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‘One Chance,’ ‘A Touch of Sin’ Lead Denver Film Festival Winners

'One Chance,' 'A Touch of Sin' Lead Denver Film Festival Winners

The 36th Starz Denver Film Festival has announced its jury and audience award winners for this year’s festival, which came to a close this weekend after running from November 6 to November 17.
“Beginning with our Opening Night presentation of Labor Day with special guests Joyce Maynard and Gattlin Griffith, to filmmakers from around the world joining us, and award recipients including Harry Dean Stanton, Kramer Morgenthau and Carl Reiner, the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival was an inspiring cinematic celebration,” said Festival Director Britta Erickson. “Demonstrated in both numbers and response, the Denver community, filmmakers and industry professionals who shared their work with our passionate audience were paramount in making it our most successful festival yet.”
The 36th Starz Denver Film Festival featured more than 270 films from 44 countries; SDFF screened 126 features and 144 shorts, with 34 titles being local Colorado productions. Recognized as the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest film event, SDFF attracted over 50,000 filmgoers during the twelve-day celebration.
Narrative Feature
Winner: One Chance
DIRECTOR David Frankel PRODUCERS Simon Cowell, Michael Menchel, Kris Thykier, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Weston WRITER Justin Zackham CAST Julie Walters, Colm Meaney, Mackenzie Crook, James Corden, Jemima Rooper, Alexandra Roach
Documentary Feature
Winner: Code Black
DIRECTOR Ryan McGarry PRODUCER Linda Goldstein Knowlton WRITERS Ryan McGarry, Joshua Altman
Short Film
Winner: What Do We Have In Our Pockets?
DIRECTOR/WRITER Goran Dukic PRODUCER Mikal Portnoi Lazarev CAST Azazel Jacobs, Diaz Jacobs  
The Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Foreign Feature Film
Winner: A Touch of Sin, (China) directed by Jia Zhangke
The jury stated: “We salute Jia Zhangke for writing, directing and producing this startling collection of stories featuring masterful imagery, deeply human characters and searing social relevance. Created against unimaginable odds, this film represents an unprecedented level of commitment.”
Special Jury Award: The Fifth Season (Belgium), directed Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope Woodworth
The jury stated: “Chosen for its visionary creation of an imaginary, yet vivid and fully realized world inspired by our current sociological and environmental challenges.”
The jury was comprised of Jason Silverman – Cinematheque Director, Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe; Maggie MacKay – Senior Programmer, Film Independent; Tom Hall – Director, Sarasota Film Festival
The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film
Winner: The Search For Emak Bakia, directed by Oskar Alegria
The jury stated: “A film that is impeccably crafted yet still captures the freewheeling spirit of artistic discovery. Beautifully composed, formally innovative, it is at once a documentation of a work of experimental cinema and a work of art in itself.”
The jury was comprised of Jarod Neece – Producer & Senior Programmer, SXSW; Tom Bean – Filmmaker, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself; Dan Nuxoll – Programming Director of Submissions, Rooftop Films
The New Directors Award
Winner: Hide Your Smiling Faces, directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone
The jury stated: “To Daniel Patrick Carbone for Hide Your Smiling Faces, an affecting and nuanced mediation on coming of age. With a confident visual style complimented by grounded performances from his young actors, Carbones film proves him an exciting new voice in American independent film.”
The jury was comprised of Clint Bowie – Program Director, New Orleans Film Society; Peter Knegt – Senior Editor, IndieWire; Jonny Mars – Filmmaker, America’s Parking Lot, Black Metal and Saturday Morning Massacre
The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award
Winner: Unorthodox, directed by Patrick Waismann
The jury stated: “Unorthodox is an unexpected look at family, religion, punk rock, and hot dogs, told through the eyes of a kid warming up for his bar mitzvah. The distinct visual style, engaging direction, and truthful performances unravel a truly unique coming-of-age tale.”
The jury was comprised of Adam Nix – Filmmaker, Nix Bros Films; Evan Nix – Filmmaker, Nix Bros Films; Cathryne Czubek – Filmmaker, Girl and Gun and On Blooming Art
The ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award
Winner: Virtuoso Virtual, directed by Maja Oschmann and Thomas Stellmach
The jury for the 5th annual ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award was presented a selection of wonderful animated films to choose from for its prize this year. Yet from the moment it starts, until the last note is played, this mesmerizing film meshes music, timing, and choreography in a beautiful dance of ink-on-paper. The jury was compelled to select “Virtuos Virtuell” directed by Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann of Germany for ASIFA-Colorado’s Best Animated Short Award.  
Liberty Global International Student Short Award
Winner: Noah (Canada), directed by Patrick Cederberg and Walter Woodman
The jury stated: “Noah broke out of conventional form with an engaging story that succinctly portrays the fragmentation of our technology-laden lives. Through clever direction, well-executed compositing, and grounded performances, Noah reveals a rapidly dissolving relationship in real-time. Taking place entirely on a computer desktop and an iPhone, Noah explores the disconnect caused by the immediacy of social media and modern communication. This non-traditional storytelling forces you to experience the story along with the characters, in a way that feels eerily familiar.”
The jury was comprised of Adam Nix – Filmmaker, Nix Bros Films; Evan Nix – Filmmaker, Nix Bros Films; Cathryne Czubek – Filmmaker, Girl and Gun and On Blooming Art
Feature Screenplay
Winner: Falfurrias, written by Edward Tyndall
The jury stated: “A young woman living in Mexico makes a perilous passage into Texas after learning her sister is afflicted with cancer and receiving no medical care.  Her journey proves to be a harrowing mission that tests a sister’s unflinching sense of duty and love.  Tyndall’s script exhibits an ever-deepening compassionate story that poignantly explores the tangled aspirations of the human spirit.”
Shorts Screenplay
Winner: Slip Kid, written by Stephen G. Eoannou
The jury stated: “Set in the Buffalo, New York in 1979, this gripping drama centers on the murder of a priest in a close-knit Greek community.  Driven by a guilt-ridden 16-year-old protagonist, this compelling crime tale charts the tragic consequences of malevolence. Eoannou’s script exhibits a true mastery of character and dialogue within a perpetually engaging narrative structure.”
The jury was comprised of Lisa Kennedy – Film and Drama Critic, Denver Post; Stephanie Two Eagles – former Colorado Film Commissioner and member of Colorado Film Hall of Fame; Sheryl Glubok – Screenwriter and Educator; Craig Volk – Assistant Professor at University of Colorado Denver
The screenplay competition is sponsored by The Program of Film and Television at University of Colorado Denver.

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