NHK, Sundance honor int’l filmmakers

Finalists net $10K award, guaranteed Japanese TV rights

The Sundance Institute and Japanese public broadcaster NHK have bestowed the Sundance/NHK Intl. Filmmakers award on Turkish filmmaker Yesim Ustaoglu for “Waiting for the Clouds,” Uruguay’s Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll for “Whisky,” Gotham-based Michael Kang for “The Motel” and Japan’s Mai Tominaga for “100% Pure Wool.”

Each finalist receives a $10,000 cash award and a guarantee from NHK to purchase Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their projects. The winning filmmakers will accept their kudos at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony.

Winners were selected by an international jury on the strengths of their next scripts as well as past work. Jury members included Darren Aronofsky, Hector Babenco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jill Sprecher, Toshio Endo, Kazuo Kuroi and Shunichi Nagasaki.

Established in 1996, the Sundance/NHK Intl. Filmmakers Award was created to honor and support emerging indie filmmakers from four different regions: the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Japan.

In addition to the cash award and the broadcast guarantee, Sundance works closely with the award recipients throughout the year, providing creative support and assistance in seeking opportunities to finance and distribute their projects.

Wanda Vision, Canal Plus Spain and TVE also support the winner of the Latin American section of the award through a cash prize and a pre-buy for Spanish rights.

Past award recipients include Walter Salles for “Central Station,” Chris Eyre for “Smoke Signals,” Rodrigo Garcia for “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her,” DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter for “Lift” and Lucrecia Martel for “La Cienaga.”