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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2008 Sundance Film Festival News


Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) today announced the twelve finalists for the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. This annual award supports new visionary artists in international cinema and is presented to emerging film directors from four global regions to support them in realizing their next projects. One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the United States and Japan is selected by members of an international jury. The four winners will be announced during the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and presented with their awards at the Festival Awards Ceremony.

EUROPE:

Janez Burger / CIRCUS FANTASTICUS (Slovenia) – After losing his wife and home to the ravages of war, Stevo and his two children discover a new beginning when a circus arrives at their demolished home to stage a final performance.

Radu Jude / The HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (Romania) – When working class teenager Delia wins a luxury car in a promotional campaign, she and her parents travel to Bucharest to shoot a commercial in which she must thank the sponsoring company for the car. As the shoot wears on, the car slowly becomes both the object and catalyst of an absurd clash of desire, values, and will between Delia's cash-strapped parents and her youthful self.

Jasmila Zbanic / ON THE PATH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – A young married couple's love is put to the test as the wife searches for salvation from her war-ravaged past, and her alcoholic husband attempts to find salvation by joining a radical sect of Islam.

LATIN AMERICA:

Alejandro Fernández Almendras / HUACHO (Chile) – Set in the Chilean countryside, HUACHO presents a day in the life of a small rural family struggling to adjust to changing economic realities and a modern world that continues to move on without them.

Paz Fabrega / AGUA FRIA DE MAR (Costa Rica) — On the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, a young woman encounters a strange little girl, who brings on a crisis of unsuspected proportions. She is faced with the limitations and loneliness of her privileged life complicated by the heightened atmosphere of the unpredictable, vast nature, which make human effort seems small and absurd.

Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra / HARD LABOR (Brazil) – Strange and terrifying things start to happen inside the newly opened store of a young middle-class housewife as family relations and social roles shift when her husband suddenly loses his job.

UNITED STATES:

Braden King / HERE – Measurement and orientation break down in an intensely visual, landscape-obsessed road movie that chronicles the relationship between an American mapmaker and a foreign art photographer who impulsively decide to travel together into deeply uncharted territory.

Jake Mahaffy / FREE IN DEED – A desperate man’s attempt at deliverance while trying to perform a miracle fails and results in the death of a young boy. Recently released from prison, the man returns to the same small town where now his own child has fallen ill.

James Ponsoldt / REFRESH, REFRESH – Three boys in the high desert of central Oregon battle heartbreak and explore the redemptive power of violence when their Marine reservist fathers are called to duty in Iraq.

JAPAN:

Akira Ichinose / LAMPLIGHT AND SHADOWS – A young pregnant woman storms into a store run by an old man and ask s for his son, whom she claims is the father of her baby. An awkward and fragile relationship develops between the young woman and the old man.

Yukihiko Goto / THREE COLD DAYS AND FOUR WARM DAYS – Masayuki, an old Japanese fisherman, stands amidst the snowy hinterland of northeast China, bearing an urn containing the ashes of his late young wife, Lei. Returning to Lei’s village, Masayuki is reminded of the passage of time and longs for what was lost.

Aiko Nagatsu / APOPTOSIS – A young woman suddenly loses her job at a publishing company in Tokyo, which is followed by the loss of her apartment, lover, friends and family. She gradually learns to accept her fate, and starts to understand that some things are never lost.

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