The 10th Annual CineVegas Film Festival, which opened with Peter Cattaneo’s “The Rocker” and concludes this evening with Sean McGinly’s The Great Buck Howard, bestowed its filmmaking honors today in an afternoon ceremony helmed by Artistic Director Trevor Groth, Festival President Robin Greenspun and Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board Dennis Hopper. Festival winners included Rolf Belgum’s “She Unfolds By Day,” which received the Grand Jury Prize; Rachel Samuels’ “Dark Streets,” which was acknowledged with a Special Jury Award; and Bill Pullman who received a Special Jury Award for his role in Matthew Wilder’s “Your Name Here.” Additionally, the Jury Prize for the Festival’s special section, Pioneer Documentaries, was awarded to Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard’s “Beautiful Losers,” with Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose’s “Hi My Name is Ryan” garnering a Special Documentary Jury Prize. Jonás Cuarón’s “Año uña (Year of the Nail)” received the La Próxima Ola Grand Jury Prize. John Corey’s “Lost in the Fog” and Jared Drake’s “Visioneers” picked up the Audience Awards for Documentary and Narrative Features. The full list of CineVegas winners is below.
This year’s Festival was highlighted by the world and U.S. premieres of more than a dozen highly anticipated films, special screenings including Peter Segal’s “Get Smart” and Takashi Murakami’s “Planting the Seeds” and the acknowledgement of several entertainment icons (Anjelica Huston, Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson, Viggo Mortensen, Sam Rockwell and James Caan) during its run at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres from June 12 – 21, 2008.
“We have seen a considerable amount of filmmaker talent at the Festival over the past decade, and this year is no exception,” said Artistic Director Trevor Groth. “In addition, CineVegas had record number of attendees this year. From our groundbreaking films, to our extravagant parties, this has by far been our most well-attended Festival to date.”
Feature Jury Competition
This year’s feature jury was presided over by Screen International film critic David D’Arcy, Matt Dentler of Cinetic Digital Rights Management, longtime film festival advisor Robert Hawk, esteemed film journalist Mark Olsen and Claudia Puig, lead film critic for USA Today.
The Grand Jury Prize went to “She Unfolds By Day,” the film directed by Rolf Belgum about a frustrated middle-aged son trying to manage his misanthropic 80-year-old mother.
A Special Jury Award was given to “Dark Streets” for the collaborative craftsmanship in achieving its visual splendor and showmanship. “Dark Streets,” directed by Rachel Samuels, is a stylish noir fever dream of blues music, seduction and murder.
Bill Pullman was also given a Special Jury Award for his outstanding performance as America’s greatest science-fiction writer who awakens to find himself trapped in an alternate reality in Matthew Wilder’s “Your Name Here.”
Documentary Jury Competition
Acclaimed writer/producer/director Morgan Spurlock, film and television critic and journalist Robert Abele and Tamara Krinsky, associate editor of IDA’s documentary magazine made up the inaugural Pioneer Documentaries Jury.
The Documentary Jury Award went to “Beautiful Losers” from directors Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard. “Beautiful Losers” documents the lives of a loose-knit group of artists in the ‘80s who created their own art movement outside the mainstream.
“Hi My Name is Ryan” was awarded with a Special Documentary Jury Prize. The documentary by directors Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose tells the story of Ryan Avery, the Clown Prince of the downtown Phoenix art scene.
In its tenth year, CineVegas attendance was at a record high, and audiences chose “Lost in the Fog” to receive the CineVegas Documentary Audience Award, presented by FIJI Water, and “Visioneers” to receive the CineVegas Dramatic Audience Award, presented by Cadillac.
From director John Corey, “Lost in the Fog” follows a cantankerous owner and his blue collar colt who earn the right to take on horse racing’s finest.
“Visioneers,” the crafty debut from first-time director Jared Drake, cleverly and comedically highlights the trajectory of a 1984-esque, dystopian society.
La Próxima Ola Jury
This year’s La Próxima Ola jury was comprised of CNN en Español anchor Ana María Montero, Sergio Burstein from La Opinión and Shaz Bennett, Associate Director of Programming at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.
The La Próxima Ola Jury Prize was awarded to Jonás Cuarón’s “Año uña (Year of the Nail),” a love story between a Mexican teenager and an older American woman who meet one summer in Mexico.
VEGAS Magazine writer Humberto Guida, Karina Longworth, co-founder of Cinematical and current editor of SpoutBlog, Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura and Patrick Walsh, reviewer for Cinematical.com, made up this year’s shorts jury.
Myna Joseph’s “Man” received the CineVegas Short Film Jury Prize while Jonpaul Lewis’ “Jack the Ripper” received the CineVegas Nevada Short Film Jury Prize presented by the Nevada Film Office. The jury also acknowledged Allan Steele’s “The Fence,” Benh Zeitlin’s “Glory at Sea,” Jason Kupfer’s “The Sleuth Incident” and Josh Safdie’s “Jerry Ruis, Shall We Do This?” with Honorable Mentions.