The downtown Film Festival grows in the number of films entered and people attending each year. This is the first fest since it was in hiatus for two years and was held at the Independent theater with a dynamite afterparty at Towne (9th & Flower).
The winners of the 2012 Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles were announced today (Friday, July 13th) in an awards presentation at The Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles.
Taking top honors were “Betty I Am” and We Are Legion” for Best Picture feature narrative and feature documentary, respectively. “Betty I Am” by director Jose Renteria Jr.is a stylish black-and-white film shot on 16 mm that follows the story of two siblings brought together by the untimely death of their father. “We Are Legion,” directed by Brian Knappenberger, is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the secret hacktivist movement Anonymous.
Best Director honors went to Anthony Meindl for his narrative feature “Birds Of A Feather”and to Caskey Ebeling for her documentary feature “Getting Up: The Tempt One Story.” Meindl’s film is a new twist on the time-honored comedic movie genre where the action revolves around the mounting of a musical play. Ebeling’s film is a poignant account of the comeback of well-known graffiti artist Tempt One who became ill with ALS, the debilitating neurological affliction also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
All four films – “Betty I Am,” “We Are Legion,” “Birds Of A Feather” and “Getting Up” made their Los Angeles premieres during the festival.
“These independently produced feature films reflect the extraordinary quality and diversity of content in today’s independent cinema. We’re very proud to have played a role in providing a showcase for them in the Film Capital of the World,” said Greg Ptacek, Festival Co-Director.
Sharing the Best Picture Short Film award were “Been Good To Know Yuh” by director Corey Brandenstein, an imaginative depiction of a chapter in the life of poet-songwriter and folk singer Woody Guthrie, and “This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” by director Teressa Tunney, a battle of the opposite sexes with a decidedly different ending.
The Audience Favorite award was captured by “Heathens and Thieves,” a genre-bending action thriller with a film noir plotline of intrigue and betrayal but set in the Old West.
Oscar winner Melissa Leo took the Best Actress award for her dark comic role as a woman on the dating circuit in “This Is A Story About Ted And Alice.” Joey Capone was named “Best Actor” for his role in “Carlos Spills The Beans,” playing a character who inherits the family restaurant with disastrously funny consequences.
A complete list of the film awards, as they were presented at tonight’s Closing Night ceremony, follows. Downtown Film Festoval L.A. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting emerging film talent in the culturally diverse and historic downtown district of Los Angeles.
Downtown Film Festival L.A. 2012 Film Awards
Note: Titles in ALL CAPS indicate feature-length films. Titles in “quotes” indicate short films.
1. Best Director – Short Film
Lauren Lillie – “Paying for It”
2. Best Editing – Short Film
Nayeli Garci-Crespo & Santi Minasi – “Dissent”
3. Best Screenwriting – Short Film
Paul Grellong – “Tracer Gun”
4. Best Cinematography – Short Film
Joe Kocsis – “Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace”
5. Best Musical Score – Short Film
Paul Festa – “The Glitter Emergency”
6. Best Short Films – Honorable Mention
- ”The Glitter Emergency” directed by Paul Festa
- “Past Due” directed by Denise C. Plumb
- “Paying for It” directed by Lauren Lillie
- “Scenen (Act 1, Scene 1)” directed by Hans Montelius
- “Substance Ovüse”directed by Burke Roberts
7. Best Short Films (tie)
- ”Been Good To Know Yuh” directed by Corey Brandenstein
- ”This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” directed by Teressa Tunney
8. Best Los Angeles Films (All Films)
“Botes al Amanecer” directed by Nikki V. Roberts
9. Best Editing – Feature
Nils Arrington & Thom Newell – JUST LIKE BEING THERE
10. Best Screenwriting – Feature
Iris Almaraz & Gustavo Ramos – DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR
11. Best Cinematography – Feature
Robert Murphy – CARLOS SPILLS THE BEANS
12. Best Music/Score – Feature
Adam Blau – FUZZ TRACK CITY
13. Best Performance by an Actor – Honorable Mention
- Michael Buffo – “Slapstick Porno”
- Robert Loggia – THE DIARY OF PRESTON PLUMMER
- Jimmy Simpson – “Tracer Gun”
- Rob Tepper – “Been Good to Know Yuh”
14. Best Performance by an Actor (All Roles/All Films)
Joey Capone – CARLOS SPILLS THE BEANS
15 . Best Performance by an Actress – Honorable Mention
- Anishika Fontae – “Gasp”
- Kelsey Ford – “Paying for It”
- Celeste Pechous – “Past Due”
- Matthew Simmons (playing Peg-Leg Ballerina) – “The Glitter Emergency”
16. Best Performance by an Actress (All Roles/All Films)
Melissa Leo – “This Is a Story About Ted and Alice”
17. Best Director – Feature Narrative
Anthony Meindl – BIRDS OF A FEATHER
18. Best Director – Feature Documentary
Caskey Ebeling – GETTING UP: THE TEMPT ONE STORY
19. Audience Favorite Award (All Films)
HEATHENS AND THIEVES
Directed by Megan Peterson & John Douglas Sinclair
20. Best Picture – Documentary
WE ARE LEGION
Produced and Directed by Brian Knappenberger
21. Best Picture – Narrative
BETTY I AM
Produced by Joe Engelke, Israel Gomez
Directed by Jose Renteria Jr