“demonlover” and “Betty Blowtorch” Take Silver Lake
by Brian Brooks
The Silver Lake Film Festival closed its fourth edition at the historic Vista Theater in L.A. Eastside last weekend, awarding Olivier Assayas’ “demonlover” its best narrative feature prize. The provocative thriller, which opened in limited release over the weekend, stars Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny, and Gina Gershon. Director Patrick Shen took the best documentary prize for his film, “Flight from Death,” while Charles Burnett (“Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property”) and Kim Ki-Duk (“Address Unknown” and “The Isle”) both tied for best director. The audience prize, which was judged by a combination of ticket sales and “audience enthusiasm,” went to director Anthony Scarpa’s “Betty Blowtorch and Her Amazing True Life Adventures.”
Silver Lake takes pride in its “alternative” label, and presents awards that reflect its philosophy. The festival awarded its Creative Celluloid prize, which honors the film that “best pushes the envelope of the film medium” to “The Cedar Bar” by Alfred Leslie, while the Silver Lake award went to “Reality World Echo Park” by filmmakers Seth Squadron and Heather Thomas, as well as directors Stefan Avalos and Marianne Conner for “The Ghosts of Edendale.” The prize honors films that best depict L.A.’s Eastside communities including the Silver Lake area.
Also taking home accolades were Angela Shelton, winner of the Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow best new filmmaker award and Martin Palofax, who took best short for his film, “Beautiful.” The nine-day festival, which screened more than 200 films concluded with a ceremony honoring child silent screen star, Baby Peggy, who attended the event for a question-and-answer period following a screening of her two better known films, “The Cub Reporter” and “Captain January.”