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LAFF ’08 | “Prince of Broadway,” “Loot” Win Big Cash Awards as L.A. Fest Closes

LAFF '08 | "Prince of Broadway," "Loot" Win Big Cash Awards as L.A. Fest Closes

Prince of Broadway,” the latest feature by Sean Baker, won the Target Filmmaker Award, the top narrative feature prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival. Darius Marder‘s “Loot” simultaneously won the Target Documentary Award as the Film Independent event came to a close in California on Sunday night. Both filmmakers received the sizable, unrestriced $50,000 cash prize as the fest concluded. Audience awards went to a trio of favorites from this year’s Sundance Film Festival: Jonathan Levine‘s “The Wackness” (narrative audience award), Sacha Gervasi‘s “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” (documentary audience award) and James Marsh‘s “Man on Wire” (international audience award).

Baker’s “Prince of Broadway,” which had festival attendees buzzing all week here in L.A., is hitting the film festival circuit on the heels of the theatrical release earlier this month of the filmmaker’s “Take Out” (co-directed with Shih-Ching Tsou). Lacking representation, with the filmmakers still plotting upcoming festival plans, the film follows a pair of immigrants hustling in New York City’s Garment District. Baker is familiar in independent film circles for his work as a co-creator of the popular TV show, “Greg the Bunny.”

Marder’s “Loot” looks at a Utah used-car salesman who travels to Austria in search of treasure hidden 60 years ago by a pair of World War II veterans. The fest’s doc jury also singled out Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker’s “Pressure Cooker,” giving the film a special commendation.

Feature jury prizes were presented on Saturday night, prior to the closing night screening of Guillermo Del Toro‘s “Hell Boy 2,” while the balance of awards were announced on Sunday night prior to the festival’s Spirit of Independence celebration in honor of Don Cheadle. The actor and activist was saluted by Halle Berry, Paul Haggis and others at an event that also included the screening of an extended clip from Cheadle’s upcoming film, “Traitor, opening later this summer from Overture Films.

The Complete list of Los Angeles Film Festival winners:

Target Filmmaker Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
Prince of Broadway,” written by Sean Baker and Darren Dean, and directed by Sean Baker

Target Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
Loot,” written/directed by Darius Marder

Special Documentary Jury Commendation
Pressure Cooker,” directed by Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker

Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition
Jennifer Lawrence from Lori Petty’s “The Poker House

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
The Wackness,” written/directed by Jonathan Levine

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” directed by Sacha Gervasi

Audience Award for Best International Feature
Man On Wire,” directed by James Marsh

Audience Award for Best Music Video
Run,” by Melanie Mandl

Best Narrative Short Film
Magic Paris,” by Alice Winocour

Best Documentary Short Film
City of Cranes,” by Eva Weber

Best Animated/Experimental Short Film
I Have Seen the Future,” by Cam Christiansen

Audience Award for Best Short Film
Frankie,” by Darren Thornton

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