Santa Barbara fest announces jury winners

Posted by · 9:17 pm · February 7th, 2012

The winners of the 27th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival were announced yesterday, celebrating unique short-form, international, documentary and narrative film.

Kris participated in the jury alongside actor/comedian Dave Koechner, actor/director Brad Hall, actor/writer W. Earl Brown, actor Anthony Zerbe and his wife Arnette Zerbe, SBIFF originator Phyllis de Picciotto, director Glenn Jordan, actor Tim Matheson and writer/ director Perry Lang.

“Each year, SBIFF strives to feature film from all ranges of the ‘cine-spectrum,'” SBIFF executive Roger Durling said in the press release. “Successfully building upon this tradition of excellence, the lineup for the 27th edition of the festival showcased a particularly captivating yet challenging collection of works.”

Of the hundreds screened, the following were the offerings that were collectively deemed outstanding in their given category…

The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema: “Up There”

(Given to a unique independent feature that has been made outside mainstream Hollywood)

Martin, who is stuck in a dead-end job, welcoming the newly departed into the afterlife. All he dreams of is going “up there,” and he attempts to cope with his death by keeping his nose clean and minding his own business. But all this is thrown into disarray when, in order to track down an errant lost soul.

Directed by Zam Salim, received a Panavision camera package worth $60,000.

Jury Prize for Artistic Distinction: “Barrymore”

Directed by Erik Canuel and starring Christopher Plummer.

The Best International Film Award: “Free Men”

Directed by Ismael Ferroukhi about an Algerian Muslim immigrant who joins the French Resistance to save Algerian Jews.

The Nueva Vision Award: “Found Memories”

(For the best Spanish/Latin American)

Julia Murat directs a film about young photographer finds a forgotten ghost town where only a handful of old people live, and changes their lives forever.

Honorable Mention to “The Rumble of the Stones” (“El Rumor de las Piedras”)

Alejandro Bellame Palacios directs Venezuela”s official submission for the Academy Awards, about a heartfelt and compelling portrait of the enduring power of a mother”s love against the backdrop of the social problems of modern-day Venezuela.

Best Documentary Film Award: “Pretty Old”

Walter Matteson directs a film that follows four diverse women, ages 67 to 94, competing in the 30th year Anniversary of the Ms. Senior Sweetheart Beauty Pageant in Fall River, Massachusetts, exploring what it truly means to “age beautifully.”

The Cinema Nouveau Award: “Heat Wave” (“Apres Le Sud”)

Jean-Jacques Jauffret directs a film based on a true story told from intersecting points of view where different destinies cross paths and are reunited by a tragic event.

Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film Under 30 Minutes: “L Train”

Directed by Anna Musso and executive produced by Alexander Payne, “L Train” is the story of Sunny, a teenaged African American girl commuting through an inner city winter – an existence that injects a negativity into her long days.

Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animation Short Film: “The Missing Key”

Jonathan Nix directs a richly re-imagined Venice of the early 1920s, young composer Hero Wasabi must compete against the unscrupulous Count Telefino in the prestigious Abacus Scroll musical competition.

The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award Sponsored by The Fund for Santa Barbara: “Dirty Energy”

(For a documentary film that addresses social justice issues)

Director Bryan Hopkins received $2500.

The Audience Choice: “Starbuck”

Ken Scott directs a film about a former sperm donor who discovers he’s the father of 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a class action lawsuit to determine the identity of their biological father, known only by the pseudonym Starbuck.

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