"Puddle Cruiser" And "Mugshot" Split Hampton's Starfish
by Eugene Hernandez
The morning after a powerful autumn rainstorm drenched festival-goers, and made transportation
between screenings and surrounding events difficult, the 1996 Hampton's International Film Festival
drew to a close with the presentation of jury and audience awards.
"Puddle Cruiser," directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and Matt Mahurin's "Mugshot" share the coveted
Golden Starfish Award, which carries a prize of over $100,000 in filmmaking goods and services.
"Puddle Cruiser" was created by the Broken Lizard Comedy Group, the acclaimed New York City based
troupe of twentysomething's. "Mugshot" is renowed photographer Matt Mahurin's first foray into feature filmmaking.
The ceremony, held in a tent outside Nick & Toni's Restaurant, had a rather intimate feel,
after a faulty sound-system forced presenters and winners to rely on vocal strength when making remarks.
Audience members crowded around the makeshift dais, and the few rows of set-up chairs, to listen as
Festival heads Toni Ross and Ken Tabachnick, Actor Roy Scheider, and NYU's Jeremiah Newton announced
Oscar-winning Director Nikita Mikhalkov's documentary "Anna" was awarded the
Festival's top documentary prize, while Carlton Prickett's "Winterlude" won the
Short Film Award. Mikhalikov, reknowned for such films as "Burnt By The Sun,"
"Dark Eyes and "Close To Eden," spent over twelve years shooting footage of his
own daughter for the documentary which juxtaposes her growth against the fall
of the Soviet Union. The film is being released in the United States by New
Yorker Films, and will open November 15th in NYC.
The festival's audience awards were presented to Nancy Meckler's "Indidan Summer" (dramatic feature),
Adriani Trigiani's "Queens Of The Big Time"
(documentary), and Tom Hodge's "Shoot The Moon" (short film award). The RKO Pictures presented its "Best Told Story" awarded to student filmmaker Patrick Sisam's short film, "Love Child," in addition, ten other students filmmakers were awarded prizes for their short films.
The festival concluded yesterday evening with a gala screening and party
featuring Nick Cassavetes' new film, "Unhook The Stars."