Kentaro Hagiwara Wins 2013 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award
Sundance Institute and NHK have announced Kentaro Hagiwara, director of the upcoming film, Spectacled Tiger, as winner of the 2013 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award. The award was presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Created in 1996 to celebrate 100 years of cinema, the annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff works closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films.
Films previously supported by this award include Beasts of the Southern Wild, by Benh Zeitlin, and May in the Summer, by Cherien Dabis, which had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Kentaro Hagiwara is an alum of the inaugural Screenwriters Workshop in Tokyo, a collaboration between Sundance Institute and its longtime partner NHK. Kentaro is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and the writer-director of the short film Super Star. Spectacled Tiger will be his first feature film.
Spectacled Tiger, co-written by Kyohta Fujimoto, is a romantic, coming-of-age film about a High School trivia quiz wunderkind, Taiga Suzuki, who lives in a world where things are only black or white, correct or incorrect. But when Taiga finds himself smitten by a new girl in the school, Misaki, he encounters the difficulty of forcing his restrictive world view upon her. Struggling to deal with new feelings, Taiga gradually loses his grip on what is true and begins searching for the real meaning of correctness.
The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program
Since 1981, The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) has supported more than 450 independent filmmakers whose distinctive, singular work has engaged audiences worldwide. The program's approach to the discovery and development of independent artists has become a model for creative development programs internationally. Program staff fully embrace the unique vision of each filmmaker, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply personal storytelling. Each year, up to 30 emerging artists from the U.S. and around the world participate in a year-round continuum of support which can include the Screenwriters and Directors Labs, Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab, Composers Lab, Creative Producing Summit, ongoing creative and strategic advice, significant production and postproduction resources, a Rough-Cut Screening Initiative, a Screenplay Reading Series, and direct financial support through project-specific grants and artist fellowships. In many cases, the Institute has helped the Program's fellows attach producers and talent, secure financing, and assemble other significant resources to move their projects toward production and presentation. In addition, the FFP is providing strategic resources to completed Lab films in distribution and marketing across all platforms to support and expand their connection to audiences worldwide.
Over its 30-year history, The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has supported an extensive list of award-winning and groundbreaking independent films which include Benh Zeitlin's Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Craig Zobel's Compliance, Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me, Haifaa Al Mansour's Wadjda, Sally El Hosaini's My Brother the Devil, Ira Sachs' Keep the Lights On, Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, Dee Rees' Pariah, Maryam Keshavarz's Circumstance, Eric Mendelsohn's 3 Backyards, Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men, Cherien Dabis' Amreeka, Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre, Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer, Fernando Eimbcke's Lake Tahoe, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's Half Nelson, Andrea Arnold's Red Road, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know, Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now, Debra Granik's Down to the Bone, Ira Sachs' Forty Shades of Blue, Josh Marston's Maria Full of Grace, Lisa Cholodenko's Laurel Canyon, Peter Sollett's Raising Victor Vargas, John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream, Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, Tony Bui's Three Seasons, Walter Salles' Central Station, Chris Eyre and Sherman Alexie's Smoke Signals, Allison Anders' Mi Vida Loca, Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight, Tamara Jenkins' Slums of Beverly Hills, and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. For more information, visit www.sundance.org/featurefilm.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.