The annual award supports new artists in international cinema and is presented to emerging film directors from four global regions to support them with their next projects.
One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan will be feted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008 and will receive $10,000 and a guarantee that NHK will acquire Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion.
'These projects represent an incredible amount of creativity and storytelling that transcends geographic and political boundaries,' Alesia Weston, associate director of the feature film programme, international, said.
The 12 finalists are:
Janez Burger Circus Fantasticus (Slovenia)
Radu Jude The Happiest Girl In The World (Romania)
Jasmila Zbanic On The Path (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Alejandro Fernandez Almendras Huacho (Chile)
Paz Fabrega Agua Fria De Mar (Costa Rica)
Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra Hard Labor (Brazil)
Braden King Here
Jake Mahaffy Free In Deed
James Ponsoldt Refresh, Refresh
Akira Ichinose Lamplight And Shadows
Yukihiko Goto Three Cold Days And Four Warm Days
Aiko Nagatsu Apoptosis