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Sundance/NHK nod a ‘Close’ call

'Close Far Away' helmer Assur wins Filmmaker Award

Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) have selected Swedish filmmaker Jens Assur, director of the upcoming “Close Far Away,” as winner of the 2012 Sundance/NHK Intl. Filmmaker Award.

Award is given to recognize and support a “visionary” filmmaker on his or her next film, with Sundance Institute staff working closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films.

Two films supported by the award are screening at Sundance: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” by Benh Zeitlin and “Elena” by Russian filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev.

Assur’s short “Killing the Chickens to Save the Monkeys” is playing at Sundance and his writing and directing debut, “The Last Dog in Rwanda,” won awards at festivals in Clermont-Ferrand, Tribeca, Sydney, Rome and Palm Springs.

“Close Far Away” is a drama thriller involving five interlocking stories set in Africa and Europe about people in vulnerable situations whose actions carry personal and global consequences.

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