Thai director Nonzee Nimibutr's Just As Chao Phraya River Flows picked up the first ever Tokyo Project Gathering (TPG) Award at the conclusion of the TIFFCOM market on Wednesday night (Oct 24).

Presented by Sony PCL vice president Yuji Takizawa, who is also director of the Skip City International Digital Cinema Festival, the award provides around $50,000 worth of access to Sony's digital post-production facilities, including colour grading and editing.

The project, written by Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (Tom Yum Goong) and to be directed by Nonzee (Nang Nak, Three), tells the story of a Thai woman whotravels to Japan to unravel the mysterybehind her ailing Japanese husband's memories of his past. Thai production outfit Cinemasia is set to produce with the Japanese Society of Cinematographers.

The presentation ceremony closed the four-day TPG projects market and three-day TIFFCOM contents market, which ran alongside the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 20-28).

This year's TIFFCOM was slightly bigger than previous years, with a 15% increase in registered participants, and many companies, particularly the Japanese sellers, busy with back-to-back meetings.

However, few deals were announced with most sellers reporting that they had started talks that they hoped to conclude at next week's AFM.

TIFFCOM director Keiji Hamano said he was happy with this year's edition, which he felt was the right size with 155 booths, and enabled visitors to focus on Asian product in contrast to more international events such as the AFM and MIPCOM.

'We'll continue to concentrate on Asian companies although we could bring in a few more territories such as the Philippines, Thailand and Australia,' Hamano said.

However he added that timing is a problem with so many markets taking place in autumn. TIFFCOM has already confirmed that next year's edition will take place Oct 20-22. Thescheduling for2009has yet to be decided with some factions arguing for an earlier time slot.