Tze Chun’s Children Of Invention and Aron Gaudet’s The Way We Get By won jury narrative and documentary prizes as the 12th annual Newport International Film Festival wrapped on Sunday [June 7].
Children Of Invention is about a Chinese immigrant who struggles with family finances in America; The Way We Get By looks at elderly people in Bangor, Maine, who devote their time to welcoming American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Each award comes with a $2,000 cash prize.
Special jury prizes went to Scott Teems’ That Evening Sun (narrative) and Bill Ross and Turner Ross’ 45365 (documentary).
The audience awards, with $750 cash each, went to Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte’s Tribeca hit Entre Nos (narrative) and The Way We Get By (documentary). The audience short award, with $500 cash, went to Richard Shepard’s I Knew It Was You.
Other shorts winners (also receiving $500) in the children’s sections were Nicole Mitchell’s Zoologic (ages 6+), Ismail Sahim’s Hakim (10+) and Smith and Foulkes’ This Way Up (14+).
A student jury comprised of local high school students presented its narrative prize to Teems’ That Evening Sun and its documentary prize to Ondi Timoner’s We Live In Public. A special jury prize for acting went to Sam Rockwell for Moon.
The Rhode Island-based festival, which kicked off June 3 with In The Loop, closes tonight with Pierre Marcel’s sailing documentary Tabarly.
The festival was spearheaded by a new team of executive director Jennifer Maizel, artistic director Tom Hall with programmers Holly Herrick and festival veteran Andrea van Beuren. This year also marked Newport’s first collaboration with New York’s Museum Of Modern Art to present preserved films from the MoMA archives.
Hall told Screen International: “Since it’s my first year with Newport, I have nothing to compare it to. But compared to other festivals, it’s been very smooth and audiences came out in very large numbers. And we felt like the presence of film-makers and industry was on the upswing this year and we hope to continue that next year.”
The festival postponed its annual Claiborne Pell tribute, which will now be presented in autumn 2009.