The International Film Festival Rotterdam reveals the winners of this year’s Tiger Awards for first and second time directors.

Paz Fábrega’s Cold Water Of The Sea (Agua Fria De Mar), Anocha Suwichakornpong’s Mundane History (Joa Nok Krajok) (pictured) and Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s To The Sea (Alamar) have scooped this year’s Tiger Awards.

The prizes, which recognise first and second time directors, were handed out this evening (February 5) and come with a prize of $20,411 (€15,000).

The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury gave its award to South Korean movie Moscow by Whang Cheol-Mean; while the jury of the international association of film critics (FIPRESCI) picked Let Each One Go Where He May by Ben Russell.

The Audience Award will be announced later this weekend, after all the screenings are completed. Going into the weekend, the surprise frontrunner was Vadim Jendreyko’s The Woman With The 5 Elephants ahead of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox and Samual Maoz’s Lebanon. Jendreyko’s Swiss-German co-production is a documentary portrait of an 86 year Ukranian woman who has devoted her life to translating Russian literature into German.

Speaking late in the week, Rotterdam director Rutger Wolfson struck an enthusiastic note about this year’s festival. “For me personally, it has been wonderful. I have just floated along on a very nice level of enthusiasm and adrenalin,” he said. Guests have included François Ozon (in town for the screening of Le Refuge), Harmony Korine (in Rotterdam with Trash Humpers) and Bruno Dumont (introducing Hadewijch.)

Wolfson acknowledged that the Festival’s ambitious Cinema Reloaded project, through which it is seeking to raise $122,553 (€90,000) from festival supporters for three short films to screen next year, had launched more slowly than anticipated. At this stage, only one filmmaker, Alexis Dos Santos, has raised more than $2723 (€2000) for his project.

“We noticed with industry people and also with audiences that it (Cinema Reloaded) wasn’t really visible yet at the beginning of the Festival. We have been communicating a lot about it but it has to sink in with people I guess.”

He added that IFFR will continue to support the initiative. “We need to look at it and see where we take it from here.” Fundraising efforts for the Reloaded projects will continue until the beginning of October. At that point, if the projects aren’t yet fully financed, Rotterdam will have to decide whether or not to put up the extra money required itself.

Wolfson also confirmed that the festival is seeking a replacement for managing director Patrick van Mil, who is shortly to depart the festival, to join the Stedelijk Museum.