As people begin to head out of Sundance in droves, the honors are starting to pour in. Although the awards won't be handed out until a ceremony on Saturday night, Sundance Institute has released a statement listing the winners of the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award -- an honor that highlights new projects from Europe, Latin America, the United States, and Japan. Four winners were selected, one from each region, from a jury that included Gregg Araki, Anand Tucker, Jeremy Pikser, Erin Cressida Wilson, Martin Rejtman, Andrucha Waddington, and Shekhar Kapur.

The lucky winners for 2008, who will receive a $10,000 award and "a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their project" -- Alejandro Fernandez Almendras, Chile, for Huacho, Braden King, United States, for Here, Aiko Nagatsu, Japan, for Apoptosis, and Radu Jude, Romania, for The Happiest Girl in the World.

This award is part of Sundance's commitment to world cinema, and considering some of their past picks, there could be big things in store for these films. Past winners include Miranda July for Me and You and Everyone We Know, Waddington for The House of Sand, and Gyorgy Palfi for Taxidermia.

After the jump, you can find some information on the filmmakers and each selected film.