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The Savannah Film Festival awards Dandelion

The Savannah Film Festival presented the 2004 awards for student and professional competition films tonight at 7 p.m.
The awards ceremony capped off the eight-day festival, which screened more than 60 films.

Award winners are as follows:
… Best Narrative Feature: Dandelion
… Best Documentary: Entertaining Vietnam
… Best Narrative Short: Lift
… Jury Award: This is Not a Film
… Jury Award: Standout Performance: Nadia Dajani in This is Not a Film
… Best Director: Mark Milgard for Dandelion
… 2004 Savannah Film Festival HBO Films Producer Award: Make ŒEm Dance: The Hackberry Ramblers Story
… 2004 Savannah Film Festival HBO Films Best Student Film: American Made
… Best Student Film Runner-Up: Loopy
… Best SCAD Student Film: Divya
… Best Student Film­Animation: Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher
… Best Student Film­Animation Runner-Up: Divya

The films were juried by a distinguished panel of five judges: Bill Dawes, an actor whose credits in New York theater premieres include Lord Alfred Douglas in "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde² and whose film credits include about a dozen independent films; Abe Gurko, playwright, actor and creator of ABE-NYC Events, an event-planning venture; Sophia Karteris, vice president of programming for Turner South, Turner Broadcasting System Inc.¹s regional entertainment network; Michael Mailer, president of Bigel/Mailer Films, a New York-based development and production company specializing in star-driven films that bridge the gap between Hollywood and the independents; and Nancy Spears, director of marketing for Warner Home Video, the world¹s largest distributor of video entertainment.



Kicking off the festival on Saturday, Oct. 23, was a special screening of Sideways, starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. Other films shown at the 2004 festival were Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson; Being Julia, starring Annette Bening and Shaun Evans; Finding Neverland, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet; and Stage Beauty, starring Claire Danes and Billy Crudup.

Some of this year's highlights included visits from internationally renowned special guests, including actor Peter O'Toole, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; actress Kathleen Turner, who also received a Lifetime Achievement Award; movie critic Roger Ebert, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Entertainment Journalism; and director Norman Jewison, who received the Achievement in Cinema Award.

Other special guests at the festival included Evans; Jason Patric, who screened his 1990 film After Dark, My Sweet; Illeana Douglas, who screened her original short Supermarket; David Gordon Green, director of Undertow; Ray McKinnon and Walton Goggins, director and producer, respectively, of Chrystal; Jonathon Estrin, executive director of the American Film Institute; Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate Entertainment; as well other industry professionals and student and independent filmmakers.

The festival also hosted a series of panels and workshops with leaders and rising stars in today's film industry. Panels and workshops included The Business of the Biz: Financing Your Dream; Short and Feature Documentary Films; The Written Word; Careers in the Camera Department; The Making of $50 Million Feature; Careers in Postproduction; Careers in Casting and Acting; and The Handling of Hollywood: A Symposium of Agents, Managers, Publicists and Casting Directors.

In addition, Lifetime Achievement Award in Entertainment Journalism honoree Ebert conducted three workshops on the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane. Ebert critiqued the nuances of the film, arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. Through frame-by-frame analysis, Ebert discussed the techniques and tricks Welles used to create his masterpiece.

The 2004 Savannah Film Festival was attended by more than 32,000 people. Special screenings and student and professional competition film screenings were held at Trustees Theater and the Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St. The 2005 Savannah Film Festival will take place Oct. 29-Nov. 5.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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