Fest fetes 'Walking,' 'Dog,' 'Joy' with Tiger Awards

ROTTERDAM — The Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam’s VPRO Tiger Awards have gone to “Walking on the Wild Side,” Han Jie’s portrayal of troubled Chinese youth; Manuel Nieto Zas’ Uruguayan slacker tale “The Dog Pound”; and Kelly Reichardt’s U.S. indie “Old Joy,” about male bonding on a camping trip.

The Tigers, awarded Friday evening to first- or second-time filmmakers, are sweetened by an $18,000 check for the winners.

“Walking on the Wild Side” and “Dog Pound” previously received coin from Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund, which was set up in 1988 to help filmmakers from the developing world. Four of the 14 pics in competition were Bals-backed projects.

Rotterdam prides itself on discovering and nurturing new talent and this year was no different.

There was a surge of excitement at fest’s HQ, the de Doelen center, when helmer Hany Abu-Assad’s “Paradise Now” scooped a foreign-language Oscar nom, as it had been introduced at Rotterdam’s CineMart co-production forum in 2001.

The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema awards went to Hirosue Hiromasa’s “The Lost Hum” (Japan) and Auraeus Solito’s “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” (Philippines).

The international critics’ Fipresci prize was awarded to Peruvian helmer Claudia Llosa’s unsuccessful Tiger competitor “Madeinusa.”

The KNF Dutch critics’ award for a Rotterdam fest pic awaiting a Dutch distribution deal went to Australian Sarah Watt’s debut feature “Look Both Ways.”

IFFR closed on Sunday.

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