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TENTH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Category: Dear Frankie News
Article Date: June 26, 2004 | Publication: Los Angeles Film Festival | Author: Press Release
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LOS ANGELES – Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of IFP/Los Angeles, announced today the winners for the Tenth Annual Los Angeles Film Festival including the winner of the Target Filmmaker Award (for Best Narrative Feature), which went to Ferenc Toth for "Unknown Soldier." The winner of the Target Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature) went to Jonathan Caouette for "Tarnation."

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to HBO Films' "Maria Full of Grace," which is being released by Fine Line Features later this summer. Mike Wranovics' "Up for Grabs" won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Jeanette Brox of "Wilderness Survival for Girls," won for Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition. Given to an actor from an official selection in the Narrative Competition, this is the first year the award has been given out at the festival.

A total of 195 films including 83 features representing 31 countries screened at the festival. This year the festival received more than 2,800 submissions from filmmakers around the world with the final selections representing several premieres.

The festival kicked-off on Thursday, June 17 with the Opening Night Gala selection, Fox Searchlight's "Garden State," written/directed by Zach Braff. Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset," had its Los Angeles Premiere as the Centerpiece Premiere at the festival. The Closing Night Gala selection was Fox Searchlight's "The Clearing," directed by Pieter Jan Brugge from a screenplay by Justin Haythe. Premier Sponsors In Style, Target Stores, and LA Weekly sponsored the Opening Night Gala, Closing Night Gala, and Centerpiece Premiere respectively.

Ferenc Toth's "Unknown Soldier" follows Ellison, an ordinary 18-year-old fighting for his life in a war no one notices. Alone on the streets of Harlem, his options dwindle, but he refuses to give up on himself.

"Ferenc Toth's portrait of an upstanding young man in a tough New York City neighborhood who suddenly finds himself without a roof to sleep under is rendered with a remarkably subtlety that stands in stark contrast to the protagonist's harrowing slide into homelessness," said the jury of the Target Filmmaker Award winner, "Unknown Soldier." The jury consisted of Sandra Hebron (Artistic Director of the London Film Festival), Dave Karger (senior writer for Entertainment Weekly and a regular conributor to the "Today Show" on NBC), and Denver Post film critic Lisa Kennedy.

The Narrative Feature jury also awarded the inaugural Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition to Jeanette Brox of "Wilderness Survival for Girl." "As the seemingly naïve Ruthie in 'Wildnerness Survival for Girls,' Jeanette Brox brings a mix of passivity and power to a credible teenage character who evolves in one eventful evening from doormat to decisive leader."

In "Tarnation," Jonathan Caouette uses an extraordinary blend of docudrama, autobiography, and psychedelia assembled with Apple's iMovie program to create a complex, viscerally powerful portrayal of his troubled family legacy of insanity, drugs, and abuse.

"The jury was impressed by Jonathan Caouette's audacious demonstration of craft. 'Tarnation' is a film that achieves the nearly impossible; it's raw and personal, aesthetically distinct, and operatic in scale. We welcome this exciting new voice in documentary filmmaking," said the jury of the Target Documentary Award winner. The jury was comprised of Arthur Dong (Academy Award-nominated producer of independent social-issue documentaries), Susan Gerhard (Senior Editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian), and Lisa Leeman (Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Past President of the International Documentary Association).

The Short Competition Jury consisted of producer Alison Dickey ("Piggie," "Skipped Parts," "How to Make the Cruelest Month"), Screen International's U.S. Editor Mike Goodridge, and Catherine Park (COO of Giant Robot, a magazine documenting and promoting Asian and Asian-American pop culture).

Honorary Co-Chairs for the festival were Halle Berry, who served as Co-Chair for the Closing Night festivities, and Samuel L Jackson, who hosted the Awards Presentation and Filmmaker Reception.

Over the past ten years, the Los Angeles Film Festival has evolved into a world-class event, uniting emerging filmmakers with film critics, scholars, masters and the film-going public. IFP/Los Angeles took over the festival in 2001 and expanded the festival to include international films and a variety of special events and screenings throughout Los Angeles. Richard Raddon serves as the Festival Director. Rachel Rosen is the Director of Programming.

The festival has grown to more than 40,000 attendees, unveiling such films as "The Cooler," "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," "Kissing Jessica Stein," "George Washington," "The Cruise," and "Dead Man," and hosting talents such as Jennifer Aniston, Alec Baldwin, Alfonso Cuarón, Benicio Del Toro, Jodie Foster, Heather Graham, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, William H. Macy, Ewan McGregor, Sidney Poitier, John C. Reilly, Mark Ruffalo, Bryan Singer, and Forest Whitaker. Last year a total of 206 films including 72 features representing 32 countries screened at the festival.

IFP/Los Angeles, a nonprofit membership organization, champions the cause of independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. IFP/LA provides its members with professional advice, educational programs, affordable camera and equipment rentals, and discounts to hundreds of industry-related businesses. IFP/LA's Filmmaker Labs offer writers, directors, and producers the opportunity to develop their projects. IFP/LA's mentorship and job placement program Project:Involve, pairs filmmakers from culturally diverse communities with film industry professionals. IFP/Los Angeles also produces the IFP Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international independent cinema. With more than 6,000 members, IFP/Los Angeles is Southern California's largest non-profit organization for independent filmmakers.

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Complete list of winners

Winner of the Target Filmmaker Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
Ferenc Toth's "Unknown Soldier"
-- The award carries with it an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 funded by Target Stores - the largest cash prize bestowed by a major U.S. film festival.

Winner of the Target Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation"
-- The award carries with it an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000 funded by Target Stores --

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Joshua Marston's "Maria Full of Grace"

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Mike Wranovics' "Up for Grabs"

Audience Award for Best International Feature
Winner: "Dear Frankie," directed by Shona Auerbach


Audience Award for Best Short Film
Winner: "Parents of the Year," by James D. Scurlock

Best Narrative Short Film
Winner: "Bread and Milk," by Shinyun Won

Best Documentary Short Film
Winner: "Say You Love Me," by Adam Feinstein

Best Animated Short Film
Winner: "Hello," by Jonathan Dix

Short Film Special Mention for Excellent Filmmaking
Winner: "Fragile," by Sikander Goldau

Short Film Special Mention for Inventiveness and Visual Style
Winner: "Dad's Dead," by Chris Shepherd

 


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