LA Film Festival Announces Winners and Thanks Its Generous Sponsors

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The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, announced the winners of the 2017 Festival at the Awards Reception presided over by Festival Director Jennifer Cochis and Film Independent President Josh Welsh. 

The Festival’s juried awards include the U.S. Fiction Award, U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure, World Fiction Award, Documentary Award, LA Muse Awards, and Nightfall Award, as well as the Short Fiction Award and the Short Documentary Award.

Audience awards are presented for Fiction Feature Film, Documentary Feature Film, Short Film and Web Series. Festival Guest Director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Beatriz at Dinner) was awarded the Spirit of Independence Award at the event for his work advancing the cause of independent film and championing creative freedom. 

Film Independent President Josh Welsh also took the opportunity to thank the more than 60 generous sponsors, funders, and media partners without whom the Festival would not be possible.

“This year the LA Film Festival stretched all across our city, from downtown to the beach,” said Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. “We're so grateful to the film lovers who packed our theaters in support of our storytellers. Today we celebrate the winners of the LA Film Festival Awards!”

“Producing the LA Film Festival is a huge undertaking, with filmmakers from all across the globe, venues all across the city, and hundreds of volunteers helping us pull it off,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “We truly could not do it without the extremely generous support of our many sponsors.”

The U.S. Fiction Award went to Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell for Becks, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure went to cinematographers Christian Sorensen Hansen and Pete Ohs for Everything Beautiful is Far Away, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Duncan Birmingham, Riley Stearns and Emily Ting.

The World Fiction Award went to Diego Ros for The Night Guard (El Vigilante), which made its North American Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Caroline Graham, Lincoln Jones and Javier Fuentes-León. 

The Documentary Award went to Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp for Liyana, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Katherine Fairfax-Wright, Paul Federbush and Matt Holzman.

The LA Muse Awards were given to two films, one fiction and one documentary. The LA Muse Documentary Award went to Mark Hayes for Skid Row Marathon, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The LA Muse Fiction Award went to Savannah Bloch for And Then There Was Eve, which made its World Premiere at the Festival.  Jury Members: Susan Burke, Juan Iglesias and Kimrie Lewis-Davis.

The Nightfall Award went to Amanda Evans for Serpent, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Jimmy Tsai, Clarke Wolfe and Andrew Curry.

The Award for Short Fiction went to A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock. The Award for Short Documentary went to Black America Again, directed by Bradford Young. Jury Members: Kim Adelman, Jonni Cheatwood and Naomi Ladizinsky.

The Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film was given to Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes.

The Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film went to The Keeping Hours, directed by Karen Moncrieff.

The Audience Award for Short Film went to Swim directed by Mari Walker.  The Audience Award for Web Series went to High & Mighty, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada.

Announced earlier were the winners of The Danny Elfman Project: Rabbit and Rogue competition:

13, Justine Quinones

The Bridge, Matt Eckholm

Dandelion, Catherine Fauteux

A Day for Manuel, JB Minerva

Gamelan, Cornelia Nicolăeasa

A Glory Sewn, Travis Dixon

Lakesong, Douglas Gibbens & Konstantina Mantelos

Natural Promotion, Sean Oliver

Urge, Pieter Coudyzer

Elfman offered free licenses of his Rabbit and Rogue album to filmmakers on as the catalyst and soundtracks to their short films.  The winning films screened at the Festival. The jury was comprised of Gus Van Sant, McG, Rob Minkoff, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Paul Haggis and Suzanne Todd.

The LA Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday, June 14 with the World Premiere of Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry and will close later today with the LA Premiere of Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West.

Special Screenings included Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller, Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear and featured conversations with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia, Ava DuVernay, Amanda Marsalis, DeMane Davis, Kat Candler and Cheryl Dunye of Queen Sugar to list but a few of the events this year.

The Festival also celebrated producer Nina Yang Bongiovi (Roxanne Roxanne, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Fruitvale Station, Dope) at the Women Who Lead Luncheon.

The Festival’s five competitions featured 37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres and 9 North American Premieres. Across the competition categories 42% of the films are directed by women and 40% are directed by people of color.


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