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in Filmmaking
on Nov 7, 2008

The Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced the twelve finalists for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards. The annual cash award to support new artists in international cinema (winners announced at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival) is celebrating its 13th year with an impressive list of past recipients including: Alex Rivera (The Sleep Dealer), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Walter Salles (Central Station).

The twelve finalists for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards are:


Celia Galán Julve / ROSITA GUZMÁN IS ALIVE (Spain) – When dangerous fugitive Rosita Guzmán disappears into the Mexican desert, criminologist Garcia Navarro, convinced that she is a product of an unjust system, becomes obsessed with finding and unraveling the truth about her.

Lucile Hadzihalilovic/EVOLUTION (France) – A group of young boys who are isolated from the world act as guinea pigs in a series of bizarre medical procedures intended to trigger a reverse evolutionary step. EVOLUTION depicts the attempts of one young, unruly test subject as he seeks to escape experimentation and recall his clouded past.

Marco Van Geffen/AMONG US (Netherlands) – Cross-cultural misunderstandings and miscommunications compound when a Polish au pair goes to work for a Dutch family. Structured in a puzzle-like narrative, AMONG US depicts the young woman’s tenure there from various points of view, and the characters failure to connect.


Fellipe Barbosa /CASA GRANDE (Brazil, co-writer Karen Sztajnberg) – A teenage boy struggles to define his future and explore issues of class privilege among Rio’s decadent elite while his overprotective parents spiral into bankruptcy.

Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimarães /THE MAN OF THE CROWD (Brazil) – In a vast Brazilian metropolis, two solitary subway employees gradually come to know one another, triggering a change in perspective on their lonely lives.

Diego Lerman / THE DISCIPLINE MONITOR (LA PRECEPTORA NACIONAL)(Argentina) – During the last years of the military dictatorship, a sexually repressed school monitor in Buenos Aires indulges in a strange compulsion, allowing her dark desires to compromise her role at the school.


Dee Rees / PARIAH (USA) – When forced to choose between the fragile cohesion of her middle-class family and imperative loyalty to her best friend, a Bronx teenager is forced to juggle conflicting identities and risk friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

David Riker/ THE GIRL (USA) – A young, single mother from South Texas is thrown into an unexpected and life-changing journey when her attempt to smuggle immigrants across the border ends disastrously, leaving her stranded with a young girl from southern Mexico.

John Magary / BLOOD ABUNDANCE, OR THE HALF-LIFE OF ANTOINETTE (USA) – Set amidst poverty, with moments of both joy and upheaval, BLOOD ABUNDANCE, OR THE HALF-LIFE OF ANTOINETTE is a retelling of the chaotic life of Antoinette Dawson as she raises her seven children in New Orleans.


qurata kenji / SPEED GIRL (Japan) – Nijiko, a gifted speed skater, runs through the world at full speed, leaving her friend Mitsuo in her wake. When Nijiko mysteriously disappears, Mitsuo learns what it means to look out for someone in love and prayer.

Yukiko Mishima / WHEN NOBODY CALLS YOUR NAME (Japan) – A middle-aged crematorium worker emerges from a life of solitude when an 8 year old boy asks her to pose as his mother so he can join a boxing gym.

Season Noda (niga oolong) /LIMBO MAMBO (Japan) – When Tadahito Urushibara unexpectedly dies and becomes a corporeal ghost, he has the opportunity to reexamine his life, forge new bonds with his family, and resolve his relationships.

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