More than four hundred filmmakers, Festival patrons, media representatives, and local politicos gathered at UniversalOrlando’s Sound Stage 33 for the Florida Film Festival 2000 Awards Gala. The eighty-minute awards program highlighted the undeniable quality of thefilms showcased in this year’s competition, and more than a dozen awardswere presented for outstanding efforts in independent filmmaking.
BOBBY G CAN’T SWIM from writer/actor/director John-Luke Montias won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature while STANLEY’S GIG from Marc Lazard received the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. A Special Jury Award for Narrative Filmmaking went to Robinson Devor’s noirish black comedy THE WOMAN CHASER.
Historically, the Documentary Competition has always been strong at the Florida Film Festival, and this year was no exception. The Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to LEGACY, directed by Tod Lending. In an unprecedented tie, LEGACY shared the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature with Arlene Donnelly’s NAKED STATES, a look at controversial photographer Spencer Tunick. A Special Jury Award for Documentary Filmmaking went to director Michael Apted for ME & ISAAC NEWTON, and an Award for Best Documentary Short went to PICTURE DAY by director Steven Bognar.
The shorts program provided a wide range of winners, including Joe Nussbaum’s GEORGE LUCAS IN LOVE, which took the Audience Award for Best Short Film, and Jason Reitman’s IN GOD WE TRUST, which the Jury named Best Narrative Short. In addition, a Special Award for Animated Short went to Steve Katz for PROTEST and a Special Award for Live Action Short went to Ellie Lee for DOG DAYS.
Also honored by the Festival were director Jieho Lee and director of photography Suk-gu Kim’s visually stunning A NURSERY TALE, which won the Kodak Cinematography Award, and Florida State University student Kelsey Scott’s THE BUSE, which was named Winner of the Student Competition. For full results and more information on the Florida Film Festival, go to [ www.enzian.org ]