Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced the four winners of the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.

The winners were selected from 12 finalists chosen from the regions of Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan by members of an international jury.

Winners will be honoured at the Sundance awards ceremony on January 24. Each will receive a $10,000 award and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their project.

Sundance Institute staff will work closely with the award recipients throughout the year, providing ongoing support and assistance in seeking out opportunities to finance and distribute their projects.

The winning filmmakers and projects are: Diego Lerman, Ciencias Morales (Moral Sciences) from Argentina; David Riker for The Girl from the US; Qurata Kenji for Speed Girl from Japan; and Lucile Hadzihalilovic for Evolution from France.

'We are thrilled by the quality of this year's winning film-makers, all of whom embody what the award is about,' Alesia Weston, associate director of Sundance's Feature Film Programme, international, said. 'In an extremely competitive year, these projects are exceptionally original and challenging.'

'The Sundance/ NHK award is part of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Programme's year-round commitment to support singular voices in world cinema,' Michelle Satter, director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Programme, said. 'We expect that the vision and innovative storytelling of this year's four winners will resonate far beyond their countries of origin.'