June 24, 2012 3:10pm PT by Gregg Kilday
LAFF 2012: 'All Is Well, 'Drought' Awarded Top Jury Prizes
Pocas Pascoal’s All is Well, a Portuguese film about two sisters struggling to establish a new life in Lisbon after fleeing the Angolan civil war, was awarded the jury prize for best narrative film at the Los Angeles Film Festival, while Everardo Gonzalez’s Drought, a portrait of endangered cattle ranchers in Northeast Mexico, took home the jury prize for best documentary feature.
Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild continued its festival winning streak as it received the audience award for best narrative feature, and the audience award for best documentary feature went to Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore’s Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives, which explores the inspiration for the modern midwive movement.
The awards were presented Sunday at the festival’s Awards Brunch, held at the Chaya Downtown restaurant and hosted by actors Jon Heder and Ari Graynor. The fest, presented by Film Independent, closes Sunday night with the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum.
In an extremely competitive year, our juries had hard choices to make. The winning films are wonderful examples of what the festival celebrates: bold, fresh, personal visions that expand the horizons of independent cinema,” said artistic director David Ansen.
The two top juried awards each carry an unrestricted $15,000 cash prize, funded by Film Independent, for the winning film’s director.
The awards also include a prize for best performance in the narrative competition, which was shared by four actors in Joshua Sanchez’s drama about sexual connections, Four: Wendell Pierce, Emory Cohen, E.J. Bonilla and Aja Naomi King.
Additional prizes went to: Malick Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, which received the audience award for best international feature; Dominga Sotomayor’s Thursday till Sunday, which was recognized with an honorablemention for the jury prize for best narrative feature; Grainger David’s The Chair, best narrative short film; Josh Gibson’s Kudzu Vine, best documentary short film; Joseph Pierce’s The Pub, best animated/experimental short film; Bryan Buckley’s Asad, audience award for best short film; and Lex Halaby’s Piranhas Club, with music by Man Man, audience award for best music video.