'Occupation' takes home Golden Palm

5:00 AM PST 04/18/2007 by Gregg Kilday, AP

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"Occupation 101," directed by brothrs Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish, was the recepient of the Golden Palm Award at the 7th annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival, which concluded Sunday. The documentary about the U.S. government's involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also took the prize for best editing.

The awards were handed out at the gala awards ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honor of the Hearts of Hope Foundation.

Molly Parker was named best actress for her role in writer/director Matt Bissonnette's "Who Loves the Sun," while the best actor award went to Steven R. McQueen for "Club Soda," directed by Paul Carafortes. "Soda" also won the audience choice award for best short.

R. L. Hooker was honored as best director for his short film "The Knife Grinder's Tale." The prize for best producer went to director/producer Michael Feifer for "Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck," a horror film based on the true mass murder that took place in 1966. "Massacre" also won the Audience Choice Award for best feature.

The Audience Choice Award for best documentary went to "Dominick Dunne In Search of Justice, " directed by the daughter-father team of Clara Kuperberg and Robert Kuperberg.

The Armenian feature "Big Story in a Small City," from writer/director Gor Kirakosian, was named best foreign film.

The best cinematography prize went to the short "Tug," directed by David Andrew Ward.

Writer/director/producer Ray Griggs' "Lucifer" was hailed as best animation.

Writers Wil Ramos and Ian Clark took best screenplay honors for their short "Waning Moon."

Special Jury Awards were presented to David Gow's "Steel Toes," best feature film; Edward Blackoff's "Incest: A Family Tragedy," best documentary; and Cameron Fay's "Redemption Song," best short film.

The Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award went to David Krae for "Lucretia." First runner-up was Vikram Kumar for "In Times of War," and second runner-up was Kitania Kavey for "Shades of Sin."

The five-day fest opened April 11 at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills with the feature "Who Loves the Sun."
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