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All the Buzz on Film Festival Awards, Celebrity Tributes and the Film Awards Season.

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International Emerging Talent Film Festival Award Winners

Thursday, May 17--------Having a film festival just before Cannes in the neighboring city-state of Monaco is either a brilliant idea or one fraught with challenges. The organizers of this inaugural event wisely decided to ignore the giant to their south and just proceed with their mission. And their mission is a laudable one… discover and promote promising cinema talents, to encourage dialogue between filmmakers, to promote cultural diversity and international understanding and to discuss the role of media in inspiring social change.

At its gala Awards Ceremony last evening at the Grimaldi Forum, the Wing Awards were introduced by the Festival’s Producer, Mitch Levine, and IETFF’s Founders, Max Ryerson, Noriko Bonafede and Marco Orsini.  They were hosted by Oscar-nominated Actress and IETFF Jury President Jennifer Tilly, and presented by Hidetoshi Nakata, one of the world’s greatest football (soccer) player’s, Charlotte Bobcats NBA star, Emeka Okafor (both of whom were in town to support the Festival as well as their joint mutual causes of saving the children of Africa and the world), Bird Runningwater from the Sundance Film Festival and Jury members, director Leon Ichaso (“El Cantante,” “Piñero”) and producer Ikuro Takana (“Battle Royale”) 


  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Feature Film was presented to: SATANÁS, Directed by Andres Bais (Columbia/Mexico).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Short Film was presented to: CRICKET HEAD, Directed by Grant Greenberg (USA/South Africa).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Directorial Effort (Feature) was presented to: TAI-SIK KIM for DRIVING WITH MY WIFE’S LOVER ( Korea ).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Directorial Effort (Short) was presented to: LILY COATES for THE CAT AND CLAUDIA ( Australia ).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Actress was presented to: CATHY CURTIN for CRICKET HEAD (USA/South Africa).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD FOR Best Actor was a tie, and was presented to DAMIAN ALCAZAR for SATANÁS (Columbia/Mexico) and KWANG-JUNG PARK for DRIVING WITH MY WIFE’S LOVER ( Korea ).
  • 2007 IETFF WING AWARD for Best Cinematography was presented to: SUN-BON JANG for DRIVING WITH MY WIFE’S LOVER ( Korea ).
  • 2007 IETFF Inspiration Award was presented to: SAND AND SORROW Director, Paul Freedman.

For its inaugural year, the Festival presented 22 films from emerging filmmakers from 20 countries. The Festival established its theme of global awareness with its Opening Night Film, the European Premiere of Thom Fitzgerald’s three paneled look at the world’s AIDS crises, 3 NEEDLES, starring Lucy Liu, Chloë Sevigny, Sandra Oh, Stockard Channing and Olympia Dukakis

The Closing Night Film, an International Premiere, was a special advance screening of Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Paul Freedman’s film SAND AND SORROW, produced and narrated by George Clooney. The film is a penetrating and disturbing look at the genocide in Darfur that still claims thousands of lives every month. A panel on the Darfur crisis, and the ways that the media can help end the conflict, convened with such celebrated panelist as Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, the African Union’s Major Reuben Colince Ondoua, director Paul Freedman and author John Prendergast.

The Festival, through its partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, is one of the world’s only “green” film events. In fact, many of the Festival’s forums were devoted to informing filmmakers, studio executives, distributors and government leaders on environmentally responsible film production, distribution and marketing techniques. A Festival focused on the political and economic challenges facing the world community and the role of media is a welcome addition to the festival calendar.

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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