Thursday, April 17, 2008

Festival wrap

The 17th Philadelphia Film Festival wrapped up its 13-day-and-night run on Tuesday, April 15, with attendance figures just a tad below last year's 66,000 -- not bad considering the festival was shorter by a day and downscaled by several venues, too. And this is certainly not bad: a record 85 sold out screenings.

And yes, a select few of the 246 films from 49 countries at PFF-17 came away with prizes. Juried awards went to Pieter Kuijpers’ Nothing to Lose (best feature); Greg Kohs’ Song Sung Blue (best doc); Jeremiah Zagar’s In a Dream (best first film); Rahmin Bahrani (best director, for Chop Shop); Luke Eberl’s Choose Connor (best American independent); Fumihiko Sori’s Vexille (animated feature), and Armand Demuynck’s “Breakout” (animated short).

Audience awards were doled to Ann Calamia’s Universal Signs (feature); Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro’s Body of War (doc), and Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes (best Danger After Dark entry).

The Festival of Independents’ Award winners were Tom Quinn’s The New Year Parade (feature) (photo of stars Greg Lyons and Jennifer Welsh above); Benjamin Herold’s First Person (documentary); Jena Serbu’s “Figure Study #7” (narrative); Dan Pinto’s "Hedgehug” (animation), and Lindsay Kovnat’s "AYND” (experimental).

Additionally, In a Dream nabbed the DIVE Technical Achievement Award, First Person’s Herold took the SCION First Time Director Award and Daniel Barnz, director of Phoebe in Wonderland, received the Archie Award, a juried kudo pesented in honor of the late Philadelphia cineaste and scholar Archie Perlmutter.


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