The Sundance Institute and public Japanese broadcaster NHK today announced the 12 finalists for the 2003 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards. The annual award goes to an emerging international film-maker and is designed to help them with their next project. Each finalist is eligible to win a cash award of $10,000 and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of the project.

In addition to the cash award and the broadcast guarantee, Sundance Institute works closely with award recipients throughout the year, providing creative support and assistance in seeking out opportunities to finance and distribute their projects. The winner from Latin America is supported by Wanda Vision and Canal+Spain through a cash prize of $10,000 and a pre-buy for all Spanish rights. One winner from each of four global regions is selected by members of an international jury and announced at the Awards Ceremony at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

The twelve finalists for the 2003 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award are:


Sara Gavron for The Anarchists (United Kingdom), which documents the efforts of a 12-year-old girl from an anarchist Spanish family to discover the world outside her small coastal town; Yesim Ustaoglu for Waiting For The Clouds (Turkey), a tragic tale of a woman whose hidden identity is revealed to the Turkish authorities; and Ragnar Bragason for The Whisperer (Iceland), about a boy with a supernatural sense of hearing.


Jorge Gaggero for Cama Adentro (Argentina), about a socialite and her maid of 35 years who are forced to rethink their relationship and challenge prejudices when economic crisis grips the country; Carlos Cortez for Quero (Brazil), an account of the life of an abandoned boy in the docks of Sao Paulo; and Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll for Whisky (Uruguay), about sibling rivalry between a factory owner and his more successful brother.


Michael Kang for The Motel, which focuses on an encounter between a 13-year-old boy and a self-destructive man at his parents' motel; Christa Collins for P.O.V., which chronicles the comings and goings of 10 San Franciscans during a hectic 24 hours; and Doug Sadler for Swimmers, about drastic changes that affect a cast of characters in a Maryland fishing town.


Asako Hyuga for Seesaw, about a young woman's journey of self-discovery after the loss of a loved one; Makoto Tanaka for All About Hiroshi Tanaka, about the life and journey of an ordinary man in his twenties who lives with his parents and works in a factory; and Mai Tominaga for 100% Pure Wool, set in a magical house where two old women inhabit a fantasy world filled with monsters and garbage.

"Through the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award, Sundance Institute is offering its resources in support of international film-makers," Michelle Satter, director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, said in a statement. "We are thrilled by the diversity and quality of the filmmakers who have been selected as finalists, and believe that this award is one of the ways in which we can encourage the development of signature voices worldwide."

Previous award recipients include Walter Salles' acclaimed Brazilian picture Central Station; Smoke Signals by Native American film-maker Chris Eyre; La Cienaga by Argentina's Lucretia Martel; Laundry by Junichi Mori of Japan; and Finding Out by the English film-maker Carine Adler.