Visionfest 09 Announces Award Winners

VisionFest 2009

Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper lead DANDELION’s big win at VISIONFEST 09’s Awards Ceremony; Paul Osborne crowned with Domani Vision Film Society ‘Filmmaker of the Year’ Award for his OFFICIAL REJECTION

Adam Mason’s BLOOD RIVER landed wins for Andrew Howard’s performance and Stuart Brereton’s cinematography – two of the film festival’s “special awards.”

Directing honors bestowed upon Jef Taylor for the short, COVERAGE; SANDHOGS came out of the ground to win for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking; Nyle Cavazos Garcia’s screenplay, TAG, winner of the Feature Screenwriting Competition

New York City, (June 22, 2009) – VISIONFEST 09:The Other Festival, wound down its five-day run last night, at Tribeca Cinemas, with its Official Closing Night Selection, LIKE DANDELION DUST, directed by Jon Gunn, honored with 4 statuettes. The film took home awards for Outstanding Achievement in Production (Bobby Downes, Kevin Downes, and Kerri David), Writing (Michael Lachance & Stephen J. Rivele, for their adaptation of Karen Kingsbury‘s best selling novel), and for both its lead actors (Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper). The ceremony, which ran just minutes shy of a half hour, was hosted by VF09 co-director, Bruno Derlin, who kicked off the proceedings by informing the audience that: “None of the awards have the word ‘best’ anywhere on them. We’re just going to single out outstanding achievement in various categories, but the word ‘best’ applies to all 31 films that were shown here this year.”

The festival honored Paul Osborne with its prestigious Domani Vision ‘Filmmaker of the Year’ prize for his hilarious and controversial film festival circuit expose documentary, OFFICIAL REJECTION. The film, which had been one of the film festival’s most highly anticipated, played to a crowd comprised mostly of filmmakers. “This is like a crash course for filmmakers,” said VF09 consultant, Mark Doyle, adding: “It really informs filmmakers on the kind of treatment they can expect to receive from certain film festivals when they enter into that circuit.”

Both of the film festival’s “special memorial awards” (The Jack Nance Award for Breakthrough Performance and the Abe Schrager Award for Cinematography) went to Adam Mason‘s chilling, BLOOD RIVER, honoring actor Andrew Howard and cinematographer Stuart Brereton, respectively. VF09 producer, Jana Frindtova, said this when asked about what she thought of the film: “This film continues to haunt me. And it does seem kind of strange that the two awards it won are both ‘memorial’ awards… That alone is going to give me more nightmares. This movie has a life of its own.”

The festival also honored films in two specific categories, the documentary feature and the short subject, giving award statuettes to New Yorker, Eddie Rosenstein, for his epic doc, SANDHOGS: THE GREATEST TUNNEL EVER BUILT, and to Drew Mylrea for his quirky comedy short, ARNOLD AND THE ALPS. An award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing was handed to Jef Taylor for his intense short, COVERAGE. Rounding out the statuette awards, were some of the technical categories, which saw a Production Design win for Melanie Paizis Jones‘ work in the short subject, UNITED WE STAND, by Rick Floyd, and a Sound Design triumph for Tim Jones, Natasha Kermani, and Japhy Riddle, the team of audio artists responsible for the surround soundscapes of Brandan Bellomo‘s BOHEMIBOT, itself a student Academy Award™ winner.

This year’s Feature Screenwriting Competition, presented by InkTip.com, was won by Nyle Cavazos Garcia‘s TAG. The author, surprised by his win, went up to accept his award and with a somewhat stunned tone exclaimed: “Wow… I thought I had lost… but, this is great!” Doug MilesBLAME THE THUNDERBOLT came in second place, followed by Diana Eiranova-Kyle‘s THE LAST CONFESSION rounding off the trio of honored screenplays. All three scripts will be submitted to the 7th Floor production company for development consideration and the first place winner will be staged at next year’s edition of VISIONFEST, which is scheduled for June 2010.

The following is a full list of the 2009 Visionfest Independent Vision Awards winners:

Film Competition Statuettes

  • Domani Vision Award for Emerging Talent: Paul Osborne (Official Rejection)
  • Production: Bobby Downes, Kevin Downes, Kerri David (Like Dandelion Dust)
  • Directing: Jef Taylor (Coverage)
  • Writing: Michael Lachance & Stephen J. Rivele (Like Dandelion Dust)
  • Documentary Feature: Sandhogs: The Greatest Tunnel Ever Built – by Eddie Rosenstein
  • Short Subject Narrative: Arnold And The Alps – by Drew Mylrea
  • The Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award: Andrew Howard (Blood River)
  • Acting (Male Lead): Barry Pepper (Like Dandelion Dust)
  • Acting (Female Lead): Mira Sorvino (Like Dandelion Dust)
  • The Abe Schrager Award for Cinematography: Stuart Brereton (Blood River)
  • Sound Design: Tim Jones, Natasha Kermani, Japhy Riddle (Bohemibot)
  • Production Design: Melanie Paizis Jones (United We Stand)

Certificates of Merit

  • Social Consciousness: Adam Durand (Fowl Play)
  • Most Promising Filmmaker: Dominic Perez (Evil Things)
  • Artistic and Technical Achievement: Marc Kess (Mildred Richards)

Feature Screenwriting Competition

  • 1st Place: Nyle Cavazos Garcia (Tag)
  • 2nd Place: Doug Miles (Blame The Thunderbolt)
  • 3rd Place: Diana Eiranova-Kyle (The Last Confession)
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