Sundance/NHK award finalists set


Sundance Institute and Japan's NHK have selected 12 finalists for the 2007 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards. The annual awards, which will be announced at the Jan. 27 awards ceremony at the Sundance Film Festival, recognize emerging artists on the international cinema scene.

Four winners will be chosen, one apiece from Europe, Japan, Latin America and the U.S. The winning director from each region will receive a $10,000 award and a guarantee from NHK to purchase Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their project. In addition, Sundance Institute will work closely with the award recipients, providing ongoing resources and support in seeking out opportunities to finance and distribute their projects.

The finalists from Europe include Jens Jonsson ("The Ping-Pong King," Sweden), Dagur Kari ("The Good Heart," Iceland) and Ursula Meier ("Home," Switzerland).

The Japanese finalists are Isamu Hirabayashi ("The Care and Feeding of Insects"), Tomoko Kana ("Two by the River") and Yoshinori Saitou ("Chicken Choice").

The Latin American entrants are Josue Mendez ("Dioses," Peru) as well as Lucia Cedron ("Agnus Dei") and Jorge Gaggero ("Dog Security"), both from Argentina.

The U.S. is represented by Caran Hartsfield ("Bury Me Standing"), Jake Mahaffy ("Free in Deed") and Kazuo Ohno ("Mr. Crumpacker and the Man From the Letter").