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USA Fest announces winners

USA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 27th ANNUAL NATIONAL SHORT FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION

DALLAS – On Sunday, April 24, 2005, the USA Film Festival announced the Winners of the 27th Annual National Short Film and Video Competition during the 35th Annual USA Film Festival in Dallas.

Chosen out of over 500 entries as Grand Prize Winner, is Lisa Chang and Newton Thomas Siegel’s The Big Empty, a bittersweet tale of Alice (played by Selma Blair), her womanhood, and the infinite nature of the tundra.

The full list of awards and honors includes:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER
The Big Empty, Lisa Chang and Newton Thomas Siegel, directors

FIRST PLACE / FICTION $1,000
Tie -- The Big Empty, Lisa Chang and Newton Thomas Siegel, directors
Tie -- Winning the Peace, Eli Akira Kaufman director

FIRST PLACE / NON-FICTION $1,000
The Power of Harmony, Ginny Martin director
(about Dallas’ own Turtle Creek Chorale)

FIRST PLACE / ANIMATION $1,000
Magda, Chel White director

FIRST PLACE / EXPERIMENTAL $1,000
Last Call, David Drach director

First Place Winners in the Fiction, Animation and Experimental categories, that meet Academy eligibility requirements, qualify for consideration from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Family Award $500
Dudley and the Toy Keeper’s Chest, Patrick Algermissen director

The Texas Award $500
Raccoon, Trey Nelson director

The Student Award $500
West Bank Story, Ari Sandel director

Special Jury Awards $250 each
God is Good, Caryn Waechter director
Parents of the Year, James D. Scurlock director
The Sailor’s Girl, Breh Simon director

The 2005 National Jury included actress and producer Denise Crosby; Dan Cohen, writer and director; and Sandra Luckow, director, producer, editor and Yale film instructor.

This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the Academy-qualifying Competition, which has awarded over $175,000 in cash prizes, including prizes to many (then) unknown filmmakers, including Jessica Yu (Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien), Todd Haynes (Superstar and Dottie Gets Spanked), Alexander Payne (The Passion of Martin), George Hickenlooper (Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade), Alan Taylor (The Burning Question) and John Lasseter (Tin Toy).

Official Sponsors of the 35th Annual USA Film Festival include American Airlines, The Dallas Morning News and QUICK, The Independent Film Channel, Blockbuster Inc., Sundance Channel, and Starbucks Coffee Company. The USA Film Festival is supported, in part, by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

The Festival is a Dallas-based 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in the film and video arts. The Festival’s year-round events include KidFilm, the oldest and largest children’s film festival in the U.S.; monthly screenings; special programs and premieres; and the USA Film Festival, held each spring.

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