'Drifter' tops Beverly Hills festival awards

Antonio Sabato Jr., Caia Coley take acting honors

Antonio Sabato Jr. and Caia Coley were named best actor and actress at the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival for their work in "Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas," the true story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, which also earned Michael Feifer the best director prize.

The fest's awards ceremony, held Sunday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, honored Andrea Pellizzer's "Tre lire, Primo Giorno" as both best film and best foreign film.

The second annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Legends Award was presented to Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

Other awards:

Best Producer
Michael Afendakis for "Delta Rising," starring Morgan Freeman

Best Cinematography
Dramatic short "Traces"

Best Editing
Short "Way Up North," directed by Levi Taylor

Best Animation
Short "Botnik!," directed by Jacqueline Smessaert Brennan

Best Screenplay
Documentary "Salud" directed, produced and starring Cesar De Leon

Audience Choice Awards winners

Short Film
"Dan and the Van" directed by John Nijhawan

"Henry O!" directed by Ziad Hamzeh and produced by Karen Hunter

Feature Film
"Gangster Exchange," written and directed by Dean Barjramovic and produced by David Krae

Special Jury Awards

Feature Film
"War Against the Weak," directed by Justin Strawhand and written by Richard Belfiore

"Life After Death," written and directed by Shawn Thompson

Short Film
"Way Up North," written, directed and starring Levi Taylor

Golden Palm Screenplay Competition

Paul De Leonardo for "Europia 2050"

First runner-up: Alek S. Carrera and Daniel Fanaberia for "Why We Live"

Second runner-up: "Choices I-The Reunion," by writer James Kirtland