Francois Ozon, Kate Miles Melville, William Vega Win at RiverRun Film Festival
"Picture Day," "In the House" and Italian prisoner for life Aniello Arena also are honored at the North Carolina festival.
Director Kate Miles Melville's debut film, Picture Day, won the audience award for best narrative feature in its U.S. premiere at the RiverRun International Film Festival, which concluded Sunday in Winston-Salem, N.C. Melville drew much-buzzed performances from Tatiana Maslany as a promiscuous high schooler and Spencer Van Wyck as the nerdy protege she once babysat.
The festival's narrative film jury awarded both the best narrative feature and best screenplay awards to Francois Ozon's In the House, about a brilliant, sinister French high school student and his writing teacher. The Peter Brunette Award for best director, named for The Hollywood Reporter’s late film reviewer, went to William Vega for La Sirga, which also won for Sofia Oggioni's lyrical cinematography. Suzanne Clement won best actress as a transsexual's wife in Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways. Alain Gomis' Tey won a special jury prize.
Aniello Arena won best actor as an obsessive would-be reality TV contestant in Matteo Garrone's Reality, which won the 2012 Grand Prix at Cannes. When RiverRun executive director Andrew Rodgers announced the award, he added, "He can't be here, because he's in prison for life in Italy for … something or other." Arena, a former gangster, was convicted after three rival Naples gangsters were gunned down in 1991.
The other 2013 RiverRun award winners were:
Documentary feature: I Am Breathing, directed by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon.
Documentary director: Ilian Meteve, Sofia's Last Ambulance.
Documentary cinematography: Sebastián Hofmann, Pedro González Rubio and Fernanda Romandía, Canicula.
Documentary special jury prize: Morgan Neville, Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Human Rights award: Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course.
Audience award for documentary feature: Rising From Ashes.
Altered States award for best American indie: Remote Area Medical.
Narrative short: Edouard Beaucamp,Trois Secondes et Demie.
Documentary short: Joshua Izenberg, Slomo.
Documentary special jury prize: Meghna Gupta, Unravel.
Animated short: Isaac King, Second Hand.
The 2013 RiverRun International Film Festival Jurors were: Narrative Features Competition: Tim Appelo, Megan Griffiths, Jonathan Jackson, Noah Smith; Documentary Features Competition: Sana Haq, Wendy Mitchell, Jen Ruppman, Nola Schiff; Narrative Shorts Competition: Wesley Harris, Michael Koresky, Martha Stephens, Eduardo Uruena; Documentary Shorts Competition: Xan Aranda, Damon Card, Lisa Landi, Richie Mehta; Animated Shorts Competition: Brooke Keesling, Richard O’Conner, Diana Reichenbach; Student Competition: Darryl Brooks, Palmer Holton, Andy Rakich and Johanna Salo.
The 2013 RiverRun International Film Festival presented 143 feature-length films, representing 35 countries including 66 features and 77 short films, selected from 850 submissions, including one U.S. premiere and one world premiere.