Hamptons 97: Tie for "Dark" and "Destination"; "Menu" and "Colors"
Take Doc Prizes
by Eugene Hernandez
The 5th Hamptons International Film Festival climaxed last night with the
announcement of award winners, during a ceremony following the closing night
screening of Miramax‘s “The Wings Of The Dove” (directed by Iain Softley). “Home
Before Dark“, directed by Maureen Foley, and “Destination Unknown“, directed by
Nestor Miranda, were awarded the festival’s treasured Golden Starfish Award,
which carries a $185,000 goods and services prize. The jury recognized the
former “for its portrayal of the heroic remaking of a family,” and the latter
“for the director’s ability to pull the viewer into a world from which there is
little escape.” Additionally, the jury awarded Julie Kessler a special citation
for her performance in “Upstate” and the Best Short Film award to Steve Hamilton,
for his film “Rocking Horse Winner“.
Two films which debuted at this years’ Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
took top documentary prizes. “Off The Menu: The Last Days Of Chasen’s“, directed
by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman won the top doc jury award
(garnering a $2,500 Kodak film prize), and “Colors Straight Up“, directed by
Michele Ohayon, was given a special nod “for its emotional resonance and social
relevance.” Ohayon’s film also received the festivals’ documentary audience
A large, loud crowd gathered in East Hampton, NY for the presentation of the
awards. Unfortunately, many seemed oblivious to, or at least uninterested in,
the presentation of prizes. On more than one occasion, those near the stage
were forced to silence the chatter-boxes who were grouped throughout the tent.
James Rosenow, who accepted the Lifetime Television Vision Award for his film
“Crossing Fields“, used part of his time on stage to criticize the crowd for its
seeming lack of interest in the proceedings. Rosenow’s prize honors the film’s
depiction of “issues vant to women,” and featues a whipping $10,000 case award.
Reacting to the win, in a prepared statement, Rosenow said, “This award means
more to me than I could ever say because my filmmaking is about issues.”
Two foreign film tied for the top dramatic audience award — prizes were
presented to “Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health“, directed by Manuel Gomez
Pereira, and “Il Ciclone” (“The Cyclone“), directed by Leonardo Pieraccioni. The
audience prize for Best Short went to Elizabeth Shub, for her film, “Cuba 15“.
Amy Talkington’s short-subject film, “Number One Fan“, was given the RKO Award for
Best Told Story, with ten shorts garnering student prizes, they are: “A Curious Girl“, directed by Rachel Gibson (U. of Central Florida); “Firecracker“, directed
by Victor Wu Loyola Marymount University);”Seventh Heaven“, directed by
Christopher Meister (U. of Missouri – Colombia); “Single Spaced“, directed by Todd
Rohal (Ohio University); “Truck Stop“, directed by John Morning (NYU); “Blood On The Chandelier“, directed by Jeffrey Norris (VCA School of Film & Television,
Australia); “Blue City“, directed by David Birdsell (USC); “Get That Number“,
directed by Stephen Leeds (Columbia); “Gone Again“, directed by Anna Geddes (NYU);
and “Number One Fan”, directed by Amy Talkington (Columbia).