DISPATCH - OCT. 14, 2013
Hamptons International Film Festival organizers announced the winners of the Audience Awards and Golden Starfish Awards for narrative feature and feature documentary early on Monday, October 14, 2013 setting the stage for encore screenings of the four winning films on the final day of the 21st installment of the annual event.
Audiences at this year’s festival voted “Philomena” the Best Narrative film and “Desert Runners” the Best Documentary.
“Philomena,” directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench, traces a mother’s search for her lost son.
“Desert Runners,” directed by Jennifer Steinman, follows a group of non-professional runners as they attempt to complete the world’s most difficult ultramarathon race series, traversing some of the planet’s most brutal terrain.
The Audience Award for Best Short Documentary went to “One Last Hug (... And a Few Smooches): Three Days at Grief Camp,” directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky.
Two separate juries selected the Golden Starfish Award winners for Best Narrative Film, “The Selfish Giant,” and Best Documentary, “Code Black.”
Written and directed by Clio Barnard, “The Selfish Giant” is a modern-day adaptation of an Oscar Wilde story, about two boys who work for a scrap merchant.
The Golden Starfish Narrative Feature Award, which is presented by The Wall Street Journal, was decided on this year by a jury that included Elle magazine film critic Karen Durbin; writer, director and actor Alex Karpovsky; and Tony Award nominated actor Raul Esparza.
The narrative jurors also awarded a special jury prize for extraordinary performance to Conner Chapman for his work in “The Selfish Giant.”
The Golden Starfish Award for Best Feature Documentary is presented by A&E Indie Films. This year’s winner, “Code Black,” was directed by first-time filmmaker Ryan McGarry, who started shooting it during his first year as a medical resident assigned to the Emergency Room at Los Angeles County Hospital in 2008.
The film, which also won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 Los Angeles International Film Festival in June, was shot over four years and traces the challenges, setbacks and success that shaped the evolution of McGarry and his fellow residents as doctors.
This year’s documentary feature jury included producer Daniel Crown, photographer and filmmaker Michael Halsband, and Nancy Gerstman, the co-founder of Zeitgeist Films.
The documentary jury also awarded a special prize to the ensemble cast of “Kush,” directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani.
The Golden Starfish for Best Short, presented by Doritos, was awarded to “Whale Valley,” directed by Gudmundur A.Gudmundsson. The 15-minute narrative film, set in Iceland, examines the bond between two brothers after the younger one interrupts the older one’s suicide attempt.
Film Festival organizers announced two other awards on Monday: The Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice went to “The Square” (“Al Midan”) by Jehane Noujaim; and the Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award went to “Free Ride,” directed by Shana Betz.
The Jeremy Nussbaum Prize for Provocative Fiction will be announced at a later date.
Other award winners were selected prior to the start of this year’s festival. For details, visit "Hamptons International Film Festival Returns for 21st Year."
HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson and Artistic Director David Nugent were both pleased by the way the 21st edition of the festival and the award picks turned out.
In the release announcing the award winners on Monday, Chaisson said, "We are so proud to have showcased such unique and varied visions to our audiences.” For his part, Nugent noted that the winners “truly reflect the festival's mission to present some of the best films of the year and we are proud to share them with our audiences."
BASIC FACTS: The Hamptons International Film Festival held its 21st edition from Oct. 10 to 14, 2013 at venues in East Hampton, Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk. For complete information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.
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