Sundance announces NHK Award

French filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre wins for debut Mustang.

by Amber Wilkinson

The Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced French writer-director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre as winner of the 2015 Sundance Institute/NHK Award for her upcoming debut feature film, Mustang. The award will be presented at a private ceremony at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Clermont-Tonnerre is currently a screenwriting fellow at the 2015 Sundance Institute January Screenwriters Lab. Her short film Rabbit will premiere in competition at the festival. Hiroshi Kurosaki (Japan) will receive Special Mention for his project Prometheus’ Fire. Kurosaki, who was selected this past August for the NHK Screenwriters Workshop, will also receive ongoing creative and strategic support from Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program.

Created in 1996 to celebrate 100 years of cinema, the annual award recognises and supports 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. Films previously supported by this award include Beasts Of The Southern Wild, by Benh Zeitlin (USA), Central Station by Walter Salles (Brazil), and Elena by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia).

Clermont-Tonnerre is a French actress (The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec), producer, writer and director living in Paris. In Mustang, Roman Coleman is halfway through an 11-year sentence for attempted murder when he is offered the chance to participate in a rehabilitation program that trains inmates to break captured wild mustangs. Based on a real-life programme, Mustang is a portrait of one man's unique connection to these wild animals that forces him to confront his past.

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