LOS ANGELES, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced its 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival award winners at a brunch at CHAYA Downtown. Audience award winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon at the Closing Night film, Despicable Me. The Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by The Los Angeles Times, with its central hub at L.A. LIVE, began Thursday, June 17 and will end on Sunday, June 27.
"There were thousands of movie fans at the festival this year, discovering new stories from our talented filmmakers," said Film Independent Executive Director Dawn Hudson. "We are delighted to have the support of the Los Angeles film-going community for these films and their creators"
The two top juried awards of the Los Angeles Film Festival are the Narrative Award and Documentary Award, each carrying an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize, funded by Film Independent, for the winning film's director. The awards were established by the Festival encourage independent filmmakers to pursue their artistic ambitions.
"In a year that celebrated an exhilarating spectrum of American and international cinema, it's so fitting that these jury awards reflect the incredible diversity of the Festival," said Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham.
The Narrative Award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition at the Festival and went to Pernille Fischer Christensen for A Family (En Familie). The Documentary Award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival and went to J. Clay Tweel for Make Believe.
The award for Best Ensemble Performance in the Narrative Competition went to Sabrina Lloyd, James Urbaniak, Lynn Cohen, Harry Chase, Nate Smith and Kamel Boutros for their performance in Adam Reid's Hello Lonesome. Given to an actor or actors from an official selection in the Narrative Competition, this is the seventh year the award has been given at the Festival.
The award for Best Narrative Short Film went to Pablo Larcuen's My Invisible Friend. The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to Tomasz Wolski's The Lucky One. Beomsik Shimbe Shim's Wonder Hospital won the award for Best Animated Short Film.
The Narrative Feature Competition jury was comprised of director Charles Burnett, screenwriter/producer Larry Karaszewski, and LA Weekly film critic Ella Taylor. The Documentary Feature Competition jury was comprised of director/actress Karen Moncrief, director Arthur Dong, and film critic and journalist Robert Abele. The Shorts Competition jury was comprised of writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh, actor Andrew Garfield, and director Tommy O'Haver.
The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival screened over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 40 countries. This year, the Festival received more than 4,700 submissions from filmmakers around the world. The final selections represent 28 World, North American, and U.S. premieres, which more than doubled from 2009. The number of films competing in the narrative and documentary competition categories also increased this year from 13 to 18, of which half are World premieres.
The Festival kicked off on Thursday, June 17 with the Opening Night film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, directed by David Slade, had it's world premiere at the Festival on Thursday, June 24. The Closing Night film selection was Universal Pictures' Despicable Me, directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin.
In lieu of one Centerpiece Premiere, this year's Festival held a number of high-profile Gala Screenings, which included: Sony Pictures Classics' Animal Kingdom, directed by David Michod; Fox Searchlight's Cyrus, directed by Jay & Mark Duplass; the world premiere of Mahler on the Couch, directed by Percy and Felix Adlon; the North American premiere of Revolucion, a series of short films directed by Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Escalante, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo Garcia, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Pia, Carlos Reygadas, and Patricia Riggen; and Paramount Vantage's Waiting for Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim.
In addition, the Festival held Conversations with Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Roger Corman, Christopher Nolan, and Edgar Wright, with panelists and moderators including J.J. Abrams, Jeremy Renner, Curtis Hanson, Joe Dante, Peter Fonda, Peter Bogdanovich, Julie Corman, and Elvis Mitchell. Coffee Talks, Tech Talks, Poolside Chats at the JW Marriott Pool at L.A. LIVE, the new Seize the Power: Marketing & DIY(stribution) Symposium, and free outdoor anniversary screenings of Desperately Seeking Susan and Back to the Future were held throughout the ten days.
Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow was this year's Guest Director of the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. In her role as Guest Director, Bigelow attended the 9th annual Filmmaker Retreat at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, a gathering of Festival filmmakers, special invited artists and Festival staff. Jonathan Gold, Quincy Jones and Paul Reubens served as this year's Artists in Residence. As Artists in Residence, each programmed an event that inspired their work. Jonathan Gold selected Katsuyuki Motohiro's Udon, followed by a conversation about food and film, Quincy Jones selected Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, followed by a conversation about movies and music, and Paul Reubens chose Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You, followed by a conversation about classics and comedy.
Awards were given out in the following categories:
Narrative Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
A Family (En Familie) directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen
Kim Fupz Aakeson, Pernille Fischer Christensen
Sisse Graum Jorgensen, Vinca Wiedemann
Jesper Christensen, Lene Maria Christensen, Line Kruse, Pilou Asbaek, Anne Louise Hassing
(Denmark) The conflict between love and duty plays out in this stunning, award-winning saga about a successful Danish family that faces agonizing choices when its charismatic patriarch falls ill.
The Narrative Award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 funded by Film Independent, offering the financial means to help filmmakers transfer their vision to the screen. The award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition, and is given to the director. A special jury selects the winner, and all narrative feature-length films screening in the Narrative Competition section were eligible.
In bestowing Pernille Fischer Christensen with the Narrative Award, the Jury stated:
"En Familie (A Family) is a film that on all levels was deemed outstanding. Insightfully directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen, and featuring heartbreaking performances by Jesper Christensen and Lene Maria Christensen, the film delicately dramatizes the wrenching choices a young woman must make as she navigates the ties of tradition, guilt, and love that bring a Danish family together when its patriarch faces his final days."
Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
Make Believe directed by J. Clay Tweel
(Japan/South Africa/USA) Armed with magic hoops, decks of cards and homegrown illusions, six hopefuls from around the world prepare for Las Vegas' World Magic Seminar, and the chance to win the title of Teen World Premiere.
The Documentary Award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 funded by Film Independent, offering the financial means to help filmmakers transfer their vision to the screen. The award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition, and is given to the director. A special jury selects the winner, and all documentary feature-length films screening in the Documentary Competition section were eligible.
In bestowing J. Clay Tweel with the Documentary Award, the Jury stated:
"Using the non-fiction competition genre, Make Believe takes advantage of the suspense narrative structure to transport audiences into an infinitely richer experience: the disappearing/appearing act that is a teenager's bumpy road to belonging and identity. The film's incisive layering of humor, drama, humanism, observational acuity and upended expectations does wonderful emotional justice to the film's charismatic cast of magician hopefuls."
Best Ensemble Performance in the Narrative Competition
Sabrina Lloyd, James Urbaniak, Lynn Cohen, Harry Chase, Nate Smith and Kamel Boutros in Adam Reid's Hello Lonesome
With an enchanting mixture of laughter and longing, the worlds of six, eclectic, lonely individuals are woven together as they explore those age-old human desires: to love and be loved.
In bestowing the actors with Best Ensemble Performance, the Jury stated:
The ensemble cast of Hello Lonesome gave hilarious, touching portrayals of lovers and friends who ought not to gel in any universe we'd recognize, but do by some persuasive miracle of weird karma. We also commend their director Adam Reid, for enabling them.
Best Narrative Short Film
My Invisible Friend by Pablo Larcuen
Andrea Puig, Christian Rodrigo
Pablo Vazquez, Montse Marti, Jordi Romanos, Sergio Huguet
(Spain) We all had imaginary friends in our lives but Tomas' may just be the best.
In bestowing Pablo Larcuen with Best Narrative Short Film, the Jury stated:
My Invisible Friend popped as a hilarious, rude, touching tale with many unexpected twists. Pitch-perfect in its own dark way, it earned its ironic yet heartfelt storybook ending.
Best Documentary Short Film
The Lucky Ones by Tomasz Wolski
Anna Gawlita Kijora
(Poland) Life's milestones are viewed through the window of a Polish government registry office.
In bestowing Tomasz Wolski with Best Documentary Short Film, the Jury stated:
In The Lucky Ones, the entirety of the human experience - milestones of birth, marriage and death - are lyrically captured in the simple daily exchanges of a Polish registry office. It is a humorous, bittersweet celebration of the poetry of ordinary life.
Best Animated Short Film
Wonder Hospital by Beomsik Shimbe Shim
Beomsik Shimbe Shim
(South Korea/USA) A look at the puzzling illusion of beauty through a blend of 3D, CGI, and live-action puppetry.
In bestowing Beomsik Shimbe Shim with Best Animated Short Film, the Jury stated:
Wonder Hospital is a feat of pure imagination. Its inventive mix of animation and puppetry evokes a hauntingly surreal landscape of the mind and body.
To download images and clips from the winning films, please visit www.image.net and search 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. If you do not have an account, please use referral code 1020 and check the Film Festivals box under Interest.
ABOUT THE 2010 LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its sixteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival is widely recognized as a world-class event, showcasing the best of new American and international cinema and providing the movie-loving public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.
The Festival features unique signature programs including the Filmmaker Retreat, Ford Amphitheater Outdoor Screenings, Poolside Chats, and more. Additionally, the Festival screens short films created by high school students and has a special section devoted to music videos.
Over 200 features, shorts, and music videos from more than 40 countries make up the main body of the Festival.
The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented by the Los Angeles Times and is supported by L.A. LIVE and Premier Sponsor ZonePerfect® Nutrition Bars and Principal Sponsors Kodak and Subaru. Special support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Standard, Downtown LA is the official Host Hotel, American Airlines is the Official Airline Partner, WireImage is the Official Photography Agency, and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.
More information can be found at LAFilmFest.com
ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents are comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry leader, or film lover.
With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent's mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.
Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema, and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and dare to challenge the status quo.
For more information or to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org.
SOURCE Film Independent