"Steal Me" and "East of Sunset" Win Acting Awards at Method Fest
by Ellen Keohane
On its eighth and final day, the 7th Annual Method Fest Film Festival presented its awards on Friday in Calabasas, California, with writer/director Melissa Painter's feature "Steal Me," receiving two awards including best actor (Hunter Parrish) and best director. The film, which opened the festival, is about a Montana ranching family who welcomes a 15-year-old troubled boy into their home. Brian McNelis' romantic drama "East of Sunset" also took two awards including best actress (Emily Stiles) and the Maverick award for quality in a low-budget film. The Method Fest, which is named after the "Stanislavski Method" acting technique, uses the mantra that it "is the only major U.S. film festival that specifically highlights performances by actors." This year's festival, which took place from April 1-8 in Calabasas and Woodland Hills, CA featured 26 full-length and 46 short films, including 14 world premieres.
In other prizes, Tamara Hope won the breakout acting performance award for her role in Glenn Klinker's street drama, "Nickel Children." The best supporting actor awards went to Craig Lachman in Jon Carnoy's drama "Pee Stains and Other Disasters" and Tovah Feldshuh in Debra Kirschner's coming-of-age film, "The Tollbooth."
The Japanese film "Runin - Banished," directed by Ejiji Okuda, received the festival's best feature film award, while the audience award went to writer/director Ben Rekhi's "Waterborne," a story about the aftermath of an L.A. terrorist attack. David L. Paterson, meanwhile, took the award for best screenplay for director Adrienne J. Weiss's "Love, Ludlow," which premiered at Sundance. The award for best short film went to Aaron Himelstein's "Sugar Mountain," and Michael Shapiro's "Jihad" took the audience award for best short film.
Several special awards were also given out at this year's Method Fest. Oscar winner Martin Landau was honored with a lifetime achievement award and Jeff, Beau, and the late Lloyd Bridges received a family legacy award. And, Crispen Glover won a Maverick actor award, while the rising star award went to Monet Mazur.