The37th International Film Festival Rotterdam has given this year's three VPRO Tiger Awards to Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town from Thailand, Liew Seng Tat's Flower In The Pocket from Malaysia, and Omar Shargawi's Go With Peace Jamil (Ma Salama Jamil) from Denmark.
Each of the three gets a newly increased cash prize of$22,300 (Euros 15,000) as well as guaranteed broadcast in The Netherlands on sponsor network VPRO.
The competition was open to 15 first or second features. The jury was comprised of Royston Tan, Renata Litvinova, Rieks Hadders, Tiziana Finzi and Jafar Panahi.
Wonderful Town is about a sleepy Thai town rebuilding from the tsunami, seen through a visiting architect and his hotel maid. The jury said: 'The film is a societal mirror in which we see tsunami's loss in different layers' and they also praise the unconventional ending. Wonderful Town, also supported by Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund, will screen in the Berlinale Forum next week.
Flower In The Pocket was praised for its 'well considered and aware look in the world of children.' It follows two motherless boys finding adventures on the streets while their father seems to be uninterested in them.
Go With Peace Jamil was lauded for 'its strong directing and acting work' as well as 'the great captivating rhythm of the film.' The film is about an Arab man in Copenhagen who has to settle old debts.
In other prizes, the first Dioraphte Award for the Best Hubert Bals Fund supported film in this year's festival was Sandra Kogut's Mutum (Brazil/France).
The NETPAC award for Asian cinema went to Niu Chen-zer's What On Earth Have I Done Wrong'! (Taiwan) with a special mention to Wang Bing's Crude Oil (China).
The FIPRESCI Award, selected by a jury of international critics, went to Jose Luis Torres Leiva's The Sky, The Earth And The Rain (El Cielo, La Tierra, Y La Lluvia) from Chile.
The KNF Award from Dutch critics, selected from festival films not yet acquired for Dutch distribution, went to Alexei Balabanov's Cargo 200 (Gruz 200) from Russia. That film now gets a grant to support subtitling.
The festival continues through Sunday and the KPN audience award will be handed out Saturday.