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18 wins VIFF Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema

The Vancouver International Film Festival is pleased to announce that EIGHTEEN directed by JANG Kun-Jae of South Korea has won the 16th annual Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema and a cash prize of $10,000. The winner was announced prior to the Dragons & Tigers Award Gala screening of Gama No Abura’s TOAD’S OIL in the Granville 7 Visa Screening Room today. Donors Brad Birarda and Robert Sali generously sponsor the award.
The distinguished jury was comprised of Mr. Johnny Ray HUSTON, arts and entertainment editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian; Mr. IKEDA Hiroyuki, who has introduced experimental film to Asian audiences through Image Forum; and Mr. Noel VERA, who has contributed to Cinemaya, Cahiers du Cinema, the Hong Kong Film Festival, the Singapore Film Festival, programmed at Rotterdam, and written a screenplay and the book Critic After Dark: A Review of Philippine Cinema.
EIGHTEEN will receive another screening on Saturday, October 10, at 4 p.m. at Pacific Cinémathèque, code .
The award goes to a new director from the Asia-Pacific region for a creative and innovative film, made early in the director’s career, which has not yet won significant international recognition. The jurors looked at a line-up of eight features by new directors. Because the award rubric states that the prize should go to a film “which has not yet won significant international recognition,” they decided to put Chris Chong’s excellent film Karaoke to one side, because it has recently won prizes elsewhere.
The jury has decided to give a Special Mention to the Filipino film BAKAL BOYS, directed by Ralston JOVER. The jury was impressed by the contrast between cement landscape and filthy water in a unique depiction of scrap metal scavengers and extreme poverty in the Philippines.
The 2009 Dragons and Tigers Award goes to:
EIGHTEEN (HWIORIBARAM) written and directed by JANG Kun-Jae from South Korea. The jury was impressed by the film’s structure – its beginning is also its ending – and by the direction and camerawork, which leave the viewer with a fresh, clean feeling. All of the characters are very alive and real, from the central young couple to those who appear only briefly. The film conveys the pressure society inflicts on the characters who are screaming inside. To convey all this in a film is a measure of Jang Kun-Jae’s talent and speaks to his promise. The jury looks forward to his next film.
This year’s eight nominees were:

• ADRIFT (Bui Thac Chuyen), Vietnam
• BAKAL BOYS (Ralston G. Jover), Philippines, International Premiere
• CATS (Kim Ji-Hyun), South Korea, Canadian Premiere
• EIGHTEEN (Jang Kun-Jae), South Korea, World Premiere
• KARAOKE (Chris Chong Chan Fui), Malaysia
• KUN 1: ACTION (Wu Haohao), China, World Premiere
• LEFT OUT (Sasaki Omoi), Japan, International Premiere
• YELLOW KID (Tetsuya Mariko), Japan, International Premiere
The Vancouver International Film Festival acknowledges the generous support of Telefilm Canada. Major corporate partners are Rogers Communications and Visa Canada.

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