Three first-time directors, all with films world bowing in competition, bagged Tiger awards at the Rotterdam Film Festival on Friday, cementing the fest’s role in uncovering new talent.
The winning films all see the world through the eyes of young girls, but to extremely different ends.
“Egg and Stone,” by Chinese helmer Huang Ji, concerns a teenager dumped on relatives in the country, where she experiences rural poverty and the low value put on female life.
“Thursday Till Sunday,” by Dominga Sotomayor, recounts a family road trip through Chile where the couple’s pre-teen daughter sees cracks appear in her parents’ marriage.
“Clip,” by Serbian helmer Maja Milos, is a frank account of a teen girl’s pursuit of an apparently indifferent older boy. The results are captured on her mobile phone.
The explicit scenes in “Clip” will be a challenge for distributors, yet Dutch critics threw down the gauntlet to local outfits by giving the pic their own award, saying, “We really hope a Dutch distributor will show the same courage as Maja Milos did in making this film.”
International critics gave the Fipresci award to Kleber Mendonca Filho’s “Neighboring Sounds,” another world premiere, about political and personal relationships in a well-heeled Brazilian neighborhood.
Fest’s aud award went on Saturday to Canadian foreign-language Oscar contender “Monsieur Lazhar,” directed by Philippe Falardeau.