The Student Academy Awards took place in Los Angeles this past weekend and we'd like to give a special shout-out and heartfelt congratulations to two winners in particular with Florida/Enzian/Florida Film Festival ties. Animation Gold Medal (and $5000 cash grant) winner, DEPARTURE OF LOVE, was directed by Jennifer Bors and produced at the Ringling College of Art and Design. While Jennifer's film has not yet graced the Enzian screen, April's Florida Film Festival featured seven other original and exciting animated works from Ringling, including Gianna Ruggiero's O'Death-scored GRETEL & HANZEL. All of the films had previously screened in last December's Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase and had been selected to play in the "Best of Brouhaha" or American Independent Competition in the FFF in the Spring. We look forward to DEPARTURE OF LOVE coming to this year's Brouhaha and FFF 2011 as well.
Narrative Silver Medal (and $3000 cash grant) winner, DOWN IN NUMBER 5, by Kim Spurlock from New York University, also played in competition at this year's FFF. This powerful drama about a terminally ill coal miner struggling to find refuge for his developmentally challenged son is an extraordinary piece of work and was certainly one of the most poignant films of the entire festival. Kim had shot Levi Abrino's lovely THE LONELY BLISS OF THE CANNONBALL LUKE, which was featured in FFF 2008, and it's great to see her terrific short get honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Major kudos to both of these fine filmmakers, and we can't wait to see more of their work in the future--hopefully these honors help enable them to do just that.