International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) has awarded its three Tiger Awards to films from Taiwan, Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Directors Lee Kang-sheng (The Missing), Sredjan Vuletic (Summer in the Golden Valley) and Jan Krüger (En Route) received the awards worth Euros 10.000 at the Friday night (Jan 30) at the closing ceremony.

After the presentation of the awards outgoing IFFR-director Simon Field was the subject of a tribute from several directors with whom he worked closely during his reign in Rotterdam: Kitano Takeshi, Jan Svankmajer, Catherine Breillat, Patrick Keiller, Abolfazl Jalili, Tsai Ming-liang, Kees Hin and Kawase Naomi.

Field was also honoured by the town-council of Rotterdam, which awarded him with the Wolfert van Borselen-medal and the French Ministry of Arts and Communication, which presented Field with the Award of Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et Lettres, for his contribution in spreading French culture abroad.

The 33rd edition of IFFR presented 16 films in competition. Deals included Belgian roadmovie Aaltra being picked up by Amsterdam based Filmmuseum for release later this year.

Cinemart director Ido Abram said the market-side of Rotterdam was a success. "Compared to last year the number of participants grew from 789 to 894, which indicates our growth. A lot of deals still have to be finalised, probably in Berlin."

Five Cinemart-projects will also be presented during the Berlin festival: 3 Needles (Thom Fitzgerald), Comme Tout E Monde (Pierre-Paul Renders), Sonetaula (Salvatore Mereu), The Paraffin Child (Simone Horrocks) and The Good Heart (Dagur Kuri).

A number of producers said they were very pleased the market. Dutch production house Waterland Film and TV, winner of a Tiger Award in 2001 with Sleeping Rough, said its new project The Murder Ballads got serious interest from Belgian and German co-producers.

Although IFFR is traditionally not a festival known for star glamour glitter and glamour, some VIPS did visit Rotterdam.

Star of the first days was Japanese director Kitano Takeshi, whose Zatoichi opened the festival. Later on Italian porn-legend Rocco Siffredi, star of Anatomy Of Hell by Catherine Breillat, was the center of attention.

That place was taken in the final days by Dutch soccer-legend Johan Cruijff who got a standing ovation after the screening of the documentary Johan Cruijff En Un Momento Dado by Ramon Gieling, that deals with the input of Cruijff on Catalonian culture during his days as a player for Barcelona. The film will this month be released by A-Film in the Netherlands.

With more of less the same number of admissions (355.000) the IFFR remains by far the biggest cultural event in the Netherlands.

The awards of IFFR 2004:

Tiger awards:
Bu Jian (The Missing)
Unterwegs (En Route)
Ljeto U Zlatnoj (Summer In The Golden Valley)
Fipresci award:
Peep "Tv" Show from Yutaka Tsuchiya (Japan).
KNF Prize (Dutch Critics):
The Missing (Bu Jian) from Lee Kang-sheng (Taiwan)
Moviezone Award (Awarded by young cinemagoers):
Ljeto U Zlatnoj (Summer In The Golden Valley) from Sdrjan Vuletic (Bosnia-Herzogovina).
Prince Claus fund film grant:
The Abandoned Land from Vimukhti Jayasundara (Sri Lanka).
Netpac Jury (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema):
Bu Jian (The Missing)
Amnesty International - Doen Award:
The Last Train (Posledny Poezd) from Alexej German Jr. (Russia)
Audience Award:
La Meglio Gioventu (The Best Of Youth) from Marco Tullio Giordana (Italy)