Jess+Moss and Elevate take top narrative and documentary feature prizes, respectively, at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. From the official press release:
For the second year running, the “Dallas Film Society Honors” presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation provided an elegant forum for the awards presentation at the DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac. Clay Jeter’s JESS + MOSS was announced as the winner of the unrestricted $25,000 cash prize for the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature and Anne Buford‘s ELEVATE received the unrestricted $25,000 cash prize for the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary Feature. On receiving her award, Buford declared that the $25,000 would be donated back to the SEEDS ACADEMY, the one-of-a-kind boarding school in Senegal for basketball players.
The Narrative Feature competition jury also gave a Special Jury Prize to Dave Boyle’s SURROGATE VALENTINE for Goh Nakamura’s acting and an Honorable Mention for Darragh Byrne’s PARKED. The documentary competition jury gave a Special Jury Prize to Joseph Mantegna’s NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN.
Legendary actor, director and producer Peter Fonda presented the Target Filmmaker Awards to both the documentary and narrative feature winners. “Having the opportunity to award a filmmaker with a $25,000 cash prize is a significant moment for Target,” said Dustee Tucker Jenkins, Vice President of Communications for Target. “For Peter Fonda to present these awards is a very proud moment for us. He represents not only classic Hollywood but is an inspirational icon for all budding filmmakers and actors to actively want to realize their dreams. At Target we are dedicated to highlighting the arts in people’s lives.”
Dallas favorite Larry Hagman flew in to present IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT with the Environmental Visions Award. As green issues remain very close to Hagman’s heart, this award fits perfectly with his commitment to environmental conservation. Hagman also presented the winning high school and college students with cash prizes for the TXU Energy “Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest”. Hagman also spoke of his excitement at returning to Dallas in the near future to start shooting the new pilot for DALLAS.
The stunning Steuben Crystal DALLAS Star Awards, courtesy of Neiman Marcus, were presented to Academy Award-nominated director Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, THE INTERRUPTERS), BAFTA-nominated writer and producer Scott Z. Burns (THE INFORMANT, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH), and posthumously to Academy Award winner Horton Foote (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL) for an incredible career that spanned over 50 years. Foote’s daughter Hallie was on hand to accept the award in memory of her father. The Texas Avery Animation Award presented by Reel FX Entertainment was given to Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, LILO & STITCH). This marked the first year this award was shared by two recipientsbut Dean DeBlois accepted the award on behalf of them both as Chris Sanders was unable to attend. There were standing ovations for each Honoree.
Dallas Film Society President and CEO Tanya Foster said, “This was a really wonderful evening for the Dallas Film Society and the DALLAS International Film Festival. We showcased the incredible films that have screened at the festival this last week and thanks to the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation we have the opportunity to put these award winners on a pedestal and congratulate them all for that they have achieved. Filmmaking is such an art and I am constantly in awe of the passion these filmmakers have for projects. Tonight’s event was our way of giving back to them.”
Berndt Mader’s FIVE TIME CHAMPION was the recipient of MPS Studios’ Texas Filmmaker Award and $20,000 in cash, goods and services. Clay Liford’s WUSS received a Special Jury Prize. The presentation was made by MPS Studios’ Meredith Stephens.
The festival’s first ever $10,000 Silver Heart Award was presented to Tim Skousen’s ZERO PERCENT by Lauren Embrey of the Embrey Family Foundation for the filmmaker’s dedication to fighting injustices and creating social change for the improvement of humanity. ZERO PERCENT had its world premiere at the festival.
It was a successful night for Jerome Sable as his short THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM won the Grand Jury Prize in the Shorts Competition as well as the Audience Award for Best Short. Special Mentions went to Lake Bell’s WORST ENEMY and Kazik Radwanski received a Special Mention for his directing in his film GREEN CRAYONS. The Grand Jury Prize for Student Short went to Johnny Ma’s THE ROBBERY with a Special Mention for Christopher Jarvis’s THE BIRDS UPSTAIRS. Reel FX Entertainment presented the award for Best Animated Short to Damian Nenow’s PATHS OF HATE.
Robert Kirbyson’s SNOWMEN won the Audience Award for Best Narrative, while Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus’s WILD HORSE WILD RIDE won for Best Documentary.
The winners of the Grand Jury Prizes for all the competitions will each receive movie magic budgeting and scheduling software bundles from Entertainment Partners.
Introduced by TXU Energy’s Chief Marketing Officer Michael Grasso, Larry Hagman presented the prizes for the TXU Energy “Light Up the Red Carpet” Student Film Contest. This year the cash grants went to both High Schools and Colleges. Kassidy Testut’s film LOOKING OUT FOR TEXAS won the $7500 award for Richardson High School, Christian Vasquez’s I WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY took the $5000 prize for Booker T. Washington High School and Olivia Pich’s THE AFTERMATH won the $2500 award for Garland High School. For colleges the prize money was split between the winners and their schools. Katherine Yarbrough of The Art Institute of Dallas share the $7500 award for QUEEN KILL-A-WATT, Aaron Carolina of the University of Texas at Arlington share the $5000 award for AFTER THE DARK and Dylan Voisard and Patrick Perkins of the University of North Texas share the $2500 award for ZEPHYR.
DALLAS IFF Artistic Director James Faust said, “2011 has been a wonderful growth year for us. The fifth year was always pivotal in our minds and I am thrilled because this year Dallas has embraced us like never before. Ticket sales were up by 25 percent from last year throughout the festival, we have shown 169 films from 27 countries and I really think we have enjoyed much more cultural and ethnic diversity in our programming than ever before.”
Target Narrative Feature: JESS + MOSS
Dir: Clay Jeter
Target Documentary Feature: ELEVATE
Dir: Anne Buford
Honorable Mention: PARKED
Dir: Darragh Byrne
Special Jury Prize, Acting: SURROGATE VALENTINE, Goh Nakamura
Dir: Dave Boyle
MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Award: FIVE TIMES CHAMPION
Dir: Berndt Mader
Special Jury Prize: WUSS
Dir: Clay Liford
Silver Heart Award:ZERO PERCENT
Dir: Tim Skousen
Environmental Visons Grand Jury Prize: IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT
Dir: Marshall Curry
Grand Jury Prize Short: THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM
Dir: Jerome Sable
Special Mention Short, Directing: GREEN CRAYONS
Dir: Kazik Radwanski
Special Mention: WORST ENEMY
Dir: Lake Bell
Grand Jury Prize for Student Short: THE ROBBERY
Dir: Johnny Ma
Special Mention Student Short: THE BIRDS UPSTAIRS
Dir: Christopher Jarvis
Grand Jury Prize, Animated Short: PATHS OF HATE
Dir: Damian Nenow
Narrative Feature: SNOWMEN
Dir: Robert Kirbyson
Documentary Feature: WILD HORSE WILD RIDE
Dir: Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus
Short: THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM
Dir: Jerome Sable
TXU ENERGY “Light Up the Red Carpet” VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS FOR HIGH SCHOOLS:
$7500 prize winner – LOOKING OUT FOR TEXAS – Richardson High School
Dir: Kassidy Testut
$5000 prize winner– I WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY – Booker T. Washington
Dir: Christian Vasquez. Writer: Spencer Kenney. Cinematographers: Amelia Mickelsen and Caryl Shiell
$2500 prize winner– THE AFTERMATH – Garland High School
Dir: Olivia Pich. Cinematographer: Jeffrey Rivas. Also Stafford Parrish
TXU ENERGY “Light Up the Red Carpet” VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS FOR COLLEGES:
$7500 prize winner– QUEEN KILL-A-WATT – The Art Institute of Dallas
DIR: Katherine Yarbrough. Director of Photography: Nik Pavlov
$5000 prize winner– AFTER THE DARK – University of Texas at Arlington
Dir: Aaron Carolina
$2500 prize winner– ZEPHYR – University of North Texas
Creators: Dylan Voisard, Patrick Perkins
Music: William Naley
2011 DALLAS IFF JURY MEMBERS:
NARRATIVE FEATURE JURY includes:
Will Canon– Director of 2010 festival favorite, BROTHERHOOD
Kim Yutani– Programmer for Sundance Film Festival, Outfest, RAW CUT Filmfest
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE JURY includes:
Stephen Nemeth– Head of Rhino Films and has produced FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE and DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS among many others.
Basil Tsiokos– Documentary Programming Associate for the Sundance Film Festival and consultant for filmmakers and film festivals. Regular contributor to indieWIRE.
MPS STUDIOS TEXAS COMPETITION JURY includes:
David Gil, Jr. – Film Competition Programmer at the Austin Film Festival
Burton Gilliam– One of Hollywood’s most iconic character actors for 37 years with roles in PAPER MOON, BLAZING SADDLES, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, FLETCH and many more.
Philip Wuntch– Film Critic of The Dallas Morning News from 1974 until his retirement in 2006. He was the first arts writer in the Dallas media to have the title “film critic”.
ENVIRONMENTAL VISIONS COMPETITION JURY includes:
Rob Ganger– Head of Pollinator Media Group and is currently producing Earth Day Dallas 2011. Rob is also executive producer of award-winning documentary TRUDELL.
Michael Nash– Director of CLIMATE REFUGEES, the Environmental Visions Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2010 DALLAS IFF.
Troy Stuckey– Professor at the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at SMU, Dallas
SHORT COMPETITION JURY includes:
Topaz Adizes– Director of short films LAREDO, TEXAS, TRECE ANOS and CITY as well as the feature documentary AMERICANA.
Ryan Silbert– Independent filmmaker and founding partner of Toy Closet Films. Recent credits include Academy Award winner GOD OF LOVE as well as HOLY ROLLERS and THE GIRL IS IN TROUBLE.
STUDENT COMPETITION JURY includes:
Beth Spitalny–Writer and Director of PROCESSION – a previous DALLAS IFF Grand Jury Prize for Best Student Short.
Chase Whale – Co-founder, owner and Editor-in-Chief of GordonandtheWhale.com
ANIMATION COMPETITION JURY includes:
Reel FX Entertainment- Funded in 1993, Reel FX is an award-winning creative studio where accomplished artists and preeminent technology converge to produce extraordinary creative solutions. Their services include visual effects, animation, design and creative editorial.
SILVER HEART JURY includes:
Embrey Family Foundation – The Foundation was established in 2004 for the purpose of supporting programs that advance human rights, healthy communities, the environment, education and creativity.
The fifth annual DALLAS International Film Festival kicked off on March 31, 2011, in the architecturally stunning Dallas Arts District. For the first time since the festival’s inception the Arts District hosted Opening Night to over 1,000 movie lovers. Academy Award winner and true beauty, Ann-Margret was honored with the first DALLAS Star Award for 2011. The evening then focused on an incredible tribute to Founder and Chairman Emeritus Liener Temerlin with a 10-minute reel featuring not only personal comments from President George Bush and President George W. Bush but also the who’s who of business luminaries in Texas. Ross and Margot Perot were the honorary chairs of the Temerlin tribute.
Highlights of the festival included a fun-filled family day sponsored by Bright Realty at AMC NorthPark, an H3 Celebration promoting heart health by the Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital in association with the American Heart Association, Mission Foods and designer Abi Ferrin. Sunday, April 3, was named Latino Day culminating in a beautifully poetic event under the stars at the Nasher Sculpture Center featuring Euforia Live and the festival’s first artist in residence, Rolando Diaz.
Country music legend Jerry Jeff Walker packed theatres with Patrick Tourville’s OK BUCKAROOS before picking up a guitar and wowing an audience with two of his famous tunes.
FilmMatters – a new series of three panels produced by Stephen Nemeth, Melina McKinnon and Susan Thomson – kept audiences gripped as industry professionals from across the nation discussed with a standing room only audience how to promote social change through the art of film.
Michael Cain, Chairman of the DALLAS Film Society comments: “In five years, the DALLAS International Film Festival has been enjoyed by 240,000 people and we have flown in over 1,000 filmmakers to share their art with the city. In year five, the festival gave away $120,000 worth of prizes and we are thrilled that by opening in a $300,000,000 venue we are putting film on the same pedestal as other leading arts organizations. With extending the festival reach into Plano and Oak Cliff, we look forward to building on this growth in year six.”
DALLAS IFF’s closing weekend will feature a spotlight on Indian filmmaking along with encore presentations of award winners and sold-out screenings on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10. Other highlights will include the official closing night film BURKE AND HARE plus a very special 20th Anniversary screening of HOOK with screenwriter James V. Hart in attendance.
Other notable attendees at this year’s DALLAS International Film Festival included Dennis Quaid, Morgan Spurlock, Ari Graynor, Gil Cates Jr., Lou Taylor Pucci, Summer Glau, Judy Reyes, Andy Tennant, Theodore Shapiro, G.W. Bailey, Glenn Morshower, Drew Waters, Oscar Nunez, Ryan Lee, Constance Marks and James Miller, Garry Brown, Kyle Kirk, Dana Wheeler Nicholson, Betty Buckley, Ryan Lee and Bobby Coleman.
Overall, the 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival showcased 85 features and 84 shorts for a total of 169 films from 27 countries.