The "French Spotlight" film Seraphine, which is from France and Belgium, was the big jury-award winner at the just-concluded 10th anniversary Newport Beach Film Festival. The film nearly swept the jury's feature-film categories, winning best film, actor (Ulrich Tukur), actress (Yolande Moreau), director (Martin Provost) and screenplay (Laurent Brunet).
The only other jury award for a feature went to the Korean film Modern Boy for best cinematography.
In Seraphine (pictured), Moreau plays the titular lonely housekeeper who immerses herself in nature to communicate with trees, birds and insects--the only sounding boards available to her. She channels her feelings into art, using paints she makes from soil, animal blood and stolen church votive candles to create meticulous flowers on canvases. But her routine is disturbed when the house she works at is taken over by new tenants.
Other jury awards: best narrative short, Through the Ear; best short documentary, 12 Stones; best animated short, The Incident at Tower 37; and special prize cinematography short, Mkrtich Malkhasyan of Nora.
Ironically, the jury award for best full-length documentary went to Blue Gold: World Water Wars, whose director, Irvine's Sam Bozzo, said shortly before the festival this would be his first and last documentary.
Other NBFF awards of local note include "Festival Honors" in outstanding achievement in directing going to former San Clemente resident Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom; outstanding achievement in filmmaking to Spooner, which was directed by former Santa Ana resident Drake Doremus and starred former Tustin resident Matthew Lillard; and OC Filmmaker Award to Newport Beach's Jeff Parker for Echo Beach, which is about a stretch of sand in his hometown from where the action-sports industry exploded in the 1980s. The "Audience Award" for best feature went to Street Dreams, a skateboarding drama that included San Clemente's Ryan Sheckler in the cast; and short documentary to Center Street Rising, which is about the TKO Boxing Club in Santa Ana.
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The full list of award winners follows: JURY AWARDS
Best Film - Seraphine
Best Actor - Ulrich Tukur - Seraphine
Best Actress - Yolande Moreau - Seraphine
Best Director - Martin Provost - Seraphine
Best Screenplay - Laurent Brunet - Seraphine
Best Cinematography - Modern Boy
Best Documentary - Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Best Narrative Short - Through the Ear
Best Short Documentary - 12 Stones
Best Animated Short - The Incident at Tower 37
Special Prize Cinematography Short - Mkrtich Malkhasyan - Nora
FESTIVAL HONORS AWARDS
Humanitarian Vision Award - Earth Days
Outstanding Achievement in Acting - Jeremy Sisto - Into Temptation
Outstanding Achievement in Action Sports Filmmaking - The Glacier Project
Outstanding Achievement in Action Sports Filmmaking - Waveriders
Outstanding Achievement in Directing - The Brothers Bloom
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking - See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking - Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking - Art & Copy
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking - No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos
Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking - Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008
Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - (500) Days of Summer
Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - Made In China
Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - My Suicide
Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - Spooner
Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll
OC Filmmaker Award - Echo Beach
Outstanding Achievement in Short Filmmaking - Animation - Granny Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
Outstanding Achievement in Horror Filmmaking - Mom
Outstanding Achievement in Short Filmmaking - Directing - On The Road To Tel Aviv
Outstanding Achievement in Short Filmmaking - Screenwriting - Gone Fishing
Outstanding Achievement in Short Filmmaking - Acting - For a Few Marbles
Feature - Street Dreams, Easy Virtue
Foreign Feature - Rudo y Cursi
Documentary - The Cove
Action Sports - That's It, That's All
Family Film - The Music Lesson
Short Film - Kwame
Short Documentary - Center Street Rising
Short Animation - Because You're Gorgeous