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Starz Denver Film Fest Announces Award Winners: Oscar-Entry 'Sister,' 'The Sapphires' & 'Rising from Ashes'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 15, 2012 at 1:45PM

The 35th Starz Denver Film Festival, which ran November 1-11, announces its jury and audience award winners. Ursula Meier's brilliant Swiss Oscar entry, "Sister," Australia's "The Sapphires," following the formation of an Aboriginal girl-band in the 1960s,..
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The ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award

Winner: MacPherson, directed by Martine Chartrand

Inspired by a real-life friendship and featuring a first-rate musical soundtrack, MacPherson is the story of the relationship between Québec poet Felix Leclerc and Jamaican-born chemical engineer Frank Randolph MacPherson.

In bestowing Martine Chartrand with the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award, the jury stated: "This year was extremely difficult for the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award jury. The animations were all very well crafted and containing delicate stories that were handled wonderfully.  However, the judges found that the vibrant images and interwoven poetry and music bringing to life an uncommon story using an uncommon animation technique of painted glass gave them the ability to claim the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award for the film MacPherson, directed by Martine Chartrand." The competition was sponsored by Mighty Fudge Studios.

The jury was comprised of Pat Mallek - Animator / Partner, Mighty Fudge Studios; Kim Mallek - Creative Director / Partner, Mighty Fudge Studios; Evert Brown - Animation Director; Ed Desroches - Media Arts Specialist; Wes Price - Illustrator.

Liberty Global International Student Short Award

Winner: Of Dogs and Horses (Germany), directed by Thomas Stuber

In a last-ditch effort to pay for his beloved dog's surgery, Rolf bets everything he owns at the horse track. Of Dogs and Horses is a film about luck, courage, and the blind magic of desperate hope.

The jury stated: "For it's inspired performances - both human and animal - its fatalistic humor, & the immersive world it creates, the jury gives the Liberty Global International Student Filmmaker Award to Of Dogs and Horses."

The jury also stated: "For it's stylish cinematography and its unflinching & nuanced portrait of a complicated man in a tense situation, we give a special jury prize to The Tobacco King (Zambia)". Directed by Daniel Koehler, the provocative documentary explores race, history, and work in postcolonial southern Africa.

The jury was comprised of Penelope Rose Bartlett - Shorts Programmer, Chicago International Film Festival; John Korn - Shorts Programmer, Frameline/Sundance; Robert Leighton - SVP Programming, Liberty Global.

Screenplay Awards

Feature Screenplay Winner: OJ's Eleven, written by Lawrence Riggens

The jury stated: "A well crafted insight into a "conspiracy of dunces." The unfolding of this story in all it's absurd twists and turns is unthinkably based on true events. A look into the contagion of celebrity and the Faustian ordeals that come with it. The jury gives the inaugural Feature Screenplay Award to OJ's Eleven."

Shorts Screenplay Winner: Becoming Lana Liu, written by David Schroeder

The jury stated: "We love the collision of the East and West, traditional and popular culture. This script is economical and disciplined with wonderful snapshots and imagery. The title character is precisely articulated in an unpredictable way. The jury gives the inaugural Shorts Screenplay Award to Becoming Lana Liu."

This article is related to: Festivals, Starz Denver Film Festival, Sister (L'enfant d'en haut), The Sapphires


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