The 29th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival winds up Sunday, after eleven days of tributes and screenings, concluding with back-to-back screenings of the Before trilogy: “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset,” and “Before Midnight,” followed by my Conversation with Academy Award-nominated screenwriters Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke,
The winners of the 2014 festival competition were chosen by a festival jury for the 2014 SBIFF included Yahoo! Movies writer Thelma Adams, documentary filmmaker Mimi deGruy, SBIFF former director Phyllis DePicciotto, Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel, Academy Award-winning editor Artie Schmidt, actor Alan Thicke, actors Anthony and Arnette Zerbe.
The jury choosing the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema, given to a unique independent feature that has been made outside mainstream Hollywood, was actress Frances Fisher and producer Ted Hope. They selected Vietnam period drama “Noble,” directed by Stephen Bradley and starring Dierdre O’Kane, Sarah Greene, Brendan Coyle, Mark Huberman, Liam Cunningham and Nhu Quynh Nguyen. Winner received a Panavision camera package worth $60,000. Mark Huberman, who plays the role of David Somers in the film, was on hand to accept the award for director Stephen Bradley. The film “lived up to its title. It’s a powerful story of triumph over adversity. Inspiring – beautifully shot, acted and directed,” said Fisher.
An Honorable Mention was awarded to Hill Harper for his performance in 1982, directed by Tommy Oliver.
The Best International Film Award went to France’s ‘Eastern Boys,” directed by Robin Campillo and starring Olivier Rabourdin, Kirill Emelyanov and Daniil Vorobyov about a middle-aged Frenchman who solicits a young foreigner and finds himself entangled with a group of young Eastern European hustlers. Diane Kurys’ “For a Woman” received an Honorable Mention for Excellence in directing.
Best Documentary Film Award went to “Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the gay Rodeo,” directed by Matt Livadary, about the International Gay Rodeo Association’s obstacles in their quest to qualify for the World Gay Rodeo Finals, which also won the audience award.
The Nueva Vision Award for the best Spanish/Latin American film was awarded to “God’s Slave,” directed by Joel Novoa. Inspired by true events, this is the story of two extremists, one Islamic and the other Jewish, who cross paths while on opposing sides of the 1994 Buenos Aires AMIA bombings.
The Best Eastern European Film Award for best Eastern Bloc feature went to “Little Brother,” from Kazakhstan, directed by Serik Aprymov, set in a small remote village lost in the mountains, where nine-year-old Yerken is forced to live alone without any support.
The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film Under 30 Minutes went to Endeavor Space Shuttle film “Satellite Beach,” directed by Luke and Andrew Wilson. Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation Short Film went to “Tome of the Unknown,” TOME OF directed by Patrick McHale and starring Elijah Wood and Warren Burton, about two brothers who find themselves lost in a mysterious place called the Unknown, where long-forgotten stories take shape around them as they search for a way home.
The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award Sponsored by The Fund for Santa Barbara for a documentary film that addresses social justice issues went to “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,” directed by Thomas Allen Harris. This film explores the role that photography has played in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present.