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‘California Solo,’ ‘Shepard & Dark,’ Jonathan Demme Take Awards at Woodstock Film Festival

'California Solo,' 'Shepard & Dark,' Jonathan Demme Take Awards at Woodstock Film Festival

At an awards ceremony Saturday night that seemed to zip by in record time, the 13th annual Woodstock Film Festival gave prizes to features “California Solo” and “Shepard & Dark,” while also honoring Jonathan Demme and the late Bingham Ray.

“California Solo,” directed by Marshall Lewy, won the prize for best narrative feature. It stars Robert Carlyle as a boozy has-been musician. The honor for best documentary feature went to Treva Wurmfled’s “Shepard & Dark,” which chronicles the 50-year friendship of writer-actor-director Sam Shepard and his best friend Johnny Dark.

READ MORE: Any Day Now’ and ‘Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story’ Win Audience Awards at Woodstock Film Festival

Alexa Katolinski’s “Oma & Bella” — the story of two Holocaust survivors, one the director’s grandmother — won honorable mention in the docs category, while the animation jury was drawn to Hisko Hulsing’s “Junkyard.”

Dessed in jeans and a hoodie, Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs,” “Stop Making Sense”) said his Honorary Maverick Award was a “great honor,” adding, “I was fired three times for sticking to my damn guns, so I must be a maverick.”

Ray, a former president of United Artists, a co-founder of October Films and a member of the festival’s advisory board, died unexpectedly at the Sundance Film Festival this year at the age of 57. Meira Blaustein, Woodstock’s executive director, called Ray “a maverick distributor who championed talented unknowns with so much gusto.” Films he supported include “Secrets & Lies” and “Bowling for Columbine.”

In all, nearly 130 films unreeled in Woodstock and nearby towns. Other winners are listed below:

Best editing of a feature narrative: “California Solo,” edited by Alex Jablonski; honorable mention: “I Am Not a Hipster,” directed and edited by Destin Daniel Cretton.

Best editing of a feature documentary: Sandra Adair for “Shepard and Dark”; honorable mention: Sabine Krayenbuehl for “Virgin Tales.”

Best short narrative: “Curfew,” directed by Shawn Christensen; honorable mention: “Julia,” directed by Danielle Krudy.

Best student short film: “Past Due,” edited by Denise Plumb.

Best short documentary: “The Last Ice Merchant,” directed by Sandy Patch.

Best cinematography: Ian Bloom for “Nor’easter.”

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