Green Border, Agnieszka Holland’s harrowing tale of refugees caught in the wooded boundary between Belarus and Poland, won the Audience Award at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday.
Japanese director Tanaka Toshihiko won Rotterdam’s coveted Tiger Award for best competition film for his debut Rei, a drama exploring human relationships made almost entirely with a cast and crew of mostly nonprofessionals and students. The Iranian drama The Old Bachelor, from director Oktay Baraheni, won Rotterdam’s VPRO Big Screen Award.
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The FIPRESCI Award, handed out by international film critics, went to Kiss Wagon from the Indian director Midhun Murali.
Judged by the audience’s response, Rotterdam 2024 was a resounding success, with the festival reporting more than a quarter of a million viewers over its 11-day program, which included the screening of 424 films and artist discussions with the likes of Oscar contender Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall), Italian directing veteran Marco Bellocchio (The Traitor) and pop music legend Debbie Harry.
“This edition we saw with great pleasure how our discoveries found their audiences,” said Rotterdam festival director Vanja Kaludjercic. “From the joy of our opening night to the excitement of welcoming superstars and cinematic giants, to witnessing the blossoming of future greats like the Tiger Award winner, there was a special atmosphere at the festival this edition. We take pride in making a program that foregrounds the unexpected and unique — and that challenges and enriches … As we look ahead, we see that our ideas and aspirations connect strongly with the audience, strengthening us for the years to come.”
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