The Crested Butte Reel Fest wrapped up its fourth annual festival of short films by presenting 21 jury-selected awards with cash prizes ranging from $100 to $350 as well as three audience-choice awards.
The family of actor/director Tom Skerritt, this year’s honorary Reel Fest chairman, presented “Illumination Awards” to Lianne Klapper McNally for ARTISTS AND ORPHANS (Gold) and to Kim Cummings for WEEKI WACHEE GIRLS (Silver). The Skerritts sponsor this award each year for work that portrays humanitarian and educational causes. CLOWN CAR, by David Garrett, won the Bob Award, as the film that “pushes the envelope” the furthest. This award is named for filmmaker and Reel Fest co-founder Robert Nowotny.
Gold Awards went to CLOWN CAR (Comedy); LUNCHTIME, THOMAS (Drama), directed by Carrie Hamilton, daughter of Carol Burnett; LOCAL HEROES (Documentary), by George and Beth Gage; DIM BULB (Animated), by Kerryn Z. Miller; and HAVOC (Experimental), by the late Ori Greenberg.
The screening of HAVOC marked the first time the film had been shown in Colorado since the death of director Ori Greenberg, who lost his life last spring in a plane crash near Aspen, Colo., at the age of 23. Associate Producer Danny Roew accepted the award on Greenberg’s behalf. In memory of his son, George Greenberg of Vanguard Media in Los Angeles is establishing the Ori R. Greenberg Foundation, which will support the work of other young filmmakers.
For films made by students, Gold Awards were given for PARADISE LOUNGE (Student Comedy), produced and filmed by Shanra Kehl of Columbia College in Chicago; LECTOR (Student Drama), by Greg Marcks of Florida State University; UNDESIRABLES (Student Documentary), by Marianna Yarovskaya of the University of Southern California; 19 PEEL STREET (Student Animation), by Stephan Kozak; and IT DID IT (Student Experimental), by Peter Brinson of the California Institute of the Arts.
Silver Awards (2nd place) went to SHRINK (Comedy), by James Dean; ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE (Student Comedy), by Jennifer Derwingson; THE LIMITED (Drama), by Katherine Makinney; ANDERSON (Student Drama), by Jason Doty; A BRIEF HISTORY OF CUBA IN D MINOR (Documentary), by Martino Sclavi; LOSING YOUR GRIP: A FAMILY’S BATTLE WITH ALS (Student Documentary) by F. Hatton Littman; and HORSES ON MARS (Student Animation), by Eric Anderson. In the regular (non-student) animation category, two films — ORNAMENTS, by Aaron Erimez, and THE DAYDREAMER, by John Atkinson — tied for Silver Awards.
Gold and Silver award winners were selected by a jury of 23 Crested Butte resident. Audience Awards went to LECTOR for 1st place, with two documentaries tying for 2nd place: ARTISTS AND ORPHANS and THE GUNNISON SAGE GROUSE — A DANCE OF SURVIVAL, directed by Angie Varela and produced by Sue Navy.
New this year, the Internet movie site IFILM has agreed to provide Gold Award winners an advertising package worth $1,250 on its Web site; Silver Award winners will receive advertising worth $600.
The awards were presented by actor/director Robert Peters, who has directed two Reel Fest films — THE BUS STOPS HERE (2001) and MUTUAL LOVE LIFE (1999) — and has appeared in more than 40 films including AMERICAN PIE 2, AIRFORCE ONE, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and the soon-to-be released OCEAN’S ELEVEN.
Hosted in the mountains of central Colorado, the Crested Butte Reel Fest showcases comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation and experimental films, all under 60 minutes.
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