The Los Angeles FilmFestival (LAFF) closed last night with its annual prize-givingceremonywhere Mark Banning's Jellysmokewon the Target Film-maker Award for best narrative feature and Beth Bird's EveryoneTheir Grain Of Sand won thedocumentary prize.
Each award carries with itan unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 - one of the largest cash prizes at afilm festival in North America.
Meanwhile in the audienceaward categories, Miranda July's Me And You And Everyone We Know won best narrative feature, David Zeiger's Sir! NoSir! Won best documentary featureand Luc Jacquet's March Of The Penguins won best international feature.
The festival, which is adivision of Film Independent (FIND), formerly known as IFP/Los Angeles, alsogave an acting prize to Catherine Kellner and Ebon Moss-Bachrach foroutstanding performance in the narrative competition for their work in LeslieMcCleave's Road.
Jellysmoke is the story of a young man (played by Michael Ealy)with bipolar disorder searching for love and a way to maintain his sanity. InRoad, Kellner plays a freelance photographer on her first real job assignment,with Moss-Bachrach as her unemployed ex-boyfriend.
The narrative jury consistedof director Patricia Cardoso, film consultant and producer Marie-Pierre Maciaand Film Comment editor GavinSmith.
Everyone Their Grain OfSand looks at the Mexican communityof Maclovio Rojas which has been fighting for education, electricity and waterowed them by their government which would rather force thousands of residentsoff land that developers are drooling over.
The documentary jury wascomposed of director Joan Churchill, critic Ernest Hardy and film-maker ReneeTajima-Pena.
LAFF screened 77 featuresand said that over 60,000 people had attended this year. Next year, the eventplans to move from its West Hollywood and Hollywood locations to Westwood toaccommodate the growing public demand for the films.