FESTIVALS: Tamil drama Pebbles wins Tiger Award at Rotterdam film festival

Tamil-language drama Pebbles, directed by Vinothraj P.S., won the Tiger Award at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). 

Produced by Rowdy Pictures and Learn and Teach Production, the film follows an alcoholic man and his son trekking across a drought-ridden landscape after a failed attempt to retrieve the man’s wife from his in-laws. The Tiger jury described it as “a lesson in pure cinema, captivating us with its beauty and humour, in spite of its grim subject”. The Tiger Award comes with a cash prize of Euros40,000. 

The Tiger Competition special jury awards went to both Pascal Tagnati’s I Comete – A Corsican Summer and Norika Sefa’s Looking For Venera

Among other winners from Asia, the Fipresci award went to Thai filmmaker Taiki Sakpisit’s The Edge Of Daybreak, which explores the impact of Thailand’s student uprisings in the 1970s and the 2006 military coup on the mental state of a local family. 

The VPRO Big Screen award was presented to Ana Katz’s The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet, while Quo Vadis, Aida?, directed by Jasmila Žbanić, took the BankGiro Loterij audience award. 

Award-winning projects from Asia in IFFR Pro Days and the CineMart co-production market included Chinese director Haolu Wang’s psychological thriller A Dutiful Wife, which took the ArteKino International Award. In addition, Vietnamese director Truong Minh Quý’s Viet And Nam, a co-production between Vietnam and the Philippines, took the IFFR 2021 Young Film Critics prize. 

This year’s IFFR, the first for new festival director Vanja Kaludjercic, was held online from February 1-7, although a physical version is being planned for June 2-6.