FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS
HOLLYWOOD, California, September 15, 2006 – The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival today announced the eleven films and one screenplay that took at top honors at this year’s festival. Five of the film categories are Academy recognized (Best of Fest, Best Foreign Film, Best Drama, Best Comedy and Best Animation) making those films now eligible for Oscar nomations.
“The level of talent at this year’s festival was outstanding,” said founder and executive director Robert Arentz. “These films truly represent the best of the best of short filmmaking.”
The 2006 LA Shorts Fest award winners are:
Best of Fest: The Tested (Drama / United States / 30 minutes). Director/Writer: Russell Costanzo, Producer: Melissa Miller. A black teen struggles with schoolwork in a hostile environment, and his home life, which is equally disturbing. During the days before his gang initiation he attempts to make peace with his negligent mother, console his younger sister, and accept what he’s about to do—shoot a stranger in broad daylight.
Best Foreign Film: Kooniklaster (Experimental / Poland / 17 minutes). Director/Writer: Mariko Saga, Producers: Edyta Sek, Krzesztof Domian, and Lech Zychowicz. A fantastical road movie with a horse wagon and a boy who wants to be a magician. They experience the great magic, which is not with any trick, but by introversion power of his grandfather and his ancestors.
Best Drama: The Fix (Drama / United States / 33 minutes). Director: Adam Kane, Writer: Jonny Hirschbein, Producers: Chris Brinker, Adam Kane, and Patrick Newall. An ex-boxer's obsessive desire to win overshadows his role as a father when he relentlessly drives his son to become the champion he never was.
Best Comedy: Santa Baby (Comedy / Canada / 20 minutes). Director/Writer: David Widdicombe, Producer: Robert Richardson. Santa Baby is a black comedy about a lonely ten-year-old girl who develops an obsessive crush on a department store Santa Claus and who decides to take matters into her own hands when she learns Santa doesn't return her affections.
Best Animation: The Passenger (Animation / Australia / 7 minutes). Director/Producer/Writer: Chris Jones. Storm clouds gather as a timid bookworm braves his daily walk to the bus stop. When he discovers what awaits him on board, he realizes he'd have been better off outside in the storm.
Best Documentary: Tales of Times Square (Documentary / United States / 10 minutes). Director / Producer: Paul Stone, Writers: Paul Stone and Josh Alan Friedman. The last bastion of a truly honky-tonk atmosphere is over. It’s time to make way for Mickey and Minnie. In an age of sterile corporate strip malls, Tales of Times Square is a reminder that in at least one neighborhood, things used to be quite different. Based on the cult classic book of the same name, written by Josh Alan Friedman.
Best Commercial Spot (sponsored by ADWEEK): Love Story. Ad Agency: The Furnace, Client: Herringbone, Director: Kezia Barnett. A classic Shakespearian love story.
Best Female Director (sponsored by LunaFest): Paper Boat (Drama / Greece / 18 minutes). Director/Writer: Daphne Lambrinou, Producer: Erica Callas and Daphne Lambrinou.
What do you do when following your dream means closing the door on your past? Melanie must choose between a lifelong love in Greece and a blossoming career in America.
Special Jury Recognition:
Mind Over Matter: (Documentary / United States / 40 minutes). Writer/Director: Scott Gerow, Producers: Megan Schoenbachler, Chelsea Low, Jacob Mosler & Scott Gerow. A poignant story about a young filmmaker, Scott Gerow, who embarks on making a documentary about his father’s struggle with obesity. In the process, Scott discovers he has brain cancer.
El Viaje (One Day Trip): (Drama / Peru / 17 minutes) Director/Writer: Cady Abarca, Producers: Delia Garcia and Cady Abarca. El Viaje tells the story of two young 13 year-old boys, Gonzalo and his best friend Tito, who embark on a journey to one of the most sordid and sleaziest places in Lima, Perú, where one of the boys’ devastating secret is revealed. This event will mark the end of their innocence.
The Mouse That Ate My Brain: (Drama / Australia / 7 minutes). Director: Phillip Middleton, Writers: Phillip Middleton and Aaron Bassat, Producer: Nicholas Goldsworthy. The loss of a man’s ear during a vicious mugging begins a terrible downward spiral of paranoia. He grows a replacement ear on the back of a mouse and begins losing his sanity when he comes to believe the dead rodent has returned to claim its ear.
Screenwriting Competition: Ana's Playground: By Eric D. Howell
Award winners received total prizes valued at over $102,000, including a Panavision camera packages, Kodak gift certificates, FilmworksFX Post Production, Moviola Intro-level Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer classes, Final Draft Screenwriting Software, Net TV Web Hosting and training packages from Writers Boot Camp.
About the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival
LA Shorts Fest is the largest short film festival in the world. The Festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Festival winners in the primary categories are eligible for Academy nomination. The festival boasts an outstanding past record of 23 Academy Award-nominated films, including the last 7 Oscar winners.
Festival Highlights: Opening night Academy Award winning writer/director Paul Haggis was honored with the Maverick Film Achievement Award. The program included a discussion with directors Jason Reitman, Grace Lee, Joe Nussbaum, Mike Mitchell, and Adrian Grenier. Mark Burnett creator of Survivor & The Apprentice discussed his career and his new reality competition series “On The Lot” co-produced with Steven Spielberg. “On The Lot” casting director Michelle McNulty met with LA Shorts Fest directors at the Festival as part of a search for show participants.
The Festival annually attracts more than 10,000 moviegoers, filmmakers and entertainment executives looking for the hottest new talent as well as brand name sponsors looking to connect with the trendsetters in Hollywood.