IFP/New York Presents Six Awards At Annual IFP Market
by Brian Brooks
Filmmakers and members of the film community turned out Thursday afternoon in New York's SoHo district for the IFP/New York's awards luncheon at the 2004 IFP Market. The casual event, held on the patio of Borolo restaurant's back patio, provided the backdrop for six awards, presented by Bob Dowling, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter, and actor/director Mario Van Peebles.
Following a buffet lunch that included salads, pastas, salmon, and chicken, IFP/New York executive director Michelle Byrd introduced Dowling, who presented the first three honors. Director/producer Scott Dalton won the Documentary Feature Director Award for his film "La Sierra," which follows the lives of three young people in a small neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, which is ruled by a gang of young men affiliated with Colombia's illegal paramilitary armies. The award includes $10,000 in cash. Director/writer/editor Bernardo Loyola won the Emerging Narrative Short Film Award for "The Perfect Day." The black comedy is about a man whose plan to commit suicide in a blaze of glory goes awry.
Director/screenwriter Seith Mann won two prizes at the awards luncheon, including the Emerging Narrative Screenwriting Award and the Gordon Parks Award for Screenwriting (both worth $10,000 each). Mann's project, "Come Sunday," is described by IFP/New York as a "story about a father, a son, and a black Baptist Church."
The Emerging Narrative Work-In-Progress award, worth $160,000 in goods and services, went to Mark Sobel's "The Commission." The docu-drama revolves around the controversy related to the Warren Commission, which was charged to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "The Commission" focuses its lens on whether the group ever meaningfully investigated the tragedy.
Andrea Williams rounds out the six awards with her drama "A Spoonful of Sugar," taking the Gordon Parks Award for Directing and $10,000 prize. The film is about a teen born with HIV who is confronted with having her first sexual experience.
"It seems like there's nowhere else for the thinking man to go but to independent film," commented awards co-presenter Mario Van Peebles at the luncheon, lamenting what he described as the "dumbing down" of media. "I think it's important for a democracy to have a thinking populace." The 26th annual IFP Market & Conference concludes today (Friday) in New York.