Un Plan Parfait (Fly Me To The Moon), the romantic comedy that sold out its Tuesday night French Spotlight screening and earned a repeat showing last night, was the big winner of 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival awards.
It won the juried Best Film, Best Actress (Diane Kruger), Best Director (Pascal Chaumeil) and Best Screenplay (Laurent Zeitoun and Youann Gromb) honors.
The story sounds ripe for a Hollywood rip-off. Kruger plays a successful woman from a family whose members are cursed with having all their first marriages end in divorce. (What are the odds!?!) Madly in love with her boyfriend, she decides to run to the altar with a complete stranger and then get an immediate divorce. Un Plan Parfait was the only 2013 NBFF film to win multiple awards.
The complete list of jury awards follow:
BEST FEATURE FILM – FLY ME TO THE MOON
BEST ACTOR- Sam Rockwell – A SINGLE SHOT
BEST ACTRESS – Diane Kruger – FLY ME TO THE MOON
BEST DIRECTOR – Pascal Chaumeil – FLY ME TO THE MOON
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER- Mihai Malaimaire, Jr. – THE TIME BEING
BEST SCREENPLAY- Laurent Zeitoun and Youann Gromb – FLY ME TO THE MOON
BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY FILM – TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM- OPEN HEART
BEST SHORT ANIMATED FILM – FLAMINGO PRIDE
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM – EMILY
This year's jurors were: Professor Hal Ackerman, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; Karen Merced Willner, instructor of Film as Literature and co-instructor of Post-modern Art & Film at Saddleback College; John A Kuri, founder and CEO of Elixir Entertainment; Deborah LaVine, co-program director of the Film Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts; television and feature film executive H. Daniel Gross; film journalist Jim Brunzell III; and photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Robert Grasmere.
The festival also gives out Audience Awards based on ballots fest-goers handed volunteers as they left theaters. The winners:
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER FEATURE (US) – THE WAY, WAY BACK
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER FEATURE (FOREIGN) – CINCO DE MAYO: THE BATTLE
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER DOCUMENTARY – HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER FEATURE (FAMILY) – WIENER DOG NATIONALS
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER ACTION SPORTS FEATURE – DISCOVERING MAVERICKS
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER (ART, ARCHETECTURE AND DESIGN) – 16 ACRES
The Way, Way Back got in just under the gun: starring Toni Collette and Steve Carrell, the dark comedy was the festival's closing night picture, selling out the 600-plus Lido Theatre days in advance.
Festival programmers give out their own awards, which follow on the next page . . .
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING – BROADWAY IDIOT
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING – THE O'BRIENS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING – DRIFT
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING – THE GOLDEN SCALLOP
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING (COMEDY) – IN SECURITY
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (ENSEMBLE CAST) – WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT (DIRECTING)- I AM I – Jocelyn Towne
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT (ACTING)- Michael Shannon – THE ICEMAN
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT (ACTING)- Onata Aprile – WHAT MAISIE KNEW
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT (ACTING)- Jericho Rosales – BREAKAWAY (ALAGWA)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING (FAMILY FILM)- WIENER DOG NATIONALS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING (ACTION SPORTS) – BIRDMEN: THE ORIGINAL DREAM OF FLIGHT
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING (ACTION SPORTS)- THE SIGNAL HILL SPEED RUN
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMAKING (ENVIONRMENTAL) – CRITICAL MASS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING – LET'S ROLL
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING – WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (MUSIC) – B-SIDE
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (SHORT) – JOSEPHINE AND THE ROACH
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (SHORT) – STRINGS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (ART, ARCHERTICUTE AND DESIGN)–IF YOU BUILD IT
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (EDITING) – LOVE, MARILYN
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING (SHORT) – SILK
As it does every year, the 14th annual Newport Beach Film Festival wrapped with a closing night party featuring loud music, tasty treats and endlessly flowing Absolut and Stellas. Thursday night's blowout was at its usual location: the Via Lido Courtyard within stumbling distance of the Lido.
Festival officials report 2013 attendance was on par with last year's total of more than 52,000 patrons. They were treated to more than 350 films, representing 50 countries.
As I started doing last year, I will be bestowing awards of my own soon. (How's that for a coming attraction?) Meanwhile, my colleague Aimee Murillo and I praised many of the films before their award wins were announced:
Cinco de Mayo: The Battle Channels the Spirit of Mexican Cinema's Rise
This Year's NBFF Offers Some Don't-Miss Debuts
See This Tonight at Newport Beach Film Fest: Terms and Conditions May Apply
See This Tonight at Newport Beach Film Fest: I Declare War
Newport Beach Film Festival Gets Its Irish Up: The O'Brien's, The Iceman, What Maisie Knew
Newport Beach Film Festival: Punk's Not Dead–It's On Broadway
And here's something I did on Renée George, whose short film Le Petit Nuage was paired with big winner Un Plan Parfait: