Yesim Ustaoglu,Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, Michael Kang and Mai Tominaga have beennamed as the winners of the 2003 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards,the annual honour launched in 1996 to recognise emerging internationaldirectors. The four, who were each chosen from a separate global region, willreceive a $10,000 cash award to support their next project and a guarantee fromNHK, Japan's largest broadcaster, to purchase the Japanese televisionbroadcast rights upon completion. The winners will collect their awards at aspecial ceremony during the Sundance Film Festival, which runs from Jan 16-26.
In the Europesection, Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu's Waiting For The Clouds focuses on the tragic story of a womanwhose past is revealed to the authorities after she has kept it hidden for 50years. In the Latin America section, Uruguayan Juan Pablo Rebella and PabloStoll's Whiskyfollows a 60 year-old factory owner as he pretends to be married to one of hisemployees when his more successful brother comes to visit. Old wounds reappearbetween the siblings when the visiting brother and the fake wife engage in asubtle yet desperate game of seduction. The USA section winner Michael Kang'spicture, The Motel,centres on the intriguing friendship between the son of sleazy motel owners anda self-destructive guest. In the Japan category, Mai Tominaga's 100%Pure Wool tells fourparallel stories set in a magical house where two old women live in a fantasyworld filled with monsters and rubbish.
The winners wereselected by an international panel on the basis of their next project and pastwork, including features and shorts. Panel members included Darren Aronofsky,Hector Babenco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jill Sprecher, Toshio Endo, Kazuo Kuroi, andShunichi Nagasaki. In addition, the winner of the Latin American section isalso given the option to receive a cash prize and an offer to purchase Spanishrights to the film by Wanda Vision with the support of Canal+ Spain and TVE.Previous winners of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards includeWalter Salles for Central Station (Brazil); Rodrigo Garcia for Things You Can Tell Just ByLooking At Her (USA);Gjergj Zhuvani for The Bleating Of Sheep (Albania); and Seisoku Kajita for The Man Who WipesMirrors (Japan).