Independent Film Week organizers presented their annual prizes to IFP Market participants today with jurors singling out a handful of filmmakers to receive cash and services awards totaling more than $50,000 towards the development of new independent film projects. At a luncheon in SoHo (hosted by the Hollywood Reporter and SAGIndie), actress Gloria Rueben presented the top prizes. Marlo Poras received a $31,500 goods and services prize in the Documentary Works-In-Progress section. Her new project, "The Candidate" (currently in post-production), is the story of a 94-year-old woman who runs for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.
Jurors included director Agnieszka Holland ("Europa, Europa"), producer Lisa Muskat ("All the Real Girls"), producer Lee Daniels ("Monster’s Ball"), former Gordon Parks Award winner Rodney Evans, and director Paula Heredia ("In Memorium"), director Dylan Kidd ("Roger Dodger"), and director Alice Wu ("Saving Face"), among others.
The IFP Market Screenwriting Award went to Afia Nathaniel for "Neither the Veil, nor the Four Walls", based on the true story of a young woman who finds out that her daughter would follow her mother's fate as a child bride in Pakistan. She was presented a $5,000 award from Artists Public Domain.
The Gordon Parks Awards were presented to both a director and a screenwriter. Filmmakers Edford Banuel ("A Message from Pops") and Andrea Chia & Jerry Henry ("Something Other Than Other") will share the $5,000 directing award from Artists Public Domain. Banuel's film, screening at the Market as a short that will is the basis for a feature film, is the story of an imprisoned father who tries to reach out to his son through a videotaped message. While Chia & Henry's film is a personal, experimental doc exploring racial identity by the parents of a multi-racial child.
The Gordon Parks screenwriting prize ($5,000 from Artists Public Domain) went to Anslem Richardson for "The Subway Story," described as the story of a subway cleaner who rescues a rape victim and becomes a media darling.
Sameh Zoabi won the $5,000 Short Film Award from Artists Public Domain for "Be Quiet," the story of a young boy and his father on a journey home to Nazareth.