The Palm Beach International Film Festival unspooled April 22 - 26, announcing the winners of its 15th edition at its closing night awards ceremony. As with many similar events these past several months, the festival faced severe financial difficulties, leading to some speculation that this might be its last. But despite that unfortunate possibility, the fest drew over 70 participating filmmakers to share their films with appreciative audiences over the past week. Fest Director Randi Emerman said, in a prepared statement, "This year, for me, was refreshing and inspiring to have had the honor to discover so many wonderful filmmakers from the corners of the earth. The films unveiled a wide swath of experiences... and made us think!"
Jury nods went to Debra Granik's acclaimed "Winter's Bone" (Best Feature Film), Ori Ravid's "Eli and Ben" (Special Mention, Feature), Amanda Pope & Tchavdar Georgiev's "The Desert of Forbidden Art" (Best Documentary Feature), and Alain R Hain's "Curious Thing" (Best Short Film).
Non-jury awards included the winner of the inaugural IndieFlix.com Online Short Film Competition, Yitz Brilliant's "The Cemetery Club," which also took the audience award in the shorts category. Remaining audience award winners were "The Yankles," directed by David R Brooks (Best Feature) and "The Legend of Pale Male," directed by Frederic Lillen (Best Documentary).
A selection of Palm Beach's "Best of the Fest" films will be announced soon and screen next weekend.