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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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San Francisco Festival’s Golden Gate Awards

The parking was impossible. But the weather gloriously balmy by the bay for the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Awards held this evening in the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center. Appropriately, the Golden Gate Bridge itself could be glimpsed in the distance from the lobby windows.

During the cocktail reception, Richard Hershowitz, director of the Virginia Film Festival and Skyy Prize juror, joked about giving the new San Francisco Film Society executive director his start, stating, “When I hired Graham Leggat 15 years ago, I knew that if I waited long enough it would get me to San Francisco. I realized that he had potential, but what he has done here is absolutely astonishing.”

Everyone has been singing Leggat’s praises. And what’s not to like? There he was—between the Sterling Vintner’s Collection and Bubble Lounge serving tables—wiping up a spilled drink that he spotted on the floor. He mumbled that he feared someone might slip.

Leggat opened the ceremony, saying, “The Golden Gate Awards mean a great deal to us. It’s our chance to bring our international guests to the Bay Area community.” He continued by thanking the jury and extending heartfelt words to his staff, acknowledging the “warm feeling in the house because my guys have taken care of all the details and have been stomping out fires behind the scenes.”

Linda Blackaby, Director of Programming, explained that the prestigious 10th annual SKYY PRIZE “must be the first narrative feature by the director, exhibit a unique artistic sensibility or vision and deserve to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.” TAKING FATHER HOME by Ying Liang (China, 2005) took the award and $10,000 cash prize. The jury also gave an unofficial Honorable Mention to HALF NELSON (Ryan Fleck, USA, 2005) “for restoring our faith in American independent cinema.”

Luc Chaput, a member of the editorial board of SÉQUENCES film magazine, announced that HALF NELSON by Ryan Fleck (USA, 2005) won the FIPRESCI PRIZE. Selected by the International Federation of Film Critics, the award aims to promote film art.

The following14 categories of Golden Gate Awards recognize and promote excellence in independent documentary features, animation and experimental short films from around the world:

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
WORKINGMAN'S DEATH, Michael Glawogger (Austria, 2005)
Awarded $5,000 cash prize and Production Suite courtesy of Apple

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – BAY AREA DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLES TEMPLE, Stanley Nelson (USA, 2006)
Awarded $2,500 cash prize and $2,000 worth of lab services from Alpha Cine Seattle Labs

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – DOCUMENTARY SHORT
lot 63 grave c, Sam Green (USA, 2006)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize and $1,700 gift certificate courtesy of Kodak

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – BAY AREA DOCUMENTARY SHORT
PHOENIX DANCE, Karina Epperlein (USA, 2006)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize and $1,700 gift certificate courtesy of Kodak

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – NEW VISIONS
site specific_LAS VEGAS 05, Olivo Barbieri (Canada/Italy, 2005)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – NARRATIVE SHORT
LOVE AT 4 PM, Sebastián Alfie (Spain, 2005)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – BAY AREA NON-DOCUMENTARY SHORT
LOST & FOUND, Natalija Vekic (USA, 2006)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – ANIMATED SHORT
AT THE QUINTE HOTEL, Bruce Alcock (Canada, 2005)
Awarded $1,500 cash prize

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – YOUTH WORK
SLIP OF THE TONGUE, Karen Lum (USA, 2005)
Awarded $1,000 cash prize and a JVC digital video camera
Special Recognition in this category was awarded to HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Justin Rechart, USA) and SHOES (Jane Sawyer, USA).

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – WORK FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES
SIRAH, Cristine Spindler (USA, 2005)
Awarded $1,000 cash prize

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – TELEVISION NARRATIVE LONG FORM
SEEDS OF DOUBT, Samir Nasr (Germany, 2005)

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – TELEVISION NARRATIVE SHORT FORM
BING CAN SING, Elanna Allen (USA, 2005)

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY LONG FORM
THEY CHOSE CHINA, Shui-Bo Wang (Canada/France, 2005)

GOLDEN GATE AWARD – TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY SHORT FORM
THORNTON DIAL, Celia Carey (USA, 2005)

Blackaby closed the celebration by saying, “We hope you will keep making your work, and we’ll keep showing it.”

Susan Tavernetti
San Francisco Bay Area journalist and educator

Stills are SKYY PRIZE winner TAKING FATHER HOME by Ying Liang
and FIPRESCI PRIZE winner HALF NELSON by Ryan Fleck.

Susan Tavernatti

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