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By Film Threat Staff | April 12, 2006

The Sonoma Valley Film Festival has announced its 2006 film awards. The Festival presented both juried and audience awards at a Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 9, 2006 in Sonoma. This year’s juried awards include: Best American Independent Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Debut Feature, Best Debut Feature, Short Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and GELLER-DEVONPORT AUDIENCE AWARD-Documentary and Feature film. The full list of winners is below.

Best American Independent Feature


U.S. 2005 ^ directed by Brad Kimmel ^ produced by Brad Kimmel ^ starring Tim Acres, Sherry Cothran, Jaimee Paul, Jordan Shipman

An obscure footnote in musical history, NOVEM is a little-known college band from the early 70’s whose career was cut short by a tragic accident. This film tells the story of an epic six-day recording session in May 1973 which produced a mini-masterpiece of an album: nine introspective songs that preserved their mood, hopes and fears for generations. In the wake of their deaths, the music they recorded disappeared and remained silent for over thirty years, until it was purchased by a college student at a garage sale who discovered the recording masters as well as film of the sessions.

Best Documentary Feature


West Coast Premiere ^ Mexico 2005 ^ directed by Tin Dirdamal ^ produced by Tin Dirdamal

DeNADIE (“no one”) is an in-your-face look into the perils of Central American immigrants trying to cross the full length of Mexico in an effort to make it to the United States. The film follows the experience of a woman immigrating from Honduras who recounts the horrible challenges she must endure–from corrupt Mexican police, to abusive railroad workers, to bandits and gangs who rob, rape and murder itinerant pilgrims who seek a better life in the land of opportunity. In Spanish with English Subtitles.

Best Debut Feature

In Memory of My Father

U.S. 2005 ^ directed by Christopher Jaymes ^ produced by Christopher Jaymes ^ written by Christopher Jaymes ^ starring Jeremy Sisto, Judy Greer, Matt Keeslar, Christopher Jaymes, Monet Mazur, Pat Healy, Eric Michael Cole

Set in a Hollywood Hills mansion once owned by Samuel Goldwyn, In Memory of My Father begins with Christopher (Christopher Jaymes), the youngest son of a dying movie mogul, chronicling his father’s death and wake–at the ego-centric old man’s behest. A stellar cast, all using their real first names, deliver darkly comic performances, from Jeremy (Jeremy Sisto), as the aloof middle brother; to Monet (Monet Mazur) as his unfaithful wife; to eldest brother Matt (Matt Keeslar), a walking contradiction of sweetness and selfishness; and Judy (Judy Greer), Dad’s much

Short Best Narrative Short

directed by Michael Wilde ^ Bay Area Icon ^ starring Brian Jarvis

A voyeuristic peek into the life of a single guy, captured through the lens of his voicemail.

Short Best Documentary Short

Living Poets ^ directed by Erica Filanc ^ Bay Area Spotlight

Living Poets’ is a poetic documentary that examines a group of San Francisco poets who reclaim a heroin-trafficked street corner.


Pursuit of Equality

Bay Area Film ^ U.S. 2005 ^ directed by Geoff Callan & Mike Shaw ^ produced by Geoff Callan ^ starring Gavin Newson, George W. Bush, Rosie O’Donnell

This intense film takes viewers to the heart of civil rights issues revealing the social fabric of the country.

It shows the profound implications of civil and human rights decisions and presents questions, which are critical to the future of how Americans view values and government. With an exclusive look into San Francisco’s new generation of politics, Pursuit of Equality takes its viewers on an exclusive behind-the-scenes journey into private closed-door discussions with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and his inner circle, as they uproot the status quo and attempt to change the way the nation looks at love, life, and marriage.


Last Stop for Paul

World Premiere Bay Area Spotlight ^ U.S. 2006 80 min. ^ directed by Neil Mandt ^ produced by Neil Mandt ^ written by Neil Mandt ^ starring Neil Mandt, Marc Carter

Shot on the fly in over 20 countries, using a cast of nonprofessionals as supporting cast and crew, Last Stop for Paul is an exciting experience about two guys (thrillseeking world traveler Charlie and straight-laced Cliff) who embark on a jet-setting adventure. Short on cash, the only way they can afford a trip with stops in the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia, is to pose as travel writers for Frommers.

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