Sundance, NHK choose award finalists


NEW YORK -- Sundance Institute and NHK have named 12 finalists for the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award.

One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Japan will win $10,000 and an acquisition of Japanese TV broadcast rights from NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) upon completion of their projects.

The nominated emerging filmmakers and projects from Europe are Janez Burger's Slovenian war drama "Circus Fantasticus," Radu Jude's Romanian family drama "The Happiest Girl In the World" and Jasmila Zbanic's Bosnian/ Herzegovinan relationship study "On The Path."

The Latin American nominees are Alejandro Fernandez Almendras' Chilean family drama "Huacho," Paz Fabrega's Costa Rican existential study "Agua Fria de Mar" and Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra's Brazilian thriller "Hard Labor."

The U.S. entries are Braden King's road movie "Here," Jake Mahaffy's tale of redemption "Free in Deed" and the coming of age drama "Refresh, Refresh" from director James Ponsoldt (ThinkFilm's "Off The Black").

The Japanese nominees are Akira Ichinose's mystery drama "Lamplight and Shadows," Yukihiko Goto's portrait of an elderly man "Three Cold Days and Four Warm Days" and Aiko Nagatsu's tale of loss "Apoptosis."

The four winners will be selected by a jury of filmmakers and announced at the Sundance Film Festival in January.