins against the background of the damage caused by a super typhoon in Manila.
Sales: Peliculas Los Otros, johnotros@gmail.com

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