|DENVER FILM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR 39th DENVER FILM FESTIVAL
Music On Film – Film On Music Documentary Fund and Sheila K. O’Brien Cinematic Achievement Award for UK & Ireland Award Announced for 40th Denver Film Festival
|November 14, 2016 (Denver, Colo.) – The Denver Film Festival (DFF), produced by the Denver Film Society, announced today its juried and audience award winners for this year’s festival, which ran from November 2-13 in Denver.
In addition to the awards, the Denver Film Society announced the Music on Film-Film on Music Documentary Fund and the Sheila K. O’Brien Cinematic Achievement Award for UK & Ireland. The Music On Film-Film On Music Documentary Fund (MOFFOM) is a grant program of the Denver Film Society created in thanks to the generous support of John Caulkins. The MOFFOM Grant Program will launch in spring of 2017 and will support production expenses for documentary filmmakers specifically for music licensing, scoring, and composition. The Denver Film Society will award up to $25,000 anually in grant support. Submissions will open in Spring of 2017.
“I believe music is an often overlooked but always crucial element in making a quality film,” says John Caulkins. “I am happy to support the Denver Film Society and help documentary filmmakers defray the costs of adding music to their films, so their complete vision can come to life on screen.”
The Sheila K. O’Brien Cinematic Achievement Award for UK & Ireland will recognize the achievements and talents of one film or person from the UK or Ireland with an honor each year at the Denver Film Festival beginning at DFF40.
The 39th Denver Film Festival featured more than 250 films representing 50 countries. Recognized as the Rocky Mountain Region’s premier film event, DFF attracted over 55,000 filmgoers during the annual twelve-day celebration, culminating at the Denver Film Festival Awards Brunch at The Curtis Hotel. The 40th Denver Film Festival will take place November 1 – 12, culminating a year-long celebration of the organization’s 40-year history.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS PRESENTED BY STARZ
The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film
Winner: Do Not Resist directed by Craig Atkinson
The jury stated: “For a daring and deeply visceral portrait of the ongoing militarization of law enforcement in the U.S. that is captured in an honest and technically stunning fashion. Do Not Resist is an important, urgent film that every American should see.”
Honorable Mention: Off the Rails directed by Adam Irving
The jury was comprised of: Kaily Smith Westbrook, actor and co-founder of SeriesFest, Kevin Polowy, Yahoo Movies senior writer, editor and correspondent, and Chike Okonkwo a stage, television, and film actor and recent star of Birth of a Nation.
The Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film
Winner: The Last Family directed by Jan P. Matuszynski (Poland)
The jury stated: For its epic and intimate portrayal of the life of surrealist Polish painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, the award for Best Feature Film goes to The Last Family. Jan P. Matuszynski voyeuristic, powerful storytelling brings us into the apartment and the world of the Beksinskis over 30 tumultuous years, revealing the emotional highs and lows of this idiosyncratic yet relatable family.
Special Jury Prize: Best Actress
Special Honorable Mention:
The jury was comprised of: Adam Kersh head of publicity and co-founder of the PR and marketing firm Brigade, Patrick Hackett director, producer and board president of the CFVA, and Ula Sniegowska the Artistic Director of the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.
The American Independent Narrative Award
Winner: Hunter Gatherer directed by Joshua Locy (USA)
The six distinct titles selected for the American Independent Narrative section are strong, hopeful indicators of the current state of indies in the US, representing the diverse voices and startlingly beautiful aesthetics of the some of best from the contemporary filmmaking landscape.
For its singular authorial voice and unique vision, sense of humor and sheer charm, the Award for Best American Independent Narrative goes to Joshua Locy’s Hunter Gatherer. This consistently surprising feature debut from art director-turned-filmmaker Locy is one of overwhelming humanity, with unexpected characterizations deftly realized by Andre Royo, George Sample III and the rest of the film’s nuanced supporting cast. Drifting seamlessly between subtle magical realism and tough reality, Hunter Gatherer is highlighted by sublime cinematography and a poignant, pitch-perfect score from American composer Keegan DeWitt.
Honorable Mention in the American Independent Narrative Section
The jury was comprised of: Jasmine McGlade, film writer, director and producer, Jefferson Moneo Canadian writer and director, and graduate of Columbia’s MFA Film program, and KJ Relth of the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s programming department.
The Liberty Global International Student Short Award
Winner: Submarine directed by Mounia Akl (Lebanon)
The jury stated: “We were struck by the use of sparse, magical realism to explore the idea of home in the film Submarine. A garbage crisis provides the backdrop of disaster for a strong, woman protagonist to resist evacuation of her contaminated town.
The film is constructed with dreamy and disorienting editing strategies, heightening a sense of the mythical. Yet, the fable in this film jars us outside of the frame, as you begin to recall catastrophes from this world, heavy with overtones of environmental and refugee catastrophes.”
The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award
Winner: Girls and Boys directed by Tomasz Gubernat (USA)
The jury stated: The cinematography and editing function like a microscope, as we observe the tightly framed details and gestures of these coming of age students learning a traditional Polish dance featuring rigidly coded gender roles.
This seemingly innocuous class allows us to meditate on larger questions of tradition and the passage of time that is revealed to us through the space of a quotidian after school dance class through the space of a quotidian after school dance class.
Best Short Animated Film
The jury was charmed by this quirky, mystifying and hypnotic animation. A woman and her flora environment merge into a symbiotic relationship of licks and caresses. Everyday sounds are transformed into a musical landscape. We all agreed that this was a genuinely bizarre tale where the world we know is recreated as a sensual sanctuary that can only exists in the imaginary.
The jury for all three shorts categories was comprised of: Diana Reichenbach, multi-media artist and Professor of Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design, Chris Robinson, the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and Kelly Sears and Denver based animator and filmmaker, and Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Feature Screenplay Award
Winner: The Silence written by Thomas Thonson
Presented by: University of Colorado Denver’s Film & Television Program, College of Arts and Media
Short Screenplay Award
Winner: Evelyn X Evelyn written by Eric Pumphrey
Presented by: University of Colorado Denver’s Film & Television Program, College of Arts and Media
True Grit Award
Denver Film Festival Awards
As previously announced, awards presented on behalf of the Denver Film Festival were:
For a look back at the 39th Denver Film Festival join us on social media: like the DFF Facebook (Facebook.com/DenverFilmFestival) page, follow @DenverFilm on Twitter and @DenverFilmSociety on Instagram and join the conversation by using the hashtag: #DFF39.
ABOUT THE DENVER FILM SOCIETY: Founded in 1978, the Denver Film Society (DFS) is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural institution that produces film events throughout the year, including the award-winning Denver Film Festival and the popular, summertime series Film on the Rocks. With a vision to cultivate community and transform lives through film, the Film Society provides opportunities for diverse audiences to discover film through creative, thought-provoking experiences.
The permanent home of the Denver Film Society, the Sie FilmCenter, is Denver’s only year-round cinematheque, presenting a weekly-changing calendar of first-run exclusives and arthouse revivals both domestic and foreign, narrative and documentary – more than 600 per year, all shown in their original language and format. DFS’s one-of-a-kind programs annually reach more than 200,000 film lovers and film lovers-in-training.
For more information, visit www.denverfilm.org or facebook.com/DenverFilmFestival, or follow @DenverFilm on Twitter and @DenverFilmSociety on Instagram. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #DFF39.
The sponsors of the 2016 Denver Film Festival help sustain the organization’s vision to cultivate community and transform lives through film. Festival sponsors include: Premier Sponsor – Regal Entertainment Group; Associate Sponsors – Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, AOR, Inc., Barbara Bridges, CEAVCO Audio Visual, Comcast, Liberty Global, Mike’s Camera, STARZ, Three Tomatoes Catering, Xfinity; Supporting Sponsors – Allwell Rents, Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Denver Pavilions, Fusion Beverage Solutions, Lyft, Nichols Venture Group, Sage Hospitality; Patron Sponsors – AARP, Colorado Restaurant Association, Couch, LLC, Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Great Divide Brewing Co., Kentwood City Properties, Lighting & Design by Scott, Propel, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Rotary Club of Denver, SundanceNow Doc Club, University of Colorado-Denver College of Arts & Media; Media – Denver Life Magazine, Open Media Foundation, Out Front, ProductionHub, Westword; Government Sponsors – Arts & Venues Denver, Create Denver, Colorado Office of Film Television & Media, French Film and TV Department of the French Embassy in Los Angeles, Honorary Consul of Belgium Frank Schuchat, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District; Contributing Sponsors – AR & VR Play Place, Brookfield Parking, Caz Matthews, Colorado Film & Video Association, Contagious Media, David Sands Pictures, Denver Screenprint & Embroidery, Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, Fine Arts Foundation, Go Direct Services, Harmonic Media, Kind Snacks, Larimer Associates, LivWell Enlightened Health, Made In Nature, Mike Wright Gallery, Novo Coffee, SAGIndie, Stillwater, Telula, TV5MONDE, Visit Denver, Weather or Not Event Accessories, Will LaBahn