Austin and Vancouver Fest Winners
Compiled by Mark Rabinowitz, and Jason Margolis & Maureen Prentice
>> Austin Fest Announces Prize Winners
The Austin Film Festival wrapped on August 8th, and recently announced
their award winners, with writer James McManus and director Jack Perez's
"La Cucaracha" winning in the feature film category. In the short film category,
the winner was Aaron Woodley, for his short film "The Wager."
The Student Short category was won by Texas-native Amy Talkington for
her award-winning Columbia University short, "Second Skin."
"Went To Coney Island On A Mission From God... Be
Back By Five," written by Jon Cryer and Richard Schenkman and directed
by Richard Schenkman was the winner of the Audience Award.
Austin local and internet film fixture Harry Knowles chose his "Picks of
the Festival," with "La Cucaracha" and "Wicked," written by Eric Weiss
and directed by Michael Steinberg receiving honors. In the Festival's
Screenplay Competition, the winner in the Adult Category was Kate
Hawley's "Who Would You Rather Sleep With?." The Family Category
winner was "The Queen's Mark," by John Culton.
>> Gunnarson and Benini Take Prizes at Vancouver Fest
The Vancouver Film Festival announced its awards, recently, with the
Federal Express Award for the most popular Canadian film going to the
Canadian/British co-production "Such a Long Journey," from director
Sturla Gunnarson, which opened the festival, while Roberto Benini's
"Life is Beautiful" won the Air Canada's People's Choice Award. Charles
Biname and Monique Prouix won the Rogers Award for the Best Canadian
Screenplay for their screenplay "Streetheart."
Vancouver director Bruce Sweeney won the Telefilm Canada Award for Best
Emerging Director from Western Canada for "Dirty," which was hailed by
the jury for "its darkly comic study of desperation and dysfunction."
Sweeney will receive pre-approved financing on his next production
amounting to $10,000.
"The Brandon Teena Story" won The National Film Board's Best Documentary
Feature prize. Jury member David D'Arcy said: "The news media exploited
this story of a murder of a woman who wanted to be a man and told us
that it was brutal and salacious. The filmmakers (Susan Muska and Greta
Olafsdottir) reconstructed that tragedy and brought the many people who
had a role in it to life and showed that it was a lot more than just
another tabloid horror." Mary Lewis' "When Ponds Freeze Over" won the
National Film Board Best Animated Film prize. --
[Jason Margolis and Maureen Prentice]