The award winners have just been announced, and they are:
Best-in-the-Fest and Best Feature both deservedly went to the dysfunctional-American-brothers-in-Thailand drama The Elephant King, which I picked as best and gave a film pick to, so I hope some of you readers saw it. This probably boosts its chances of getting a wider audience.
Best Short was "Validation," one of the few I didn't see. Go figure.
Best Director was Calvin Simmons for his fun preproduction satire Float; I'd say Elephant King's Seth Grossman did a better job, but in the spirit of spreading the wealth, Simmons is worthy.
Best Actor: Frank Harper for Permanent Vacation. Iffy call there; yes, he was good in it, and arguably great relative to his costars, but only because everything else about the movie was so overdone and underthought. If the job of a costar is to make the star look great, though, we can say that the cast did their job well, but maybe not in the way one might hope. Bodybagman was robbed.
Best Actress and Best Screenplay went to The Garage. I'm sensing maybe that they wanted to give every dramatic feature a prize, because once again, The Elephant King way outclasses this film, both in story and lead female performance.
Best Cinematography: "China." Dammit, I put in some 14 hours of short-watching, and the ones that win are the wons I missed!
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Best Documentary: I Wanna Be Like Mike. No, no no. It isn't bad, but the Wanda Jackson doc and the Moroccan hip-hop doc were both (1) better movies and (2) enlightened me. Is it really news to anyone that basketball recruiting is corrupt?
Best Animated Film: Slum Noir. Look, I understand not giving it to Don Hertzfeldt, since he'll probably win an Oscar for his. But Slum Noir, while well drawn, is an incoherent mess of a story. If that's what you like, the Ghost in the Shell homage was more beautiful in its incoherence.
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Pictured: Best actor Frank Harper (center). More photos here.