Rotterdam Fest awards take shape

"Blind Pig" enters Tiger Awards race

BRUSSELS — “Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly” by Indonesian helmer Edwin is the first film to join the race for the Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam’s 2009 VPRO Tiger Awards.

Pic explores Chinese identity in contemporary Indonesia through eight characters, all trying to fit into society.

Before Rotterdam, “Pig” will play in the Pusan Film Festival’s New Currents competition and the Vancouver Film Festival.

Rotterdam’s 38th edition, unspooling Jan. 21 to Feb. 1, will also be haunted by Hungry Ghosts — a focus on Asian horror.

The sidebar will program recent films featuring phantoms and other supernatural apparitions, while the exhibition Haunted House will bring together filmmakers and set designers from Asia.

Meanwhile, Size Matters will looks at how screen size influences filmmaking and the viewing experience of the spectator.

Rotterdam’s format has been rationalized into three sections: Bright Future, presenting new work by novice filmmakers, including the Tiger Awards and short films competition; Spectrum, for experienced filmmakers and artists contributing to international film culture; Signals, presenting thematic programs such as Hungry Ghosts.

All three sections will include features, shorts, art installations and performances.

“This integration is a matter-of-course for an increasing number of filmmakers and artists and serves to enrich the classic notion of cinema,” said fest topper Rutger Wolfson. “By giving this development a more central role, the IFFR is looking to the future of film culture.”