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Film Independent Announces Jury Award Winners of 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival

hollywoodnews.com: Today Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced its 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival award winners at a brunch at CHAYA Downtown. Audience award winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon at the Closing Night film, Despicable Me. The Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by The Los Angeles Times, with its central hub at L.A. LIVE, began Thursday, June 17 and will end on Sunday, June 27.

“There were thousands of movie fans at the festival this year, discovering new stories from our talented filmmakers,” said Film Independent Executive Director Dawn Hudson. “We are delighted to have the support of the Los Angeles film-going community for these films and their creators”

The two top juried awards of the Los Angeles Film Festival are the Narrative Award and Documentary Award, each carrying an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize, funded by Film Independent, for the winning film’s director. The awards were established by the Festival encourage independent filmmakers to pursue their artistic ambitions.

“In a year that celebrated an exhilarating spectrum of American and international cinema, it’s so fitting that these jury awards reflect the incredible diversity of the Festival,” said Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham.

The Narrative Award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition at the Festival and went to Pernille Fischer Christensen for A Family (En Familie). The Documentary Award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival and went to J. Clay Tweel for Make Believe.

The award for Best Ensemble Performance in the Narrative Competition went to Sabrina Lloyd, James Urbaniak, Lynn Cohen, Harry Chase, Nate Smith and Kamel Boutros for their performance in Adam Reid’s Hello Lonesome. Given to an actor or actors from an official selection in the Narrative Competition, this is the seventh year the award has been given at the Festival.

The award for Best Narrative Short Film went to Pablo Larcuen’s My Invisible Friend. The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to Tomasz Wolski’s The Lucky One. Beomsik Shimbe Shim’s Wonder Hospital won the award for Best Animated Short Film.

The Narrative Feature Competition jury was comprised of director Charles Burnett, screenwriter/producer Larry Karaszewski, and LA Weekly film critic Ella Taylor. The Documentary Feature Competition jury was comprised of director/actress Karen Moncrief, director Arthur Dong, and film critic and journalist Robert Abele. The Shorts Competition jury was comprised of writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh, actor Andrew Garfield, and director Tommy O’Haver.

The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival screened over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 40 countries. This year, the Festival received more than 4,700 submissions from filmmakers around the world. The final selections represent 28 World, North American, and U.S. premieres, which more than doubled from 2009. The number of films competing in the narrative and documentary competition categories also increased this year from 13 to 18, of which half are World premieres.

The Festival kicked off on Thursday, June 17 with the Opening Night film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, directed by David Slade, had it’s world premiere at the Festival on Thursday, June 24. The Closing Night film selection was Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me, directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin.

In lieu of one Centerpiece Premiere, this year’s Festival held a number of high-profile Gala Screenings, which included: Sony Pictures Classics’ Animal Kingdom, directed by David Michod; Fox Searchlight’s Cyrus, directed by Jay & Mark Duplass; the world premiere of Mahler on the Couch, directed by Percy and Felix Adlon; the North American premiere of Revolucion, a series of short films directed by Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Escalante, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo Garcia, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Pia, Carlos Reygadas, and Patricia Riggen; and Paramount Vantage’s Waiting for Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim.

In addition, the Festival held Conversations with Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Roger Corman, Christopher Nolan, and Edgar Wright, with panelists and moderators including J.J. Abrams, Jeremy Renner, Curtis Hanson, Joe Dante, Peter Fonda, Peter Bogdanovich, Julie Corman, and Elvis Mitchell. Coffee Talks, Tech Talks, Poolside Chats at the JW Marriott Pool at L.A. LIVE, the new Seize the Power: Marketing & DIY(stribution) Symposium, and free outdoor anniversary screenings of Desperately Seeking Susan and Back to the Future were held throughout the ten days.

Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow was this year’s Guest Director of the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. In her role as Guest Director, Bigelow attended the 9th annual Filmmaker Retreat at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, a gathering of Festival filmmakers, special invited artists and Festival staff. Jonathan Gold, Quincy Jones and Paul Reubens served as this year’s Artists in Residence. As Artists in Residence, each programmed an event that inspired their work. Jonathan Gold selected Katsuyuki Motohiro’s Udon, followed by a conversation about food and film, Quincy Jones selected Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, followed by a conversation about movies and music, and Paul Reubens chose Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take It With You, followed by a conversation about classics and comedy.

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