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Hamptons International Film Festival wrapped

The 16th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival presented its Golden Starfish Awards at a ceremony held at the Regal Cinemas in East Hampton, NY on Sunday, October 19, 2008.

Now in its 16th year, this East Coast favorite comes to life against the fall back-drop as talent, industry and audiences participated in what has now become one of the premiere international film festivals showing the best cinema from around the globe. The 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival ran October 15th through 19th, 2008, in East Hampton, New York with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk.

The heart of the Hamptons International Film Festival has always been its Golden Starfish Award and the films in the competitions for Best Narrative Feature (over $185,000 in goods and in-kind services), Best Documentary Award ($5,000 in cash) and Short Film Award ($5,000 in cash). The Hamptons International Film Festival also awards the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science and Technology ($25,000 in cash); the Kodak Award for Cinematography ($6,000 of goods and in-kind services); the Brizzolara Family Award for Films of Conflict and Resolution ($5,000 in cash); the Zicherman Family Foundation Award for Screenwriting ($5,000 in cash); Best Undergraduate and Graduate Student Films (five $1,000 cash awards); the Heineken Red Star Award; the Lifetime Movie Network Everywoman Filmmaker Award and the ¡Sorpresa! Youth Film Competition (a one-week scholarship to the New York Film Academy); new this year, RoC® Gold Standard Award for Female Feature Director and Caroline’s Comedy Emerging Talent Award ($7,500).

On hand to host the awards ceremony was special guest, Writer & Comedienne, Founding Member of Air America Radio, Creator of 'Shoot the Messenger' & Co-Creator of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show,’ Lizz Winstead.

In addition to our host the presenters of the ceremony included Board Chairman Stuart Match Suna, Executive Director Karen Arikian, Director of Programming David Nugent, Board Member Alec Baldwin and members of our juries.

Golden Starfish Narrative and Shorts Competition jurors include: Elvis Mitchell (Film Critic, Host of “The Treatment”), Chistoph Terhechte (Director of International Forum of New Cinema, Berlin International Film Festival), Victoria Burrows (Casting Director – Burrows / Boland Casting).

Golden Starfish Documentary Competition jurors include: Claudia Landsberger (Managing Director, Holland Film), Kate Pearson (SVP Programming, The Documentary Channel), Rachel Grady (Director, Oscar Nominated Jesus Camp).

Conflict and Resolution Competition jurors include: Giulia d’Agnolo Vallan (Author, US Programmer, Venice Film Festival), Carsten Siebert (Executive Director, Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation & Robert Wilson), Bob Aaronson (Director of Acquisitions and Distribution at Netflix).

THE GOLDEN STARFISH and FESTIVAL AWARDS:

• The Golden Starfish Best Narrative Feature, carrying an awards package of over $185,000 of in-kind production services, was presented to: TROUBLED WATER (Norway/Sweden, North American Premiere), Dir. Erik Poppe.

• The Golden Starfish Documentary Feature Film Award, carrying a cash prize of $5,000 was presented to: HERB AND DOROTHY (USA, NY Premiere), Dir. Megumi Sasaki.
 The jury announced a Special Recognition to the Documentary Film, THE RED RACE (China/Germany, NY Premiere) Dir. Chao Gan.

• The Golden Starfish Short Film Award with a prize of $5,000 cash was presented to: I AM SO PROUD OF YOU (USA, East Coast Premiere) Dir. Don Hertzfeldt.

• The Kodak Award For Best Cinematography, worth $6,000 in kind services and product, to: VASERMIL (Israel, East Coast Premiere) Dir. Mushon Salmona; Cinematographer Ram Shweky.

• The Zicherman Family Foundation Award For Best Screenwriter, carrying a $5000 cash prize was awarded to: BOOGIE (Romania, North American Premiere) Dir. Radu Muntean; Screenwriters Alexandru Baciu, Razvan Radulescu, Radu Muntean.

• The Brizzolara Family Award for Films of Conflict and Resolution, carries a $5,000 cash prize each, was presented to: SNOW (Bosnia/ Herzegovina/Germany/France/Iran, US Premiere) Dir. Aida Begic.

• The RoC® Gold Standard Award for Female Feature Director was presented to: Elissa Down for her film THE BLACK BALOON (Australia, US Premiere).

• The Caroline’s Comedy Emerging Talent Award which carries a $7,500 award was presented by Board Member and long time Festival supporter Caroline Hirsch to: Michael Spicer, Writer & Star of HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE RICHARD GERE.

• The Heineken Red Star Award created to provide increased exposure and visibility to independent film by recognizing and rewarding filmmakers and their work. The Hamptons International Film Festival, on behalf of Heineken presented this 2nd annual award to: Patrick Read Johnson for his film ' 77.

• For the 9th consecutive year, the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Film Prize in Science and Technology for a feature-length film that explores science and technology themes in fresh, innovative ways and depicts scientists and engineers in a realistic and compelling fashion was presented at the Hamptons International Film Festival. This year’s recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan award is Marc Abraham’s, FLASH OF GENIUS. The Award was presented by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Doron Weber.

• The ¡Sorpresa! Youth Film Competition in its second year is a signature program developed by HIFF and ¡Sorpresa!, the nation's first Hispanic children's television network and digital community, that showcases Hispanic culture and identity and played at the Festival as part of the Youth Media Program. The winner is: I WANT MY PARENTS BACK made by a group of 9 teenagers under the guidance of Media Arts Center San Diego Teen Producers program. Their names are: Argenis Herrera, Euniz Gonzalez, Garrett Hayes, Khirye Rice, Omar Flores, Cody Marshall, Aaron Dominguez, Melly Jenny, Nathan Villalobos.

• Undergraduate and Graduate Student Film/Video Awards, carrying a $1,000 cash award each, were presented to: AMERICAN DREAM, Dir. Joseph Mann; CLOUDED, Dir. Ajae Clearway; ONE MORE GAME WITH YOU, Dir. Ryan Parma; ROSALIE, Dir. Nicholas Berger; THE HOLLOW TREE, Dir. Patrick Steward.

• The Golden Starfish Award for Best Young Videomaker went to: IMAGE OF CONTAMINATION: SAN ANTONIO'S TOXIC TRIANGLE, co-directed by young filmmakers Liz Gonzalez and Antonio Rodriguez from San Antonio, TX.

• The Lifetime Movie Network Everywoman Filmmaker Award was presented to Negin Farsad for her film HOT BREAD KITCHEN.

• The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to: TROUBLED WATER (Norway/Sweden, North American Premiere), Dir. Erik Poppe,

• The Audience Award for Best Documentary was presented to: HERB AND DOROTHY (USA, NY Premiere), Dir. Megumi Sasaki.

• The Audience Award for Best Short Film was presented to: THE PIG (Denmark, US Premiere) Dir. Dorte Hoegh.

“We are thrilled that our jury as well as our audience members have been equally affected by our presentations in the narrative and documentary categories,” stated Director of Programming David Nugent. “It provides us with a strong mandate to continue presenting quality films from innovative filmmakers from around the world.”


The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. The Festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.

This year’s Festival features 122 films including - 14 World Premieres, 23 North American Premieres, 18 US Premieres, 15 East Coast Premieres and 15 New York Premieres.

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