The SundanceInstitute and Japanese broadcaster NHK have announced 12 finalists for the 2006Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.

The annualaward, now in its 10th year, honours emerging directors from four globalregions. One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan will bechosen by an international jury and presented with their awards during the 2006festival.

Each winner willreceive $10,000 and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese televisionbroadcast rights upon completion of their project. In addition the Sundance Institutewill provide ongoing support throughout the year in seeking out financing anddistribution opportunities.

Past winners include MirandaJuly for Me And You And Everyone We Know (US), Walter Salles for Central Station (Brazil), and Chris Eyre for Smoke Signals (US).

The 12 finalists for the2006 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards are:

Veit Helmer for Azerbaijan Dream (Germany); Nanouk Leopold for Wolfsbergen (The Netherlands); and Patrice Toye for TheSpring Ritual (Belgium).

Latin America:
Alejandro Fernandez Almendras for Huacho (Chile); Josue Mendez for Dioses (Peru); and Fernando Eimbcke for LakeTahoe (Mexico).

Cruz Angeles for Don't Let Me Drown; Dante Harper for Dreamland: and Andrew Dosunmu for Mother Of George.

Minehito Fujita for Hurricane; Satoki Kenmochi for Next Sunday; and Kanji Nakajima and The CloneReturns To The Homeland.