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By Film Threat Staff | December 11, 2001

The Santa Fe Film Festival announced its 2001 awards in a closing ceremony the night of December 9, capping off the five-day event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Actors Markus Flanagan and Jill Momaday emceed the ceremony.
The Canadian film Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner won the top prize as best feature at the 2001 Santa Fe Film Festival. Directed by Zacharias Kunuk, Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner is the first feature by an Inuit filmmaker. A mystical saga of two brothers wrestling with the twin demons of jealousy and betrayal, it’s Canada’s official entry in the Oscar competition for best foreign-language film.
The festival selected Mike Mills’ “Paperboys” as best documentary, while Jane Gillooly’s “dragonflies, the baby cries” and Paul Harrill’s “Gina, An Actress, Age 29” shared the award for best short.
Also given prizes were Kate Montgomery’s romantic comedy “Christmas in the Clouds” as best Native American-themed film and Alfonso Cuaron’s saucy Mexican comedy “Y Tu Mama Tambien” as best Hispanic-themed film.
In addition, the festival gave special recognition to Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien. His latest effort, “Millennium Mambo,” was singled out for artistic contributions to the cinematic medium.
Executive director Jon Bowman said attendance reached 12,500 for the festival’s 76 programs presenting more than 200 shorts, documentaries and features from 25 countries around the world. “A lot of film festivals have suffered declining attendance this year,” Bowman said. “We’re pleased that we bucked the trends, and saw our audience grow by approximately 67 percent.”
This is the Santa Fe Film Festival’s second season. Tributees honored during the festival included producer Ismail Merchant, actress Mary Woronov and Mexican director Felipe Cazals. More than 50 other filmmakers attended, participating in a variety of panel discussions and receptions. “I was glad so many filmmakers came out,” said artistic director David Koh. “There’s really an incredible audience in Santa Fe for international and arthouse films. We’ll all be back next year.”
For more info, visit the Santa Fe Film Festival web site.
Check out’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!

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