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Family Film Festival Awards

Sunday March 2nd 2008, the International Family Film Festival culminated four days of diverse feature films, shorts films, student shorts, industry panels and workshops, the Screenwriter’s Showcase & Award Ceremony, the Freshi Road Show, receptions, interviews and networking, with the prestigious IFFF Awards Ceremony & Banquet.

At the black tie event, Chris Shoemaker, one of the festival founders and IFFF’s Executive Director, said of the 13th IFFF, “Yesterday afternoon the Goodyear Blimp flew over these Raleigh Studios to congratulate a festival film Winner, “The Little Red Truck.” (feature documentary) For me, that was a metaphorical reminder to always look up for family films. This festival will always strive to look up with you all.”

IFFF awards ceremony presenter/performers included Ana Berry (host, producer), Dave Basaraba (musician), Magali Guidasci (costume designer), Dooma Wendshcuh (video game creator), Michael Abbott (producer), Jennifer Karr (Singer/Songwriter), Youseff Delera (award winning filmmaker), Stephane Gauger (award winning filmmaker), Colin McGreal (award winning illustrator/commercial director) and fast rising, up and comer, pop duo Savvy & Mandy.
The graceful award sculptures designed by H Studio – Schlomi Haziza and gold embossed certificates were plentiful and given with reverence and love. The 2008 Family Film Festival industry honorees are as follows:
The 2008 IFFF “Friz” Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Animation & Visual Effects Award was given to Mr. Marco Marenghi (Animation Supervisor, Sony Imageworks) with a heartfelt introduction by veteran visual effects artist and colleague, David Wiezer. He shared that, “Marco Marenghi is the kindest, bravest, warmest most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. Marco is a wonderful friend, and a fantastic Dad to two beautiful kids. He is married to an angel… which helps him immeasurably in our business. He is absolutely revered by his team at Imageworks, where he has supervised the animation on some of the biggest box office hits in recent years. It is accurate to say that he has had a tremendously positive effect on everyone that he touches.” IFFF was proud to honor him.

Walden Media (Chronicles of Narnia) is the first production company to receive the prestigious IFFF Film Excellence Award. Accepting on behalf of the company was Mylan Stepanovich (Vice President of Production), who shared this message from Cary Granat, CEO of Walden Media, “I am honored to be receiving this award on behalf of Walden Media. We are thrilled to be recognized by a festival that has paid tribute to so many pioneers in family filmmaking, and (please) thank the directors of the International Family Film Festival for their generous support!” The IFFF Film Excellence Award recognizes Walden Media’s steadfast commitment to quality Family Films and the production of classic children’s literature for the big screen, proving that film can promote a love of books, and books can promote a love of film. With an underlying mission to promote literacy and education by linking the classroom to the screening room through fantastic movies, Walden Media has created an imagination re-generation in today’s youth! The IFFF is proud to shine a light on their work.
And the 2008 IFFF Awards for Best Picture or Screenplay goes to:
Best Feature Drama “ALL ROADS LEAD HOME” Dennis Fallon, Director/Producer, Waldo West Productions; Best Foreign Feature Drama “STICKS AND STONES” (Canada), George Mihalka, Director, Cirrus Communications and Dream Street Pictures; Best Feature Comedy “ALICE, UPSIDE DOWN” Sandy Tung, Director/Producer, New Dog Inc.; IFFF Best Feature Animation “DONKEY OLLIE SHIPWRECKED” Brian Stewart, Director/Producer/ Animator/Writer, Car Angel-Boat Angel; Best Feature Documentary “THE LITTLE RED TRUCK” Rob Whitehair, Director, Tree & Sky Media Arts; the IFFF Directors Gold Award “ALONDRA SMILES”, Conchita Nora Villa, Director/Producer/Writer; the IFFF Spirit’ Award “BLIND AMBITION” Bala Rajasekharuni, Director/Producer/Co-Writer, Subcontinent Films, LLC; and the IFFF Top Applause Award went to “A PLUMM SUMMER” Caroline Zelder, Director/Producer, Fairplay Pictures and Home Team.

Best Drama “A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES” Shane Stanley, Director/Producer/Writer, Visual Arts Entertainment, Inc; Best Comedy “ACADEMANIA!” Gina Guerrieri, Director/Producer/Writer; Best Animation “RINDIN, THE PUFFER” Len Simon, Director/Animator/Writer, Fat Cat Animation Studios; Best Foreign Animation “THE MOFFELS – THE ARRIVAL” (Germany) Ute Krause, Co-Director, Sabrina Wanie, Co-Director, Digitrick; Best Documentary “GENERATION XXL” (Canada) Teresa MacInnes, Director/Writer; Best Educational KIDZ HISTORY’S – “Coming to America” Holly DeLuca, Director

Best Drama “PAUL’S OPA” (Germany), Ove Sander, Director/Writer, Academy of Media Arts; Best Comedy “LIE DETECTOR” John Moran, Director/Writer, University of Southern California; Best Documentary “THE SOUNDS OF SILENT CINEMA” Craig Forrest, Co-Director, Jeff Callaway, Co-Director, Chapman University; Best Educational “ADINA’S DECK” Debbie Heimowitz, Co-Director/Co-Writer, Jason Azicri, Co-Director/Co-Writer, Stanford University

Best Drama “True North”, Eric W. Carlson; Best Comedy “Be Careful What You Wish For” Carol Sabik-Jaffe; Best Animation “Escape from Biology”, Joanne Watson; Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy “The Ardanea Pendant” Jeanne McKinney, Anne Bradshaw.

Best Drama “Unholy Encounter”, Anthony Amenta; Best Comedy
“OOH, La La!” Scott and Paula Merrow; Best Animation “The Trophy Ball”
Rahel Kent; Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy “Coming Home” Wilson Macduff (Scotland).

Congratulations to this year’s honorees and award winners on a job well done! The family film genre is definitely lookin’ up!
Platinum – Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Target, Digital Blue/ Prime Entertainment
Gold – Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, CCI Releasing, Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Imageworks, H. Studio,
Silver – Freshi Films LLC, Without A Box, All About Face Make-up Academy, AA Universal Self Storage, Daisy Rock, Girlie Nails, Zune, Santa Clarita Valley Film Office.
Friends of the Festival – Union Bank of California, East West Bank, Sunset Marquis, LA INC Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, Councilman Thom LaBonge
In Kind Donors – Family Magazine Group, Creative Industry Handbook, Holiday Inn Walk of Fame, Universal Sheraton Hotel, LA With Kids, Got Kids! LA
Film Sponsors – “All Roads Lead Home”, “Wreck the Halls”, “Donkey Ollie”, “Alfalfa Kisses”, “American in China”, “Short Track”, “Step to Hell”, “I’d Rather Be Dancing”, “Akira’s Hip Hop Shop”


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