01 February, 2012
by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
Since 1996, the Sundance Institute has collaborated with NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) to present the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award. The goal of the award is to recognize and support a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff work closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films. This year’s winner is Jens Assur, a recognized Swedish photographer and photo journalist who is directing the upcoming feature film CLOSE FAR AWAY. The film, which is still in the development stage, is a contemporary dramatic thriller of individuals in Africa and Europe who are put in vulnerable situations and whose actions carry personal and global consequences. Five interlocking stories converge and reveal a complex and unique story of the lives of seemingly random people around the world, showing just how connected we really are. Jens Assur is a renowned photographic artist. His latest project, “Hunger,” consisting of five unique photographic books, created great attention in Sweden when it was released in 2010. His writing and directing debut, THE LAST DOG IN RWANDA won numerous awards all over the world, including First Prize at Clermont-Ferrand, Tribeca, Sydney, Rome and Palm Springs. His short film KILLING THE CHICKEN TO SAVE THE MONKEYS had its premiere in the short film section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.