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Film Festival Roundup: Tribeca Announces Jury, Sarasota and Dallas Pick Winners, and More

It was a very big week for award winners at festival around the country. Check out these new fest faves.


Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– Cardiff Animation Nights will be returning to run a dedicated animation strand at Cardiff Independent Film Festival (C.I.F.F.) for a second year this May. This year’s animation strand at C.I.F.F. will comprise three programs of animated short films in competition for the Best Animation Award, as well as an Animated Family Shorts program curated by renowned Cardiff-based studio Cloth Cat Animation, networking events, and an Animation Quiz run by the team at Skwigly Animation Magazine.

The competition program features animated short films from across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia, including Mikey Hill’s The Orchestra, Anete Melece’s Analysis Paralysis, Chris Shepherd’s Johnno’s Dead, Ross Hogg’s Life Cycles and Alois Di Leo’s Way of Giants.

The Best Animation award will be decided by a jury comprising senior director of animation at Nickelodeon International, Alexi Wheeler; award-winning director, Rebecca Manley; co-founder and producer at Slurpy Studios, Aaron Wood; founder of the British Animation Awards, Jayne Pilling; and director and designer at Aardman Animations, Darren Dubicki. The full animation program can be found at their official site.

"The Wound"

“The Wound”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

– Beginning with its inaugural year in 1999, each Maryland Film Festival has included a favorite film selected and hosted by legendary Baltimore filmmaker, provocateur, and MdFF board member John Waters.

This year, the Festival takes place from May 3 – 7, and on Friday evening (May 5), John Waters will introduce the bizarre action-adventure cult film “Roar” (1981) from director Noel Marshall. Marshall, his wife at the time, Tippi Hedren, and her daughter Melanie Griffith star in the movie about a family who visits Africa to meet their father, a man living with wild, uncaged jungle cats. Drafthouse Films released the largely forgotten feature film in U.S. theaters in 2015, billing it “the most dangerous film ever made.”

Waters will introduce “Roar” in the 414-seat auditorium at the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway, located at the corner of North Avenue and Charles Street. Filmgoers will experience an unforgettable night of humorous commentary from the “Pope of Trash” as Waters shares his unique and colorful observations about the film and why he selected it for the screening.

– The 5th edition of Stranger With My Face International Film Festival will take place in Hobart from May 4 – 7, with a line-up of feature films, a shorts program, a symposium, industry events and an art exhibition. Stranger With My Face focuses on women’s perspectives in genre filmmaking with an emphasis on horror and related genres.

The 2017 program includes a retrospective of the celebrated New Zealand filmmaker Gaylene Preston; the Tasmanian premiere of the all-female horror anthology “XX” with one of the filmmakers, Roxanne Benjamin, in person; and a screening of Wes Craven’s “The People Under the Stairs” with its cinematographer, Sandi Sissel ASC.

Jury Announcements

– The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, has announced its jurors for the 16th edition, comprised of a group of critically acclaimed filmmakers, award-winning actors working across film, television, and stage, accomplished producers, and cultural leaders.

In addition to the main competition juries, the Festival also announced the all-female jury for the 2017 Nora Ephron Prize, which was founded four years ago to honor a woman filmmaker whose work embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron. Tribeca previously announced five jurors for the second annual Tribeca X Award, which celebrates branded storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment.

The jurors for the 2017 US Narrative Competition section are: Josh Lucas, Melanie Lynskey, Denis O’Hare, Alex Orlovsky and Stephanie Zacharek. The jurors for the 2017 International Narrative Competition section are: Willem Dafoe, Peter Fonda, Tavi Gevinson, Alessandro Nivola and Ruth Wilson. The jurors for the 2017 World Documentary Competition section are: R.J. Cutler, Alma Har’el, Barbara Kopple, Anne Thompson and David Wilson.

zoe lister-jones band aid

“Band Aid”

The jurors for the 2017 Best New Narrative Director Competition are: Bryan Buckley, Clea Duvall and Michael Pitt. The jurors for the 2017 Albert Maysles Award (Best New Documentary Director Award) are: Amy Berg, Alice Eve, Marilyn Ness, Zachary Quinto and Shaul Schwarz.

The jurors for the 2017 Narrative Short Film Competition are: Udi Aloni, Brennan Brown, Gilbert Gottfried, Amy Heckerling, Sheila Nevins, Mark O’Brien and Jesse Plemons. The jurors for the 2017 Documentary and Student Visionary Competitions are: Priyanka Chopra, Olivia Thirlby, Ryan Eggold, Brendan Fraser and Ileen Gallagher.

The jurors for the 2017 Storyscapes Competition are: Lily Baldwin, Charlotte Cook, Julia Kaganskiy, Michael Premo and Sarah Wolozin. The jurors for the 2017 Nora Ephron Prize are: Dianna Agron, Joy Bryant, Diane Lane, Zoe Lister-Jones and Christina Ricci.


– After nine days of films, panels, roundtable discussions and community outreach, the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) concluded at the historic Sarasota Opera House on Saturday. SFF finished its 2017 edition with a stage filled with A-list talent including honoree Diane Lane, who took home an award for cinematic excellence, actors Stanley Tucci and Rosanna Arquette, filmmaker and TV personality Aisha Tyler and NBA Legend Kenny Anderson, among others. SFF announced this year’s jury and audience award winners the ceremony.

“The Wound,” directed by John Trengove, took home this year’s Narrative Feature Jury prize that came with a $5,000 cash prize from Sam Slater of Burn Later Productions. “Last Men In Aleppo,” directed by Feras Fayyad, was the Documentary Jury Prize winner.

Three special jury prizes were awarded; in the Narrative category for masterly use of comedy in a tragic milieu, “One Week And A Day,” directed by Asaph Polonsky. For Documentary Feature Competition a Special Jury Prize was awarded to “Dina,” directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini, for Honesty and Humanity and for Independent Visions the Special Jury prize for Narrative Innovation went to “Fraud,” directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp.


The festival’s Independent Visions Award, which includes a distribution deal from FACTORY 25, went to “California Dreams,” directed by Mike Ott. The Terry Porter Visionary Award went to “Menashe,” directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein, for its spirit of independence and experimentation. This year’s Animated Shorts jury winner is “Nutag-Homeland,” directed by Alisi Telengut. The jury awarded “The Silence,” directed by Farnoosh Samadi and Ali Asgari best Narrative Short and the Documentary Short award winner is Little Potato, directed by Wes Hurley.

 This year’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was “Like Crazy,” directed by Paolo Virzi. The Audience Award for Best Documentary was presented to “Abacus: Small Enough To Jail,” director Steve James. The Best In World Cinema Audience Award went to “Last Men in Aleppo,” director Feras Fayyad. “Bon Voyage,” directed by Marc Wilkins won the Audience Award for Best Short Film.

– The Dallas Film Society announced the award winners for the 11th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival at the annual Dallas Film Society Honors Gala Presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation held at The Highland Dallas on Friday, April 7.

C.A. Gabriel and Renée Felice Smith’s “The Relationtrip” took home the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize and Jonathan Olshefski’s “Quest” was awarded the Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize. A Special Narrative Feature Jury Prize was awarded to Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson for directing for his film, “Heartstone,” and a Special Documentary Feature Jury Prize for Artistry was also awarded to Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s “Spettacolo.”

“The Relationtrip”

The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation Audience Awards were presented to: Jameson Brooks’s “Bomb City” for Best Narrative Feature, Luke Korem’s “Dealt” for Best Documentary Feature, and Tim Mason’s “No Other Way to Say It” for Best Short Film. The Narrative and Documentary Features each won $2000 prizes, and the Best Short took home a $1000 cash prize as part of the award.

In addition to the presentation of the filmmaking awards, the evening also featured the presentation of the Dallas Shining Star Award to Zoey Deutch, a posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star Award to Bill Paxton, and the presentation of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award to David Gordon Green.

– Aspen Film, a year-round film arts and education organization, announced its winners for the 26th Aspen Shortsfest, at an Awards Dinner this past weekend. More than $15,000 in prizes, were presented including the audience award and nine juried categories, four of which qualify the winners for Oscar consideration. The festival screened 64 films from 31 countries from April 4 – 9, which were eligible in the competition.

before i fall movie zoey deutch

“Before I Fall”

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to welcome Aspen Film’s new Shortsfest program director Kathleen McInnis,” said Aspen Film Executive Director John Thew. “Kathleen has helped to cement Shortsfest as the premiere short film festival in North America; a place for industry to scout new talent, filmmakers to make important connections, and audiences to celebrate this important art form.”

“The 26th Aspen Shortsfest has been an extraordinary and rewarding convergence of filmmakers, industry and audience,” said Shortsfest Director of Programming Kathleen McInnis. “Filmmakers premiered their films for Aspen’s discerning audience and connected with global industry representatives, who were here to mentor and scout new talent.  It is our honor to be a part of these filmmakers’ journeys — and it’s clear that Aspen is the perfect place to celebrate creative inspiration.”

You can check out the full list of winners right here.



Courtesy of Sundance

– The RiverRun International Film Festival announced the Jury Awards for the 2017 Festival earlier this week. The 19th annual Festival ran March 30 – April 9 and presented 151 films, representing 49 countries.

“The films showcased in this year’s Festival reflected diverse stories from around the world from both emerging filmmakers and established directors. We had more than 1,700 submissions for our 2017 Festival and we had many difficult choices to make in completing the program. The juries were very impressed with our competition films and agreed it was difficult to make their final decisions,” said Rob Davis, RiverRun Executive Director.

You can check out the full list of winners right here.

– The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded on Sunday evening (April 9) with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere of Shubhashish Bhutiani’s “Hotel Salvation,” starring Adil Hussain who was in attendance, as well as the presentation of the festival’s Grand Jury and Audience Choice Awards presented by HBO.

The prestigious 2017 narrative film jurors were: David Marriott (VP, Acquisitions & Distribution, Cinelicious), Gingger Shankar (composer) and Kim Yutani (Sundance Film Festival). Judging the short films were: Ritesh Rajan (actor), Kim Sherman (producer) and Kelly Thomas.

The audiences at this year’s IFFLA chose “A Billion Colour Story” as their favorite narrative feature film of the festival, and “An Insignificant Man” as their favorite documentary feature. “Aaba” was chosen as Best Short. Other winners included “The Golden Wing,” “Lady of the Lake,” “Devi,” and “Gudh.”

– The Audience Awards Film Festival Award winners from this weekend’s inaugural festival included award-winning documentarian Ondi Timoner, Effie T. Brown, Paz Lenchantin of the Pixies, and Jacques Thelemaque, President of Filmmakers Alliance. Audience Awards’ major initiative, their Women’s Film Challenge (WFC), provided the top ten documentary and narrative filmmakers an intimate mentorship program with ten of the industry’s most powerful women.

Honors and Tributes

– The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced that Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola will be named the 2017 Filmmaker on the Edge. Coppola will be in attendance to accept the award in conversation with resident artist John Waters on Saturday, June 17, at Provincetown’s historic Town Hall.
Additionally, the festival announced that actress and director Chloë Sevigny will receive the Excellence in Acting Award. Sevigny will accept in conversation with Eugene Hernandez, deputy director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and co-publisher of Film Comment.

– The Greenwich International Film Festival has announced the honorees for the 3rd annual Changemaker Gala, which will take place on Thursday, June 1, 2017. The Changemaker Awards honor artists who have used their public platform and the power of film to further positive social change. This year, Renée Zellweger and Christy Turlington Burns, will be honored for their humanitarian work with ALS and Every Mother Counts, respectively.

Past honorees include Freida Pinto, Trudie Styler, Abigail Breslin, Harry Belafonte and Mia Farrow. The Greenwich International Film Festival is set to run June 1 – 4.

Bridget Jones's Baby

“Bridget Jones’s Baby”

Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger will receive the “Changemaker Award” for her leadership and support in the search for effective treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in honor of her dear friend Nanci Ryder, veteran publicist and co-founder of BWR Public Relations who was diagnosed in 2014, as well as her work with the SIMS Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to support those in the Austin music industry, suffering from depression and mental health illnesses.

Humanitarian, maternal health advocate and model Christy Turlington Burns will receive the “Changemaker Award” for her work with Every Mother Counts, an organization that she founded to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the global maternal health crisis and links mothers to providers of essential care, by addressing these three barriers to maternal health: transportation, education and supplies.

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