The third annual Sun Valley Film Festival closed this past weekend by honoring “Little Accidents” with its top Vision Award. In addition, the “One-In-A-Million” awards (for features made under a million dollars) went to “Blue Ruin” and “Antarctica: A Year On Ice,” Mike Myers’s directorial debut “Supermensch” took home the Audience Award, and Paula Swell won the High Scribe screenplay competition for the animated “Le Chat Noir.”
“We couldn’t be happier with this year’s festival,” said SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan, continuing, “Our pass sales doubled over last year and we had close to 150 filmmakers and other special guests in attendance. The SVFF is really earning a reputation as a special place for film artists to gather and we’ve focused on developing a film festival that is intimate, insightful, and inspiring, and people seem to really appreciate that.”
Actors, filmmakers, and screenwriters appeared at a wide range of events and screenings throughout the festival, and several participated in the awards ceremony. These included Alison Pill, Kurt Sutter, Michael Weaver, Jess Weixler, Heather Rae, Joshua Leonard, and Peter Cambor. Kevin Smith headlined the last Coffee Talk, followed by a screening of his breakout “Clerks.”
The festival saw the inauguration of the Wild to Inspire prize (presented in partnership with Nat Geo WILD and the African Wildlife Foundation), which went to Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman, and Brendan Nahmias for “Wolf Mountain.”
The jury consisted of producer Caspar von Winterfeldt, director Fredrik Bond (“Charlie Countryman”), actor Peter Cambor (“NCIS Los Angeles”), actor Michael Weaver, actress Pell James Burns (“The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Zodiac”), and director William Olsson (“An American Affair”).
Here is the full list of winners:
The Vision Award: Recognizes a producer’s ability to keep a dramatic, feature length film in focus during the journey of the project.
Winner: “Little Accidents,” Jason Berman, Anne Carey, Tom Fore, and Summer Shelton, producers.
The “One-In-A-Million” Awards: One narrative and one documentary for feature length films made for under $1,000,000.
Winners: Jeremy Saulnier for “Blue Ruin” and Anthony Powell for “Antarctica: A Year on Ice”
The Audience award:
Winner: Mike Myers for “Supermensch”
The Gem State Award: Presented by festival sponsor Zions Bank, is a $1,000 juried prize that recognizes an Idaho filmmaker whose work best reflects the beauty and diversity of the Gem State.
Winner: Andrew Garcia and Nathan Garcia for “The Lighthouse”
The Gem State Junior Award: Recognizes the best short film made by an Idaho student aged 18 or younger along with a prize of $250.
Winner: Ethan Holt for “The Mind Absent of Silence”
The Hot Shot Award: Presented to the best film helmed by a student filmmaker under 18 years old along with a $500 cash reward, sponsored by the Marshall Frankel Foundation.
Winner: Malone Lumarda for “Black Rock Creek”
The Shorty Award: Presented to the best short story film, no matter the genre or aesthetic.
Winner: Elliot Thomson for “Le Refuge”
The Focus Award: Celebrates the cinematographer who most brings the film’s vision into focus.
Winner: Zack Spiger for “Run”