Friday, February 18, 2011

Festival winners announced

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 7:45 AM

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival announced its competition winners last night, as well as the awards screening schedule. The list:

FEATURE FILM COMPETITION :
The Best Feature prize was awarded to Thomas
Burstyn's THIS WAY OF LIFE, a story of one family's struggles and
success at forging a simple life based around horses, hunting, and
being together. Jurors Kate Pearson and Ian McCluskey noted that
"despite being evicted from their home, having their horses stolen,
and their subsistence lifestyle counter to the forward pressure of
modernity, this family demonstrates genuine perseverance and
commitment to each other. With candid personal interviews, lots of
gorgeous scenery, the filmmakers create an authentic portrait of a
marginal, and marginalized, way of life, that has, at its center, a
real heartbeat of human love."

FEATURE FILM, ARTISTIC VISION AWARD
Judges Kate Pearson and Ian McCluskey chose STEAM OF LIFE for the
Feature Film Artistic Vision award. They herald the film as a masterpiece,
"from the tender opening scene between husband and wife who have
bathed each other in their sauna for 51 years, the audience knows they
are in for a very special treat. This documentary, directed by Joonas
Berghall and Mika Hotakainen, takes viewers into the small confines of
saunas to reveal sad men, old men, fathers and sons. It is a film simple in concept,
elegant in execution, and haunting for the emotional depth of raw
human experience. With an ebb and flow like the water on the sauna
rocks, this film breathes with a life all its own."

SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Michael Lumpkin and Chuck Workman awarded the
Short Film prize to Goro Toshimas BROKEN DOORS. The film follows a
young, homeless couple, struggling to survive on the streets of
Hollywood, as they confront one of the biggest challenges of their
livesan unexpected pregnancy.

MINI-DOC
Jurors Paco de Onis and Pamela Yates awarded the prize to
Kevin Gordon and Rebekah Meredith's, DREAMS AWAKE, a meditation on
immigration through the life and poetry of Doroteo Garcia, a janitor
who discovered his artistic and political voice in the United States.

MINI-DOC, ARTISTIC VISION
MICHAEL AND HIS DRAGON by Briar March was
described by judges Paco de Onis and Pamela Yates as "a refreshing
and poetic insight into the experience of post traumatic disorder,
told from the perspective of a contemporary veteran".

BIG SKY AWARD WINNER
Director Kevin Gordon (who also garnered this
year's Mini Doc Award for his film DREAMS AWAKE) received the award
for his film TUNED IN, a documentary that takes us on a sonic journey
into the world of Steve McGreevy, one natural radio pioneer and his
efforts to capture these mesmerizing sounds.

BIG SKY AWARD, ARTISTIC VISION
Judges Andrew Catauro and Tracy Rector
noted that "Nick Brandestini's artistic achievement, DARWIN, crafted
an honest account of a place. In the inhospitable California desert,
Darwin sustains 35 residents—each of whom blazed their own trail
into what is ironically a one road town. As Connie and Hank Jones
remark in the film 'no one here is interested in who you were, or who
you could be; only who you are today.' Their neighbors meet them
where they're at, and Nick did the same. To characters who may be
considered society's fringe, DARWIN gives voice — creating a
carefully woven quilt of personalities and stories."

The Awards Screenings will take place in the Wilma Theatre, February
19 & 20, The schedule for this weekend's screenings is as follows:

Saturday, February 19 at 8:00pm
DREAMS AWAKE - 7 mins
MICHAEL AND HIS DRAGON - 6 mins
TUNED IN - 5 mins
DARWIN - 86 mins

Sunday, February 20 at 8:00pm
BROKEN DOORS - 34 mins
THIS WAY OF LIFE - 85 mins
STEAM OF LIFE - 81 mins

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