The eighth annual LosAngeles Film Festival (LAFF) - operating under the aegis of IFP/West fora second year - closed on Saturday night with a screening of MiguelArteta's The Good Girl. Andat its awards ceremony earlier in the day, Przemyslav Reut's ParadoxLake won the $50,000 TargetFilmmaker Award for best narrative feature. Paradox Lake, a drama about a New Yorker who volunteers to helpout at a summer camp for autistic children, had its world premiere screening in competition at theSundance Film Festival in Jan this year.
The three-person juryconsisting of critic John Anderson, director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld and UCLAprogrammer Cheng-Sim Lim cited Paradox Lake for 'successfully translating the mysteriousworld of autism into an enigmatic film experience.'
Alfredo de Villa's WashingtonHeights, a dramatic picture about acomic book artist struggling to distance himself from his rough existence inNew York City's Washington Heights neighbourhood, won the audience awardfor best narrative feature.
Best documentary -voted on by indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez, MOMA's Jytte Jensen andWesley Morris of The Boston Globe - was OT: Our Town, the story of a downtown LA school putting on aproduction of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy; a special juryprize was awarded to Jeffrey Blitz's Spellbound, a survey of the life ofgifted children in the US. Spellbound also won the audience award for best documentary feature.