Uruguayan directors Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll's 25 Watts, about a group of bored teenagers in Montevideo, clinched one of the three VPRO Tiger Awards, along with the Movie Zone Award, at this year's Rotterdam International Film Festival.
The other two Tiger Award winners, who each receive prizes worth Euro10,000, guaranteed theatrical distribution in the Netherlands and an airing on Dutch television, were German director Maria Speth's The Days Between (In Den Tag Hinein) and Furumaya Tomoyuki's Bad Company (Mabudachi), which was also awarded the FIPRESCI Prize.
Commenting on the winners, the jury, presided over by Dutch film-maker Emile Fallaux, said: "The awarded Tigers are from three corners of the world and offer three stories about youth and growing up - three points of view on these awkward and sometimes agonising years between the naked innocence of childhood and the complexity of the life of grown-ups."
Meanwhile, Carlos Bolado, B.Z. Goldberg and Justine Shapiro's documentary on the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, Promises, beat off strong competition from such films as Fukasaku Kinji's Battle Royale and Tom Tykwer's The Princess And The Warrior to win the Canal Plus Audience Award. This year's KNF Award was presented to Oskar Roehler's No Place To Go with a special mention for Claire Denis' Beau Travail.
In addition, the NETPAC Award was given to Iranian director Mariam Shahriar's provocative film Daughters Of The Sun with a special mention to Dang Nhat Minh's The House Of Guaves from Vietnam.
Provisional figures suggest that this year's event has once more broken records: admissions are up from 320,000 to 345,000 while box office takings climbed by $85,000 to over $900,0000.