Thursday, May 07, 2015

SFIFF58: Golden Gate Awards

Last night, at a party at Rouge | Nick's Crispy Tacos, the San Francisco International Film Festival announced the winners of the Golden Gate Awards, given to films playing at the festival. Winners received a framed certificate & cash prizes from $250 to $10,000. Before presenting the award for each category, the jurors read a short statement noting the outstanding qualities of the winner. Local high school students were jurors for the youth awards.

The atmosphere of the award ceremony was light & clubby. Most awardees were not present, but the person accepting the award for Cailleach corrected the pronunciation of the film's title & another expressed thanks for the recognition that the festival gives to independent filmmakers. While I was in line waiting to get into the party, a woman walking by demanded to know what the party was for, who got to attend & what was the best film to see at the festival. At the end of the evening I had a conversation with someone who was an extra in Milk & had a memorable time dressed as a 70s hippie for scenes shot in the Castro.

§ The Golden Gate Awards New Directors
Winner: Sworn Virgin, Laura Bispuri (Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo)
Jury: producer & BFI Senior Production Executive Lizzie Franke, writer & filmmaker Ryan Fleck, producer Laura Wagner.

§ Golden Gate Awards for Documentary Features
Documentary Feature Winner: Western, Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross (USA)
Special Jury Recognition: Of Men and War, Laurent Bécue-Renard (France/Switzerland)
Bay Area Documentary Winner: Very Semi-Serious, Leah Wolchok (USA)
Special Jury recognition: T-Rex, Drea Cooper, Zackary Canepari (USA)
Jury: filmmakers Kristine Samuelson & Robert Greene, journalist Susan Gerhard.

§ Golden Gate Awards for Short Films
Narrative Short Winner: The Chicken, Una Gunjak (Germany/Croatia)
Documentary Short Winner: Cailleach, Rosie Reed Hillman (Scotland)
Animated Short Winner: A Single Life, Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen  (Netherlands)
New Visions Short Winner: Discussion Questions, Jonn Herschend  (USA)
Bay Area Short First Prize Winner: The Box, Michael I Schiller (USA)
Bay Area Short Second Prize Winner: Time Quest, John Dilley (USA)
Jury: filmmakers Grace Lee & Jonathan Duffy, curator Liz Keim.

§ Golden Gate Award for Family Film
Winner: The Story of Percival Pilts, Janette Goodey, John Lewis (Australia/New Zealand)
Family Film Honorable Mentions: Lava, James Ford Murphy (USA) & One, Two, Tree, Yulia Aronova (France/Switzerland)
Jury: Arts Education consultant Amy Balsbaugh, third grade teacher at Grattan School Susan DesBaillets, Head of Education and Community Programs at The Walt Disney Family Museum Hillary Lyden.

§ Golden Gate Award for Youth Work
Winner: Two and a Quarter Minutes, Joshua Ovalle (USA)
Youth Work Honorable Mention: The Off / Season, Lance Oppenheim (USA)
Jury: local high school students Diana Garcia, Ramses Mosley-Wise & Sean Rossiter, with adult supervisor Lisa Landi, producer of Film School Shorts at KQED.

§ Golden Gate Awards
58th San Francisco International Film Festival
Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 9p - 11p
Rouge | Nick's Crispy Tacos

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