Cinequest Closes with "Tehran Diary" Taking Top Prize
by Brian Brooks
The Cinequest Film Festival closed over the weekend and presented its awards with Fariborz Kamkari's "Tehran Diary," a "video diary" about a year in the life of a woman living in the Iranian capital taking the event's top prize, the Maverick Spirit award. Best narrative feature film went to Aku Louhimies' film about a woman who learns to love herself, "Lovers and Leavers." Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist won the best directorial debut prize for "The Invisible," while best feature documentary was presented to Nancy Kates and Bennet Singer's "The Life of Bayard Rustin." Also receiving a best feature documentary prize was Enzo Balestrieri and Stefano Moser's "Clown in Kabul."
Among the audience awards, "Crazy Jones" by Joe Aaron won the award for feature. The story centers on a middle-aged man with Tourette's syndrome who falls in love with a beautiful woman. The audience choice award for documentary went to "Our House" by Sevan Matossian.
The festival, which closed with a screening of Brent Huff's "100 Mile Rule" at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, increased its attendance over last year by 17 percent for a total of 53,700 visitors. The yearly event spotlights international films and digital media.