Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced the jury and audience award winners for the 2013 Festival at the Awards Brunch, hosted by CHAYA Downtown for the fourth year. Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead was on hand to present the awards. The LA Film Fest, presented by Film Independent, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor Los Angeles Times, Host Partner L.A. LIVE and Premier Sponsors DIRECTV and American Airlines, ran from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 23 in downtown Los Angeles.
“Every single film in the Festival rocks and I love that an international film and a local film received kudos today. They represent the breadth of our programming and our commitment to supporting unique voices around the world,” said Festival Director Stephanie Allain.
The two top juried awards of the Los Angeles Film Festival are the DIRECTV Narrative Award and DIRECTV Documentary Award, each carrying an unrestricted $10,000 cash prize, funded by DIRECTV, for the winning film’s director. The awards were established by the Festival to encourage independent filmmakers to pursue their artistic ambitions.
“Our jurors had hard choices to make this year and their discussions were at an incredibly high level. I thank them for their thoughtful work and salute the winners. I think we had a banner crop of competition films at the festival. All our filmmakers are winners in my book,” said Artistic Director David Ansen.
The DIRECTV Narrative Award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition at the Festival and went to Janis Nords for Mother, I Love You, which made its United States premiere at the Festival.The DIRECTV Documentary Award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival and went to Ryan McGarry for Code Black, which made its world premiere at the Festival.
The award for Best Performance in the Narrative Competition went to Geetanjali Thapa for her performance in Kamal K.M’s I.D, which made its North American premiere at the Festival. Given to an actor or actors from an official selection in the Narrative Competition, this is the tenth year the award has been given at the Festival.
The LA Film Fest also awarded an unrestricted $1,500 cash prize to each short film category. The recipient for the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Narrative Short Film went to Walker, directed by Tsai Ming-Liang. The recipient for the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Documentary Short Film went to Kevin Jerome Everson for Stone. Emma De Sweaf and Marc James Roels’ Oh Willy… won the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Animated or Experimental Short Film.
The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Short Term 12 directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee. Sony Pictures Classics’ Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.
The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven, directed by Åsa Blanck and Johan Palmgren. Katachi, directed by Kijek/Adamski with music by Shugo Tokumaru won the Audience Award for Best Music Video.
The DIRECTV Narrative Feature Competition jury was comprised of Film Independent Spirit Award-winning producer Gina Kwon (Me and You and Everyone We Know, Chuck & Buck), Spirit Award-nominated director Sean Baker (Starlet, Take Out, Prince of Broadway) and actor-producer Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, Titus, the upcoming NBC series The Blacklist.). The DIRECTV Documentary Feature Competition jury was comprised of the 2010 LA Film Fest Grand Jury award-winning director Clay Tweel (Make Believe), award-winning producer Lesley Chilcott (Waiting For Superman, An Inconvenient Truth), and New York Times contributing culture writer and former film and television critic Carina Chocano. The Honolulu Film Office Award Shorts Competition Jury was comprised of Los Angeles Film Critics Association Vice President Tim Grierson, author Sandi Tan (The Black Isle) and Independent Spirit-nominated writer and director David Fenster (Trona, Pincus).
Also announced at the festival were the Fast Track grants winners which Film Independent selects and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Millennium Entertainment sponsor. The Fast Track program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market that connects participants with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward. Writer/director/producer Christopher Munch’s film Frank’s World: And Tales of the Fearless Brothers O won the Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $15,000 production grant. The $10,000 Millennium Entertainment Fellowship grant was awarded to Vincent Harris and Amy Hobby for their film Third Girl from the Left.
Now in its nineteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, supported by L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Times, showcases the best in new American and international cinema and provides 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 2013 Festival screened nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.
The LA Film Fest kicked off on Thursday, June 13 with the North American premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s I’m So Excited, sponsored by American Airlines, and will close tonight with the world premiere of Oscar® winnersNat Faxon and Jim Faxon’s The Way, Way Back, sponsored by DIRECTV. Gala Screenings included the world premiere of Doug Pray’s Levitated Mass: The Story of Michael Heizer’s Monolithic Sculpture, the North American premiere of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives and the Los Angeles premiere of Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. 2013 Guest Director and recipient of this year’s Spirit of Independence Award was David O. Russell and Artists in Residences were actress Maya Rudolph and composer Gustavo Santaolalla.
DIRECTV is proud to be a first-year partner with the LA Film Festival as sponsor of the Festival’s Closing Night, Narrative and Documentary Competitions and Jury Prizes, reflecting its commitment to supporting established and emerging filmmakers. DIRECTV Cinema’s premium pay-per-view movie service for DIRECTV customers offers access to exclusive new releases before they premiere in theaters, a library with thousands of movies to watch instantly with DIRECTV On Demand, and the most movies available in 1080p HD. DIRECTV the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering an unparalleled video experience through state-of-the-art technology and unmatched programming to more than 35 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.
Stunning locations, great crews and generous tax credits are why Honolulu and Oahu are known as ‘Production Center of the Tropics.’ Host to countless feature films, television series and new media projects including Jurassic Park, The Descendants, LOST and Hawaii Five-0, 2013 marks 100 years of film production in Hawaii. To celebrate, the Honolulu Film Office has enhanced their tax credits. (www.filmhonolulu.com/)
CHAYA restaurants have remained one of the city’s most beloved and iconic dining destinations for 30 years. Lead by Corporate Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe—the creator of the original tuna tartare, CHAYA restaurants are renowned for their modern Euro-Asian cuisine and influence on the Los Angeles dining scene. Chef Tachibe creates an inspired menu by infusing exotic ingredients and honored culinary traditions from his native Japanese roots. All CHAYA restaurants, including three locations in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco, highlight their menu with local and sustainable ingredients fresh from the farmers’ market with seasonal menus.” (www.thechaya.com)