After a whirlwind four days, the San Diego Film Festival has drawn to a close. Directors, actors, writers and special guests have scattered back into their realms of creation, busily brewing the next genius film plot. On the 29th, the winners of the annual event in the categories of Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Foreign, Best Documentary, Best Dramatic Short, Best Comedy Short, Best Comedy, U-T Best San Diego Film, and Chairman’s Award were announced before the event concluded for good last Sunday.
The event, which began on September 26th and ran through the 30th, drew a variety of well known film celebrities into San Diego, including Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant, In Bruges Director Martin McDonagh, as well as guests such as Diane Ladd, Penny Lane, Anne Heche, Jef Holm, and Emily Maynard, among many others. Throughout the week, VIP guests were invited to screen never before seen films, pay tribute to celebrated directors, and mix and mingle with celebrities.
Director Martin McDonagh, along with guests, screened the world premiere of his latest film Seven Psychopaths (TIFF People’s Choice Award winner) during an exclusive event and afterwards, answered questions for the audience. During the Filmmakers Brewhaha & Awards event inside San Diego’s Hotel Palomar, honors were given to the “bests” in the categories mentioned above.
The Story of Luke, directed by Alonso Mayo, is about a 25 year old autistic boy who is on a mission to find sex, and maybe even love. It took the crown for Best Feature. Writer Signe Olynyk won the category of Best Screenplay for her story about a screenwriter who locks himself in a meat cooler in an attempt to awaken his creativity in the film Below Zero. The Best Foreign Film award went to Little Whorehouse in Rochdale, a movie by Ian Vernon about a new widow who opens a co-operative brothel. The catch? If you’re looking for sex, you won’t find it in the Rochdale whorehouse.
Directors Rebecca Schaper and Kyle Tekiela took home the award for Best Documentary with their film A Sister’s Call; a story shot over the course of 14 years, detailing the journey of Call Richmond, a paranoid schizophrenic who disappears, only to return twenty years later. Best Comedy Short, The Hiccup by Matt Smukler and Best Dramatic ShortCherry Waves by Carey Williams rounded the honors for the festival’s shorter films, while director Jordan Roberts took the cake for his work on 3,2,1…Frankie Go Boom, a humorous story of two brothers who struggle to recover an embarrassing “non-sex tape," in the category of Best Comedy.
The U-T Best San Diego Film award went to the film Red Line, by Robert Kirbyson, a dramatic piece of storytelling with a plot line that includes both mystery and terrorism. Finally, the San Diego Film Festival Chairman’s Award went to Tony Tango. By Manolo Celi, this film follows a Latin dance instructor that must overcome his ego and help save his family’s dance studio.