"Prince of Broadway," the latest feature by Sean Baker, won the Target Filmmaker Award, the top narrative feature prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival. Darius Marder's "Loot" simultaneously won the Target Documentary Award as the Film Independent event came to a close in California on Sunday night. Both filmmakers received the sizable, unrestriced $50,000 cash prize as the fest concluded. Audience awards went to a trio of favorites from this year's Sundance Film Festival: Jonathan Levine's "The Wackness" (narrative audience award), Sacha Gervasi's "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (documentary audience award) and James Marsh's "Man on Wire" (international audience award).
Baker's "Prince of Broadway," which had festival attendees buzzing all week here in L.A., is hitting the film festival circuit on the heels of the theatrical release earlier this month of the filmmaker's "Take Out" (co-directed with Shih-Ching Tsou). Lacking representation, with the filmmakers still plotting upcoming festival plans, the film follows a pair of immigrants hustling in New York City's Garment District. Baker is familiar in independent film circles for his work as a co-creator of the popular TV show, "Greg the Bunny."
Marder's "Loot" looks at a Utah used-car salesman who travels to Austria in search of treasure hidden 60 years ago by a pair of World War II veterans. The fest's doc jury also singled out Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker's "Pressure Cooker," giving the film a special commendation.
Feature jury prizes were presented on Saturday night, prior to the closing night screening of Guillermo Del Toro's "Hell Boy 2," while the balance of awards were announced on Sunday night prior to the festival's Spirit of Independence celebration in honor of Don Cheadle. The actor and activist was saluted by Halle Berry, Paul Haggis and others at an event that also included the screening of an extended clip from Cheadle's upcoming film, "Traitor, opening later this summer from Overture Films.
The Complete list of Los Angeles Film Festival winners:
Target Filmmaker Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
"Prince of Broadway," written by Sean Baker and Darren Dean, and directed by Sean Baker
Target Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
"Loot," written/directed by Darius Marder
Special Documentary Jury Commendation
"Pressure Cooker," directed by Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker
Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition
Jennifer Lawrence from Lori Petty’s "The Poker House"
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
"The Wackness," written/directed by Jonathan Levine
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
"Anvil! The Story of Anvil," directed by Sacha Gervasi
Audience Award for Best International Feature
"Man On Wire," directed by James Marsh
Audience Award for Best Music Video
"Run," by Melanie Mandl
Best Narrative Short Film
"Magic Paris," by Alice Winocour
Best Documentary Short Film
"City of Cranes," by Eva Weber
Best Animated/Experimental Short Film
"I Have Seen the Future," by Cam Christiansen
Audience Award for Best Short Film
"Frankie," by Darren Thornton