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The Aryan Couple sweeps Beverly Hills Fest awards

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2005


THE ARYAN COUPLE sweeps the festival awards, winning the Golden Palm Award,
Best Director, Best Producer and the jury award for Best Feature

The winners of the 5th Annual Beverly Hills International Film Festival were announced on Sunday night (April 17, 2005) at the Beverly Hills Film Festival closing awards ceremony. The awards gala was attended by leading independent filmmakers and actors and was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Boulevard). A portion of the proceeds from the awards ceremony online ticket sales benefit The Art of Elysium (, a non-profit organization for at-risk and hospitalized children founded by Jennifer Howell, in honor of their outstanding philanthropic efforts serving the Los Angeles community.

The award-winning films were selected by distinguished jurors in the
categories of best film in all categories (Golden Palm Award), best script (Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award), best feature, best documentary, best short film, best director, best male performance, best female performance, best producer, best animated film, best cinematography, bestediting and best screenplay. Audience Choice awards were also given, based on the results of ballots cast by festival filmgoers, for best feature, best documentary and best short film.

«We selected the best seven features, seven documentaries and 40 short films out of 1,800 submissions to be featured at the Beverly Hills Film Festivalthis year. The Beverly Hills Film Festival is a competition festival recognized for discovering new independent filmmakers. The 2005 Beverly Hills Film Festival award-winners represent the diversity of genres and style of filmmaking featured at this years film festival,» said Nino Simone, Beverly Hills Film Festival President.

The Golden Palm Award (best film in all categories), voted on by the BHFF jury and the BHFF festival goers, was given to THE ARYAN COUPLE, directed by John Daly, written by Kendrew Lascelles and John Daly and produced by John Daly. The feature stars Martin Landau, Carolyn Carver, Kenny Doughty andJudy Parfitt and tells the story of German/Jewish industrialists in occupied Hungary who, in an effort to guarantee his family’s safe escape out ofGermany, is forced to surrender his business to the Nazis. THE ARYAN COUPLE also won the jury award for Best Feature. THE ARYAN COUPLE’s John Daly won for Best Director and Best Producer.

Martin Landau, star of THE ARYAN COUPLE, who has worked with directors including Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Frank Darabont and Ron Howard, among others, accepted the Beverly Hills Film Festival awards on behalf of the feature. Landau noted that while Daly gained his notoriety as a producer, he [Landau] has worked with some of the world’s most distinguished directors and as a director «John Daly is as good as any of them.»

The Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award went to BEHIND THE CURTAIN, a short film written, directed and produced by Alvaro Ron. Reality and fiction collide when a pleasant evening between a patient and a podiatrist turns into a dangerous game. BEHIND THE CURTAIN stars Peter Macnicol, Ben Siegler and Beverly Sanders.

The jury award for Best Documentary went to SIXTY SPINS AROUND THE SUN, a documentary film directed and produced by Laura Kightlinger. Jack Black and Judith Love Cohen also produce. SIXTY SPINS AROUND THE SUN is about Randy Credico, a stand-up comic turned activist who initiates a street movement to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Law and prompts the release of seven inmates.

The jury award for Best Short Film went to IN THE MORNING, written, directed and produced by Danielle Lurie, starring Anais Thomassian, JJ Darwish and Al No’mani. The short recounts the true events of an honor killing after a young Turkish woman is brutally attacked and the responsibility of restoring her family’s lost honor is left in the hands of 13 year old brother.

Best Director of Photography was given to CANTA (THE BRIEFCASE), written, directed and produced by Emre Sahin. The film was also produced by Sarah Wetherbee and stars Abdullah Sahin, Ali Atay and Ceyda Sener. Three strangers who each unknowingly possess the object of the other’s desire collide in Istanbul and are faced with life altering results.
Best Editing went to PACT, directed by Norman Lesperance, written and produced by Nicholas Bianchi. Jason Faunt, Steven Sims and Hanley Valentinr also produce. PACT stars Nicholas Bianchi and Jason Faunt and tells the story of four best friends who team up to devise a plan for revenge, only to discover that the ultimate sacrifice is not what they bargained for. PACT star Nicholas Bianchi also won for Best Male Performance.

Best Female Performance went to Kathleen Early for her role in TRIP IN A SUMMER DRESS, a story about a daughter’s struggle with a dark secret and her journey to unlocking the past by confronting her mother for the truth. The film was written, directed and produced by Janine Turner. Rick Anderson, Sher Anderson, Bob Coonrad and Jocelyn White also produce. Kathleen Early,
Janine Turner, Juliette Gauntt and Dylan Beiersdorf star.
MASTER OF EVERYTHING, a feature film about a solitary man who secretly desires his sister’s best friend, took home the award for Best Foreign Film. Xin Lee directed. Sara Chen wrote and produced. Stephen Lam and Wang Tianyun also produced. John Lone, Coco Lee, Xia Yu and Tao Hong star.

Best Script went to HOW TO LOVE A MAN, a screenplay by Malcolm Carter that tells the story of the dark past shared between a mother and her son.

FALLEN ART, directed by Tomek Baginski, produced by Jarek Sawko, Piotr Sikora, Tomek Baginski and Marcin Kobylecki, starring Arkadiusz Jakubik, Marcin Kudelka and Dariusz Toczek, won Best Animated Feature. FALLEN ART tells the story of soldiers and officers, whose hardships of their past missions plague them, are sent to a forgotten military base by the Army to nurture their insanities.

Audience Choice Awards Best Feature: CLEAN, a story about a limousine driver who lands a job chauffeuring Hollywood’s elite, when his bad habits surface and put him on a downward spiral. Written, directed and produced by Nyle Cavazos Garcia. Jane Gaffney also wrote. Jane Gaffney, Paolo Cascardo and Devon Lawson, Jr. also produce. Paolo Cascardo, Patrick Fabian and Tamara Mello star.

Best Documentary: KORDAVISION, a documentary directed by Hector Sandoval about the world renowned Cuban photographer Alberto Diaz «Korda» ‹ famed for his iconic portrait of Che Guevara, one of the most recognized photographs of the 20th Century.

Best Short: CHAOS THEORY, a comical short by Suny Behar, about the misadventures of a meteorologist desperate to stop the endless cycle of disorder that is ruining his life, soon to air on IFC.

The 5th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival jury members include:
Mark Amin, Lions Gate Films, chairman;
Matt Brandt, Trans-Lux Corporation, chairman and CEO;
Paul Haggar, Paramount Pictures, executive vice president post-production;
Lawrence Kubik, producer;
Laura Lucio, Emmy
Award-winning journalist;
Sarah Jo Marks, producer, film festival programmer, consultant and contributing editor to International Documentary Magazine;
Steven Paul, Crystal Sky, CEO and president;
Michael Rooker,actor;
Edward Stencel, IFP filmmaker advisor;
and Sheri Sussman, writer(MacArthur Park), director (Call Back), producer (2003 BHFF Documentary Award Winner Life in a Basket).

The 5th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival was sponsored by Lions Gate Films, Premiere magazine, Michelob Light and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts.


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