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The Global Film Village: 2010 LA Film Festival Award Winners

 

Roger Corman Independent Film Legend

by Marla Lewin

The LA film festival had a free outdoor screening at a new mixed use residential complex named The Los Angeles Center it is a short walk from the Disney Concert Hall and the MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art. It was a film named Climate Refugees based on the effects of climate change. Marc talked with Ed Begley, Jr, who remembered him from working with The Grifters, at that time Ed was dating Annette Benning.  Ed had driven to the Academy Awards in 1991 in an electric car. Francis Fisher, brought popcorn and they discussed and observed what could be the future post Global Warming.

Down the street at the Grammy Museum, Roger Corman spoke about his career, joined by Peter Fonda, who had made early experimental films, discussing how the history they made, relates to the times today.  How it is even easier now to make creative, low budget movies, with new technology.

I had my first job as an intern at New World which Roger had started. I remember when he and Sam Arkoff used to come to the colleges and watch the students graduate projects searching for talent.  It is not that many years ago that Sundance and other festivals were the place for discovery.  Roger helped launch the career of Joe Dante, who earlier in the month joined him at USC when they also honored Roger, and showed a selection of his films.  Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron started at New World working in the advertising department.

We spent time with Peter Fonda when he was planning the re-release of the first film he had directed, The Hired Hand.  He and Roger have many great stories and it is always a treat for the audience to have insights into how they took creative risks with small budgets to make history.

The other night there was a party after the Mahler film at Trader Vic's, where many of the consulates from France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany, discussed the film.  All of these events took place in downtown LA, far from the Hollywood sign but in a newly renovated area that is giving Los Angeles a new downtown with entertainment as the focus. There is a convention center, a sports arena, an intimate concert facility the Nokia theatre, the Grammy museum, lots of hotels and many new apartment complexes and plenty of new and well known restaurants to try out. The goal is to make the area a 24/7 city, where people can live and work.

The award brunch was held on Saturday morning at Chaya Restaurant, and here are the winners.  Oddly, we attended press screenings, and many screenings,  and still managed to miss seeing the winning films.  With packed houses each night, it would seem the move to downtown, with a new artistic director made for a very successful festival.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Four Lions directed by Christopher MorrisNever one to shy away from taboo subjects, celebrated British satirist Christopher Morris tackles modern jihadism in this comedy of terrors about four bumbling suicide bombers in training. 

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Thunder Souldirected by Mark LandsmanThe film is the story of the Kashmere Stage Band which was a worldwide sensation in the ‘70s.  Thirty-five years later, the band reunites to pay tribute to the man who made it all possible.

Roberto Hernández and Geoffrey Smith’s Presumed Guilty won the Audience Award for Best International FeatureIn Mexico, where 92 percent of convictions are not based on any physical evidence, two lawyers use the documentary lens to expose an abominable justice system and free one innocent man.

The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Dock Ellis & the LSD No-No, directed by James Blagden. The video for OK Go’s This Too Shall Pass, directed by James Frost, OK Go, and Syyn Labswon the Audience Award for Best Music Video.

Pernille Fischer Christensen’s A Family took home the Jury Narrative Award, and J. Clay Tweel’sMake Believe won the Jury Documentary Award.  Best Ensemble Performance was awarded to Sabrina Lloyd, James Urbaniak, Lynn Cohen, Harry Chase, Nate Smith, and Kamel Boutros for their performance in Adam Reid’s Hello Lonesome.   The Short Film Competition Jury awards were given to Pablo Larcuen’s My Invisible Friend for Best Narrative Short, Tomasz Wolski’s The Lucky Ones for Best Documentary Short, and Beomsik Shimbe Shim’s The Wonder Hospital for Best Animated Short Film.

The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival screened over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 40 countries. 

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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.

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