A cerebral German drama about one of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers took top honours Sunday night as the closing credits rolled on the Victoria Film Festival during an awards presentation at Yates Street Taphouse.
Hannah Arendt, Margarethe von Trotta’s dramatization of the impact of the German philosopher and political theorist’s coverage of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem was named best feature film.
Still Mine, writer-director Michael McGowan’s wry and touching drama starring James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold as an elderly couple who face unexpected challenges in their twilight years, was voted best Canadian feature by the festival jury.
The best documentary award went to The Central Park Five, the shattering documentary co-directed by PBS documentarian Ken Burns about the miscarriage of justice experienced by five Harlem teenagers who were wrongly conviicted for the brutal 1989 rape of a female jogger in Central Park and the ensuing racial tension and sociological impact.
Paula, Quebec filmmaker Dominic Etienne Simard’s animated 10-minute film about a child who witnesses an act of violence on a stretch of sidewalk shared by a prostitute in a working-class neighbourhood, collected the best short film award.
The audience favourite award went to Rob Stewart for his ocean conservation documentary Revolution. The winner in this category is determined by the largest percentage of favourable feedback received from filmgoers who rate individual films on post-screening ballots.
The Dinner, Carlos Lopez Estrada’s 24-minute film about an eccentric anthropologist who invites 13 of the most influential people in his life to his eventful 45th birthday dinner, won the Metropol audience favourite short film award.
Winners of FilmCAN, the festival’s annual student filmmaking competition were Nate Wynans, a Grade 10 student at Alberni District Secondary School, and Sebastian Niedziela, a Grade 5 student at Saltspring Island’s Phoenix School.
Wynans was the senior category winner for Slashes, his short about the effects of logging, construction and winter on freeride mountain biking. Niedziela won in the junior category for Creation, his animated short on the Olympian creation myth.
The 19th annual Victoria Film Festival showcased 150 films from 26 countries during the 10-day festival that ended Sunday.
There were 23 sold-out events, up from 18 last year. Attendance also rose, with 24,800 visitors recorded by press time.
Guests included Gareth Edwards, the British filmmaker directing the Warner Bros. remake of Godzilla; filmmakers Rob Stewart (Revolution), Jesse Mann (Material Success), Mike Hanus (Jackhammer), Jonathan Holiff (My Father and the Man in Black), Patricia Sims (Return to the Forest) and Broderick Fox (The Skin I’m In), underground comics pioneer Trina Robbins and screenwriter Ross LaManna (Rush Hour).
© Copyright 2013