"Me and You and Everyone We Know" and "Czech Dream" Among Top San Francisco International Film Festival Winners
by Brian Brooks
Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and Vît Klusák and Filip Remunda's "Czech Dream" took top honors this week at the 48th San Francisco International Film Festival. Also honored were Italian director Saverio Costanzo for "Private," taking the FIPRESCI prize, and U.S/Mexican production "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," which won the Golden Gate award for Bay Area documentary feature, which included a $2,500 cash prize and $2,000 in lab services from AlphaCine.
July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know," which won the SKYY Prize ($10,000) is a whimsical look at the difficulty of finding and keeping love. The film focuses on several neighbors as their lives connect and disconnect in an ordinary American suburb. The film premiered earlier this year at Sundance, winning a special jury prize. Klusák and Remunda's "Czech Dream" took the festival's Golden Gate award for documentary feature. The film captures a hoax -- the promotion and gala opening of an entirely fictitious megastore in an empty Prague field. The prize includes $5,000 cash and a production suite from Apple. This year's FIPRESCI winner, "Private" by Costanzo, centers on a Palestinian West Bank family. Their comfortable existence ends when the Israeli Army occupies their home.
In other prizes, Till Passow's Pakistai/German film, "The Ecstatic" took the Golden Gate award for documentary short ($1,500 cash and $1,700 in Kodak negative film stock), while Dan Krauss' "The Life of Kevin Carter" won the Golden Gate award for Bay Area documentary short (same prize).
Austrian director Lisl Ponger won the Golden Gate award for new visions for "Phantom Foreign Vienna" ($1,500), while the Golden Gate award for narrative short went to Victoria Gamburg's "Twilight," also with $1,500. Other SFIFF $1,500 prize winners include Kerry Laitala's "Torchlight Tango" (Golden Gate award -- Bay Area non-documentary short); and Chris Landreth's "Ryan" (Golden Gate award -- animated short). Erica Eng's "Inertia," meanwhile, won the Golden Gate award for youth work. The honor included $1,000 cash.
[For more information, visit the festival's website.]