Rotterdam awards four films

Heroines loomed large in winning tales

The Rotterdam Film Festival feted fare from three continents at its award ceremony Friday night.

Fest’s three VPRO Tiger Awards went to Malaysian Tan Chui Mui’s “Love Conquers All,” German Pia Marais’ “The Unpolished,” to Brazilian Claudio Assis’ “Bog of Beasts” and Danish Morten Hartz Kaplers’ “AFR.”

The Tiger Awards are worth E10,000 ($13,000) each and guarantee broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO.

Female heroines loomed large in the winning tales.

“Love Conquers All” revolves around a young woman who falls for a man who is not quite what he seems. “Unpolished” is a portrait of a young girl trying to find meaning in a society that has lost all sense of direction.

“Bog of the Beasts” captures the life of a young Brazilian girl growing up in a society where violence and sexual abuse are rife.

In a completely different vein, “AFR” is a mockumentary reconstructing the murder of a prime minister by a young anarchist.

Other gongs included the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema’s NETPAC Award, which went to Japanese Hirosue Hirosama’s intergenerational tale “Fourteen.”

Malaysian Deepak Kumaran Menon’s “Dancing Bells” and Chinese Xiaolu Guo’s “How Is Your Fish Today?” received special mentions.

Rafa Cortes’ “Me” from Spain won the Fipresci Award “for its intense depiction of one man’s struggle to acquire an identity.”

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