Gerhard Ertl and Sabine Hiebler’s German drama took top honours at the 28th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday night [Feb 3].

Markus Imhoof’s More Than Honey scooped the documentary award, while the Nueva Vision Award for the best Spanish/Latin American film was awarded  to Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori’s Paraguayan adventure Boxes (7 Cajas).

The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema, presented to “a unique independent feature that has been made outside mainstream Hollywood”, went to Macdara Vallely’s Babygirl.

The Bruce Corwin Award for best live-action short film under 30 minutes went to Barriers directed by Golan Rise. The corresponding award for best animated short was presented to Michael Cusack’s Sleight Of Hand.

The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award Sponsored by The Fund for Santa Barbara “for a documentary film that addresses social justice issues” went to Revolution directed by Rob Stewart.

The Audience Choice Award went to Joseph Levy’s Spinning Plates. The festival closed on Sunday with the US premiere of Rowan Athale’s heist thriller Wasteland.

“Eleven days ago at the start of the festival, I encouraged the audience to treat the experience as an adventure and really explore what our films have to share,” said SBIFF executive director Roger Durling.

“Ranging from Reel Nature to International Features, I am proud to say that our selection of films has both challenged and been embraced by audiences.

“Once again, this year’s festival surpassed previously achieved goals in the quality of the films and the attendance of our audiences.”