LAFF Winners 2011
Narrative Award – Familiar Ground
Familiar Ground – Best Narrative Feature
Directed By: Stéphane Lafleur
Executive Producer: Francois Reid
Producers: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Screenwriter: Stéphane Lafleur
Cinematographer: Sara Mishara
Editor: Sophie Leblond
Featuring: Francis La Haye, Fanny Mallette, Sylvain Marcel, Michel Daigle, Suzanne Lemoine
The gifted Quebecois filmmaker Stephane Lafleur has a rare affinity for unhappy, isolated ordinary people and a rare ability to make their miseries both funny and oddly magical. He’s in total control of his craft in Familiar Ground—every shot has a purpose—as he tells the story of an unhappy wife, Maryse, trapped in a bad marriage, and her slacker brother Benoit, who still lives at home with his cranky, widowed father. Their bleak lives—not helped by the constant snow that falls around them—get an unexpected jolt when a man who proclaims himself from the future (“Not too distant,” he quips, “just September”) warns Maryse of an accident that may befall them. This droll, deadpan comedy quietly builds to its surprising conclusion.
In bestowing Stéphane Lafleur with the Narrative Award, the Jury stated:
“An entire tree sticking out of a fireplace…a beaten-up snowman…an operatically dancing inflatable blue dude…the anything but familiar images of Familiar Ground won’t soon be forgotten. In a strong narrative competition this year, this was the singular vision that stood out the most.”
Documentary Award – Wish Me Away
Wish Me Away - Best Documentary Feature
Directed By: Beverly Kopf and Bobbie Birleffi
Executive Producers: Rhonda Eiffe, Richard Bever, Fletcher Foster
Producers: Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf
Cinematographer: Paul Mailman
Editor: Lisa Palattella
Music: Chely Wright
Country singer Chely Wright knew she was a lesbian at a young age, but she instinctively knew that her orientation was in direct conflict with her aspirations to one day perform at the Grand Ole Opry. She prayed for help from God, stayed in the closet and went on to sell more than 1,000,000 albums.
Wish Me Away chronicles the days leading up to Wright’s coming out announcement on national television in 2010, and it provides both an intimate look at the fear and torment behind her high-risk decision and a revealing glimpse into the multi-media P.R. campaign that attended her brave act of self-exposure.
In bestowing Beverly Kopf and Bobbie Birleffi with the Documentary Award, the Jury stated:
“For its honesty, humor and potential to changes minds and even save lives, the jury awards the Documentary Award to Wish Me Away.”
Best Peformance in the Narrative Competition – The Cast of How to Cheat
How to Cheat – Amber Sealey, Kent Osborne, Amanda Street and Gabriel Diamond
Directed By: Amber Sealey
Producer: Ben Thoma
Screenwriter: Amber Sealey
Cinematographer: Gabriel Diamond
Editor: Michelle M. Witten
Cast: Amber Sealey, Kent Osborne, Amanda Street, Gabriel Diamond
In this funny and honest depiction of the messiness of modern marriage, writer-director Amber Sealey also stars as Beth, a woman of child-bearing age and inclination who, with her husband Mark, has been struggling to conceive. Sealey’s guileless performance as a woman betrayed by her own body is matched by Kent Osborne’s as the awkward Mark, who, confused and frustrated, turns to online dating, where he shops for the perfect affair to shake up his life. Given his counterproductive tendency to reveal his motives up front, his encounters tend to be short and ugly, until he meets the avid Louise, whose complex attitude sets them all down an unexpected path.
In bestowing the actors with the Best Performance, the Jury stated:
“At a time where actors are often asked to take a larger role in the creation of what is said in a film and how it’s done, the performers of How to Cheat deserve special distinction. Kent Osborne, Amber Sealey, Amanda Street, and Gabriel Diamond dug deeper and messier, heroically past the point of comfort.”
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature – Attack the Block
Audience Award – Attack the Block
Directed By: Joe Cornish
Executive Producers: Jenny Borgars, Will Clarke, Matthew Justice, Tessa Ross, Edgar Wright
Producers: Nira Park, James Wilson
Writer: Joe Cornish
Cinematographer: Thomas Townend
Editor: Jonathan Amos
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter, Nick Frost
From the producers of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Attack the Block is a fast, funny, frightening adventure that pits a teen gang against a savage alien invasion and turns a London apartment complex into a fortress under siege.
When a strange alien creature falls from the sky and attacks the gang of underage hoodlums in the middle of a mugging, the gang grabs weapons, mounts bikes and sets out to defend their turf. Fighting off the next wave of invaders, who are bigger and meaner than before, this bunch of no-hope kids is about to become London’s only hope and the most unlikely batch of heroes you have seen.
This award is given to the narrative feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select narrative feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: Narrative Competition, Gala Screenings, International Showcase, International Spotlight, Summer Showcase, Community Screenings, Ford Amphitheatre Screenings, and The Beyond.
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature – Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Audience Award – Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Directed By: Michael Rapaport
Producers: Edward Parks, Michael Rapaport, Frank Mele, Eric Matthies, Robert Benavides, Debra Koffler, ATCQ
As Beats, Rhymes & Life begins, the rappers who anchored pioneering group A Tribe Called Quest are already going their separate ways. As youths in the mid-’80s, the Queens-born foursome of Tribe—Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White—found success with their exhuberant exploration and combination of hip hop, pop and jazz. But in recent years, Q-Tip, the band’s visionary and reluctant pop star, has tired of the street-bred capriciousness of his lyrical partner Phife, who is equally frustrated with Q-Tip. How these two friends and musical partners got to this state forms the guts of actor-turned-filmmaker Michael Rapaport’s candid and combustible documentary.
This award is given to the documentary feature audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system. Select documentary feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature: Documentary Competition, International Showcase, International Spotlight, Documenting Mexico, Summer Showcase, Community Screenings, and Ford Amphitheatre Screenings.
Audience Award for Best International Feature – Senna
Audience Award – Senna
Directed By: Asif Kapadia
Producers: James Gay-Rees, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Screenwriter: Manish Pandey
Editors: Gregers Sall, Chris King
The most exciting driver to ever race Formula One, the handsome, charismatic Ayrton Senna became a Brazilian national hero and an icon to racing fans worldwide. But you don’t need to know the first thing about racing to be thrilled and moved by Asif Kapadia’s high-octane documentary, composed entirely from archival footage. This edge-of you-seat documentary, which literally puts the audience in the driver’s seat, explores the backroom politics, bitter rivalries and the glamour of a sport that leaves no room for error.
This award is given to the international feature audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system. Select international feature-length films, both narrative and documentary, in the Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, International Showcase, International Spotlight, Documenting Mexico, Summer Showcase, Ford Amphitheatre Screenings, and The Beyond were eligible for the Audience Award for Best International Feature.
Best Narrative Short Film – The Wind Is Blowing on My Street
The Wind Is Blowing on My Street - Best Narrative Short
Directed By: Saba Riazi
Producer: Mohammad Hoseseni
Screenwriter: Saba Riazi
Cinematographer: Touraj Asiani
Editor: Saba Riazi
Cast: Rahman Houshyar, Sajjad Salehivand, Forough Bonakdar, Ashraf Abolfazlian
A young girl in Tehran is accidentally locked out of her home with no scarf on her head.
In bestowing Saba Riazi with Best Narrative Short Film, the Jury stated:
“For offering insight into the specifics of life under theocratic rule in Iran in a way that speaks to us all, with a remarkable lead performance by an actress forced by circumstances to remain anonymous, the jury presents the Narrative Short Film Award to Saba Riazi for The Wind is Blowing on My Street.”
Best Documentary Short Film – I Am A Girl!
I Am a Girl!- Best Documentary Short Film
Directed By: Susan Koenen
Producer: Albert Klein Haneveld
Screenwriter: Susan Koenen
Cinematographer: Reinout Steenhuizen
Editors: Denise Janzée and Susan Koenen
Joppe dreams of love, marriage and children. Being born a boy only complicates things slightly.
In bestowing Susan Koenen with Best Documentary Short Film, the Jury stated:
“For using gorgeous cinematography and energetic editing to capture a young woman’s journey from biological maleness to forthright femininity, and for giving us a glimpse at an open-minded new generation with a better understanding of gender and sexuality issues than their parents ever dreamed, the jury presents the Documentary Short Film Award to Susan Koenen for I Am a Girl!”
Audience Award for Best Short Film – Blind Date
Audience Award – Blind Date
Directed By: Joe Rosen
Producers: Joe Rosen, Abigail Blackmore
Screenwriter: Abigail Blackmore
Cinematographer: Jon Wood
Editors: Joe Rosen, Abigail Blackmore
Cast: Abigail Blackmore, Cavan Clerkin, Zeben Jameson, Matthew Blackmore
Waiting for her date, Rachel has an unexpected encounter.
Awarded to the short film audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system. Short films screening in the Shorts Programs or before Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, or International Showcase feature-length screenings were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Short Film.
Best Animated Short Film – The Eagleman Stag
The Eagleman Stag – Best Animated Short Film
Directed By: Mikey Please
Producer: Royal College of Art
Screenwriter: Mikey Please
Cinematographer: Mikey Please
Editor: Mikey Please
Cast: David Cann, Tony Guilfoyle
This unique stop-motion animated film depicts a man’s haunting obsession with the passage of time and his unorthodox relationship with a beetle.
In bestowing Mike Please with Best Animated Short Film, the Jury stated:
“For mixing innovative three-dimensional paper-cut animation, a stunning white-on-white visual style, and a wryly original sense of storytelling, the jury presents the Animated Short Film Award to Mikey Please for The Eagleman Stag.”
Audience Award for Best Music Video – Can’t Shake This Feeling
Audience Award - Can’t Shake This Feeling by The General Assembly’s Adam Littke, Ryan McNeill, Adam Willis
Directed By: The General Assembly
Producer: Frenchie Alburtis
Cinematographers: Scott Kassenoff
Editor: Joseph Remerowski
Cast: Terry G. Reed, Juliana Milton, Zach Steel, Matt Hinrichs, Steve Taschler, Fotini Patris, Adam Carpenter
This award is given to the music video audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system.
The Vision Of Early Childhood Education
Produced and Directed by Don Haderlein