'Babygirl' Wins Panavision Spirit Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival

The Audience Choice Award went to "Spinning Plates," Joseph Levy's look at three restaurants.

Macdara Valley’s Babygirl was awarded the top prize, the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema, at the 28th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which concluded Sunday. The film tells the story of a Puerto Rican girl in the Bronx who sets a trap to expose her mother’s creepy boyfriend.

The Audience Choice Award went to Spinning Plates, directed by Joseph Levy, which takes a look at three restaurants, including the famous French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

The Best International Film Award went to Coming of Age (Anfang 80), directed by Gerhard Ertl and Sabine Hiebler, about a romance between two 80-year-olds.

Markus Imhoof’s More Than Honey, a study of endangered honeybees, received the Best Documentary Film Award, while the Nueva Vision Award for the best Spanish/Latin American film was presented to Juan Carolos Mangeliga and Ta Schembori’s 7 Boxes (7 Cajas), about a teenage delivery boy.

The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award was given to Rob Stewart’s documentary Revolution, which examines the destruction of marine life.

The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Golan Rise’s Barriers, while the Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film went to Michael Cusack’s Sleight of Hand.

The festival concluded with the U.S. premiere screening of Rowan Athale’s heist thriller Wasteland.

“I am proud to say that our selection of films have both challenged and been embraced by audiences,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said.