Los Angeles Film Festival Winners 2011 | LA Film Fest Winners 2011

La Film Fest winners 2011. The 2011 winners of the Los Angeles Film Festival are as follows:

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
Music: Grum
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

2011 LA Film Fest Nominees | Los Angeles Film Festival 2011 Nominees

Los Angeles Film Festival Nominees 2011

The Los Angeles Film Festival runs June 16th to June 26th. Below are the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival Nominees.


·         The Bad Intentions (Las Malas Intenciones)Argentina/Germany/Peru (DIRECTOR/WRITER Rosario Garcia-Montero PRODUCERS Benito Mueller, Wolfgang Müller, Paul Typaldos, Rosario García-Montero CAST Fatima Buntinx, Katerina D'Onofrio, Paul Vega, Kani Hart, Melchor Gorrochategul, Jean Paul Strauss, Liliana Alegria, Tania Ruiz, Flor de Maria Andrade) – Lima, Peru, 1983. What upsets only child Cayetana is not the threat of terrorists but the news that her wealthy, valium-becalmed mother is going to have another baby. She begins, morbidly, to act out her resentments in this deft, seriocomic coming of age story. US Premiere

·         The Dynamiter – (DIRECTOR Matthew Gordon WRITER Brad Ingelsby PRODUCERS Kevin Abrams, Amile Wilson, Merilee Holt CAST William Ruffin, John Alex Nunnery, Patrick Rutherford, Joice Baldwin, Debra Toth, Braxton Gardon, Ciara McMillan) – During a balmy Mississippi summer, a teenage boy who finds himself the head of his family must grapple with his identity or else give in to the powder keg of dissatisfaction. North American Premiere

·         Familiar Ground (En Terrains Connus) – Canada (DIRECTOR/WRITER Stéphane Lafleur PRODUCER Luc Déry, Kim McCraw CAST Francis La Haye, Fanny Mallette, Sylvain Marcel, Michel Daigle, Suzanne Lemoine) – This droll, deadpan comedy from snowbound Quebec features an unhappy brother and sister whose fates seem to be known by a mysterious Man From the Future. Not too far in the future though. Just next September. North American Premiere

·         The Fatherless (Die Vaterlosen) Austria (DIRECTOR/WRITER Marie Kreutzer PRODUCERS Robert Buchschwenter, Alexander Glehr, Franz Novotny, Ursula Wolschlager CAST Andreas Kiendl, Andrea Wenzl, Emily Cox, Philipp Hochmair) – Hans, the charismatic leader of a free-love commune, has died. His four estranged adult children reunite to thrash out the secrets and lies of a failed utopian dream. North American Premiere

·         How to Cheat (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER Amber Sealey CAST Amber Sealey, Kent Osborne, Amanda Street, Paulette Osborne, Ina Barron, Vanessa Waters, Vanessa Peters, Francesca Ferrara, Colette Freedman, Leah Bailey, Jules Bruff, Jade Sealey, Nick Pavey, Gabriel Diamond, V. Kim Blish, Dan Ewen) – An L.A. couple's struggle to get pregnant sets off the husband's wandering eye in this comedy that reveals marriage to be as funny as it is heartbreaking. World Premiere

·         Mamitas – (DIRECTOR/WRITER Nicholas Ozeki PRODUCERS Adam Renehan, Andrew Daniel Wells CAST EJ Bonilla, Veronica Diaz-Carranza, Jennifer Esposito, Joaquim de Almeida, Jesse Garcia, Pedro Armendariz Jr.) – Beautifully shot against L.A.’s downtown skyline, this sensitive, coming-of-age story revolves around a young Latino player whose budding relationship with a bookish tomboy propels him to find out who he really is. World Premiere

·         An Ordinary Family – (DIRECTOR Mike Akel WRITERS Mike Akel, Matthew Patterson PRODUCERS Matthew Patterson, Mike Akel CAST Troy Schremmer, Greg Wise, Janelle Schremmer, Chad Miller, Steven Schaefer, Megan Minto, Laurie Coker, Rachel Wise, Huck Schremmer, Shannon Haragan, Richard C. Jones, Joe Ricks, Scott Harris, Charley Devaney, Jon Davis, Bill Taylor, Greg Grooms, Ryan Greene, Tom Elia) –The Beiderman's annual family reunion gets rocky when Seth arrives with his new boyfriend. No one bats an eye except his brother, a married man of the cloth, in this fresh, bittersweet exploration of frayed family ties. World Premiere

·         Please Do Not DisturbIran (DIRECTOR/WRITER Mohsen Abdolvahab PRODUCER Mohammad Ahmadi CAST Baran Kosari, Afshin Hashemi, Hedayat Hashemi, Shirin Yazdanbakhsh, Mohsen Kazemi, Hamed Behdad) – Through three surprising, interlocking stories, Mohsen Abdolvahab's incisive comedy reveals the daily struggles, fears and private dreams of distinctive city dwellers in contemporary Tehran. North American Premiere

·         Sawdust City (DIRECTOR/WRITER David Nordstrom PRODUCERS Mike Ott, Frederick Fulton, Henry Thornton CAST David Nordstrom, Carl McLaughin, Lee Lynch, John Brotherton) – With a genuine feel for its Midwest setting, this directorial debut tracks two brothers as they spend a chilly Thanksgiving walking and talking their way through the bars of their hometown searching for their estranged father. World Premiere

·         You Hurt My Feelings (DIRECTOR/WRITER Steve Collins PRODUCERS Anish Savjani, Jonathan Silberberg CAST Courtney Davis, Macon Blair, John Merriman) – An unhappy thirty-something nanny, his ex-girlfriend, and her jovial new boyfriend become entangled in a hilarious and wrenching triangle that’s as much about friendship as it is love. World Premiere


·         Cheonggyecheon Medley: A Dream of Iron (Cheonggyecheon medeulli) – South Korea (DIRECTOR Kelvin Kyung Kun Park PRODUCERS Kim Kyungmi, Lee Hwayoung) – From Seoul’s increasingly gentrified Cheonggyecheon district, filmmaker Kelvin Kyung Kun Park composes a letter to his dead grandfather in this experimental ode to the obsolete techniques of metal casting. US Premiere

·         Family Instinct (Gimenes lietas)Latvia (DIRECTOR Andris Gauja PRODUCER Madara Melberga) – You won’t know whether to laugh or cry at this wilder-than-fiction documentary about an impoverished Latvian woman and her coterie of drunken friends and family as they stumble their way through their bleak rural life. US Premiere

·         Once I Was a Champion (DIRECTOR Gerard Roxburgh PRODUCER Kirk Porter FEATURING Evan Tanner, Randy Couture, Dana White, John Herzfeld, Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Rich Franklin) – This moving documentary is the true story behind the troubled life and tragic death of Ultimate Fighting star Evan Tanner, whose belief in the power of one wasn’t enough to save himself. World Premiere

·         Paraiso For Sale (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Anayansi Prado) Bocas Del Toro, Panama, has become a haven for American retirees. But a bigger threat to the locals are the voracious corporations eager to build luxury resorts on land the native population considers its own. World Premiere

·         Salaam Dunk – Iraq/USA (DIRECTOR David Fine PRODUCERS San Saravan, Peter Friedrich) – Set against the backdrop of war-torn Iraq, this debut documentary follows a team of novice female basketball players as they, and all of Iraq, begin to rebuild their country.

·         Somewhere Between – (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Linda Goldstein Knowlton) – Coming of age in America is complicated by questions of self identity and family in this intimate look into the lives of four teenage girls, all united by one thing: They all were adopted from China. US Premiere

·         Unfinished Spaces (DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS Alysa Nahmias, Benjamin Murray FEATURING Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi) – Cuba, 1961. Fidel Castro launches a second revolution: Architecture. But his ambitious, curvaceous Arts academy was neither square nor Soviet-approved, cueing a Communist culture war. World Premiere

·         Unraveled (DIRECTOR Marc H. Simon PRODUCERS Marc H. Simon, Miranda Bailey, Matthew Brian Makar, Steven Cantor FEATURING Marc S. Dreier, Spencer Dreier, Gerry Shargel, Ross Kramer, Bob Hart, Rich DeFellipo, Phil Scala, Robert Gilmore, Joel Sickler) – Marc Dreier was second only to Bernie Madoff in the enormity of his financial fraud. Under house arrest as he awaits his sentence, he opens up about the greed and desperation that led to his downfall. US Premiere

·         Wish Me Away (DIRECTORS Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf PRODUCERS Beverly Kopf, Paul Mailman) – This intensely personal documentary chronicles the heart-wrenching decision of Nashville singing star Chely Wright to come out of the closet despite the potentially crushing response from the industry and her fans. World Premiere


·         Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – (DIRECTOR Troy Nixey WRITERS Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins PRODUCERS Guillermo del Toro, Mark Johnson CAST Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison) – Based on the 1973 telefilm that del Toro believes is the scariest TV production ever made, the story follows Sally (Madison), a young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Holmes) in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring.  While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own. World Premiere


·         Green Lantern – (DIRECTOR Martin Campbell WRITERS Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg PRODUCERS Donald De Line, Greg Berlanti CAST Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins) – Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a test pilot and the first human ever selected to wear the ring that grants him superpowers, as well as membership into the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps.


·         Better Life – (DIRECTOR Chris Weitz WRITER Eric Eason PRODUCERS Paul Junger Witt, Christian McLaughlin, Chris Weitz, Jami Gertz, Stacey Lubliner CAST Demián Bichir, José Julián, Dolores Heredia, Joaquín Cosío, Carlos Linares – A Better Life is the poignant, suspenseful tale of an illegal immigrant in LA struggling to build a better life for his beloved son. World Premiere

·         Drive – (DIRECTOR Nicolas Winding Refn WRITER Hossein Amini PRODUCERS Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Michel Litvak, Adam Siegel, John Palermo CAST Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks) – Ryan Gosling is a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver in a robbery that goes desperately wrong. Brutal and beautiful, Nicholas Winding Refn’s film noir is as black as they come. North American Premiere


·         An Evening with James Franco – (DIRECTOR/WRITER James Franco PRODUCERS Caroline Aragon, James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Miles Levy CAST James Franco, Michael Shannon, Stacey Miller – A conversation with writer-director-star James Franco, who presents the world premiere of The Broken Tower, his daring film about the brief, burning life of the gay, visionary American poet Hart Crane. World Premiere

Auttism Documentary part one