Films Programs

2009 Award Winners

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature:
, Yojiro Takita (Japan)
Runner Up: Patrik, Age 1.5, Ella Lemhagen (Sweden)

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature:
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
, Eric Bricker (USA)
Runner Up: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Matt Tyrnauer (USA)

Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema without Borders, was presented to an international film that extols the universality of the human experience, bridging the borders between nations and promoting international understanding.
Winner: Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman (Israel)

A special jury of international film critics reviewed official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film.

FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year:
, Götz Spielmann (Austria)

FIPRESCI Award for Best Actor:
Natar Ungalaaq
, The Necessities of Life (Canada)

FIPRESCI Award for Best Actress:
Martina Gusman
, Lion's Den (Argentina)

The John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature or Documentary acknowledges the work of a first-time filmmaker whose film is presented in any program at the Festival.
Winner: Amin Matalqa, Captain Abu Raed (Jordan)

The New Voices/New Visions Award honored one of 12 features from new international talents making their first or second films.
Winner: Hooked, Adrian Sitaru (Romania)
Special Jury Mention: Rain, Maria Govan (Bahamas)

Read full press release.

View award winners from previous festivals.

Captain Abu Raed   

Captain Abu Raed
Jordan, 2007, 105 min.
An inspiring tale of friendship and heroism, a lonely janitor at Amman's International Airport in Jordan dreams of traveling the world. When a group of neighborhood children see him wearing a discarded captain's hat, they begin regular visits to listen to his enchanting stories.... more


Japan, 2008, 131 min.
A failed cellist connects with his inner undertaker, his rural hometown and his newly deceased father in this tonally eccentric, lushly scored, movingly funny drama. Crushed at the breakup of his Tokyo orchestra, Daigo retreats to his picturesque northern Japan hometown, with adoring wife in tow.... more


Romania, 2008, 84 min.
A day in the country becomes a crisis of conscience for two lovers after they hit a prostitute with their car. Presumed dead, she suddenly wakes up, and the couple lies to her about the accident. .... more

Lion's Den   

Lion's Den
Argentina, 2008, 113 min.
Julia, a young pregnant university student, wakes up with blood on her hands and a dead man on the floor. She is arrested and convicted of murdering her lover. Sentenced to prison, she is placed in a special ward for pregnant women.... more

The Necessities of Life   

The Necessities of Life
Canada, 2008, 103 min.
In the 1950s, Tivii, an Inuit hunter and family man from Baffin Island, is yanked from his isolated home terrain and installed in a Quebec City tuberculosis sanitarium. There he takes a fatherly interest in an afflicted native orphan.... more


Bahamas, The, 2008, 93 min.
Teenager Rain (Renel Naomi Brown) embarks on a quest to find her mother, whom she has never met, and is devastated by what she finds. Director Maria Govan's powerful debut feature exposes viewers to a side of life in the Bahamas rarely seen by outsiders.... more


Austria, 2008, 121 min.
Two couples — one from the city, the other from the countryside — are bound together by fate in this taut thriller. Elegantly spinning primal elements of guilt, revenge, faith, and redemption, Revanche asks the question, "Whose fault is it if life doesn't go your way?"... more

Valentino: The Last Emperor   

Valentino: The Last Emperor
USA, 2008, 96 min.
Valentino has built his career making women look beautiful while forging a global brand out of the refined art of haute couture. This cheeky and affectionate documentary also charts the mutual dependency and tensions in Valentino's 45-year association with Giancarlo Giammetti.... more

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman   

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
USA, 2008, 84 min.
IIn his eight-decade career, California-based Julius Shulman became the world's preeminent architecture photographer and the man who defined the way we view modernism. This visually inventive documentary revisits some of the landmark houses.... more

Waltz with Bashir   

Waltz with Bashir
Israel, 2008, 87 min.
A film about memory and responsibility that uses powerful animation to recreate the hallucinogenic qualities of recollection, this unique documentary shows how Lebanon is part of the Israeli psyche, its shadow, its other place.... more

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