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2nd Annual New York City International Film Festival Opening Night Awards

By Maria Esteves – August 29, 2011

The 2nd Annual New York City International Film Festival 2011 (NYCIFF11) Opening Night Jury Awards presented by Roberto Rizzo honored the best films of 2011 by emerging and established filmmakers from around the world at the Hudson theatre, Thursday, August 18, 8:00 PM. The award presenters were actor M. Macaluso, T. Iz, E. Thai, I. Yako, L. Kruse, and NYCIFF founder Roberto Rizzo.

In 2010, NYCIFF was founded by Roberto Rizzo. His vision is to introduce a solid network to emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. NYCIFF annually presents international films, workshops, free outdoor screenings, opening night black-tie gala, and after parties. NYICFF director of marketing is Joe E. Goodavage.

This year’s festival included 48 films in Times Square and Tribeca (features, documentaries, shorts, animations, TV Pilots) from Albania, Australia, Costa Rica, England, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, and USA. The festival also included workshops, free outdoor screenings at Times Square, opening night black-tie gala, and after parties.

NYCIFF 2011 official sponsors were DOLCE The Italian Life, Time Square Alliance, Empire Force Events, CABOT Vermont, West Virginia Film Office,,, The Copper Barrel, Laser Cometica, PEKO, and New York Lottery.

NYCIFF 2011 opening night ceremony included eleven awards within nine categories (to view complete list, goto: ). A beautiful statuette award were presented to the following winners:

Best Actress Short Film Award
· Presented by M. Macaluso and T. Iz to actress Barbie Castro

Best Actress Comedy Award
· Presented by E. Thai and I. Yako to actress Bein Broderick

Best Supporting Actress Award
· Presented by M. Macaluso and T. Iz to actress Katherine Narducci

Best Supporting Actor Award
· Presented by E. Thai and I. Yako to actor Nick Mancuso for THE LAST GAMBLE. Producer Phil Malandrino, THE LAST GAMBLE, accepted the award on behalf of Nick Mancuso.

Best Score Award
· Presented by M. Macaluso and T. Iz to composer Ralph Rieckermann

Best International Actor Award
· Presented by E. Thai and I. Yako to Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover for DADA BHAGWAN, and DESPERATE ENDEAVORS

Best Actress in a Leading Role Award
· Presented by M. Macaluso and L. Kruse to actress DENIZ. Leyla Yilmaz accepted the award on behalf of DENIZ.

Best Actor in a Leading Role Award
· Presented by E. Thai and I. Yako to actor Steven Bauer for THE LAST GAMBLE

Best Feature Film Award
· Presented by M. Macaluso and L. Kruse to director Amanda Jane for THE WEDDING PARTY

Best Director Award
· Presented by NYCIFF founder Roberto Rizzo to THE LAST GAMBLE director Joe E. Goodavage

Lifetime Achievement Award
· Presented by NYCIFF founder Roberto Rizzo to actress Sally Kirkland

NYCIFF11 Opening Night Awards, NYCIFF founder Roberto Rizzo, right, with Lifetime Achievement Award winner actress Sally Kirkland, THE LAST GAMBLE.


Roberto Rizzo – NYCIFF Founder
As the founder of the New York City International Film Festival, Roberto Rizzo is making a powerful impact for international filmmakers in New York City. Founded in 2010, the festival vision is to introduce a solid network to emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.
Before founding the New York City International Film Festival, Rizzo is a writer, producer, and director who lives and work in New York. His passion for film began at age four. Rizzo written, produced, and directed Trust Me, Couples, a short film Fascination, and a TV Pilot Connecticut Cooking& Conversation. He founded Vesuviano Pictures, has appeared in 13, 30 Rock, My Father's Will, New Amsterdam, and many others.

Joe E. Goodavage – 2011 NYCIFF Award Winner
Joe E. Goodavage is an award-winning writer, producer, and director. Goodavage was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He is a graduate from West Virginia University in Mass Communications and Journalism. In 2008, Goodavage became co-owner of Last Gamble Productions, LLC, in New York. He produced and directed over 75 commercials. His television shows The Sports Edge and Performing Arts Weekly aired on Manhattan’s Time Warner Cable. His award-winning screenplays and independent feature films include, Undertaker’s Dozen, Blood and Honor, and Retribution. In 2004, Blood and Honor received Best Drama and Best Director Awards, Los Angeles Film Festival. In 2005, Undertaker’s Dozen, received Best Director Award, Los Vegas International Film Festival. In 2006, Retribution, received Best Director Award, New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Goodavage feature film THE LAST GAMBLE received the 2011 NYCIFF Best Director Award.

Sally Kirkland – 2011 NYCIFF Award Winner
Sally Kirkland, born and raised in New York City, is an actress and producer. Kirkland who trained with the famous Lee Strassberg (Lee Strassberg Theatre), began her career Off-Broadway, has appeared in numerous movies for film and television programs. Kirkland produced and starred in Cheatin' Hearts, Forever, Flexing With Monty, and Amnesia. In 1987, her role in Anna, received Best Actress Nomination, Academy Award; Best Dramatic Actress Award, Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Award; and Best Actress Award, Independent Spirit Awards. She also received humanitarian awards including Blue Cross and the Crippled Children's Society.

Kirkland’s roles in film and television included A Star is Born, Adam & Steve, Another Woman's Husband, Best of the Best, Bite the Bullet, Brave New World for television, Breakheart Pass, Bruce Almighty, Cinderella Liberty, Dead Silence, Double Threat, Ed TV, Excess Baggage, Falcon Crest for television, Fatal Games, High Stakes, In the Heat of Passion, The Island, JFK, The Kansas City Massacre for television, Paint It Black, Private Benjamin, The Sting, Wish You Were Dead, Wilbur Falls, and The Way We Were.

In 2000s, Kirkland roles in independent cinema include Audit, Night of the Wolf for television, The Rose Technique, Mango Kiss, Coffee Date, Off the Black, and The Last Gamble. Sally Kirkland received the 2011 NYCIFF Lifetime Acheivement Award.


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