Method Fest adopts ten-best character


Celebrating its 10th anniversary as a festival that prides itself on showcasing bold performances and character-driven movies, the Method Fest will honor its 10 greatest films and breakout performances.

This year's festival, which also will honor the best films and performances from this year, is set for March 23-April 3 in Calabasas, Calif.

Founded by Kirk Harris and named after the Method technique of acting, in which actors strive to reproduce real-life emotional conditions under which their characters operate, Method Fest features U.S. and international feature and short films. It has launched more than 85 films into the marketplace.

Nominated films in its "10 Best" category include Susanne Bier's "Brothers," from 2005, and this year's "Black Irish," written and directed by Brad Gann. Performances range from Jeremy Sisto in 2000's "Trash" to Naomi Watts in the 2001 short film "Ellie Parker." Christopher Plummer in this year's "Man in the Chair" and Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle in 2002's "To End All Wars" also are nominees.

The Method Fest board will review and vote on the final list in the run-up to the festival.

"We want to remain a launching pad for talented up-and-coming young actors and to not become so corporate-run as other festivals have become," festival director Don Franken said. "Now there are multiple million-dollar indie films. Films are much more special effects- and star-driven. We're still free of parameters."

Like in years past, this year's edition will play host to a variety of industry and indie music events and hold its traditional Youth Outreach Program, which includes a short film and screenplay competition for middle school and high school students. It also will host its annual Lifetime Achievement Tribute and Awards Ceremony. The festival also tries to remain accessible to anyone interested in film by adding a day of family films and offering $10 screening and senior and student discounts.

"Art is for the people," Franken said, "and we are creating art for everyone."   

Method Fest's top 10 film nominees
"Black Irish" (2007), Brad Gann
"Brothers" (2005), Susanne Bier
"The Corndog Man" (1999), Andrew Shea
"Flickering Lights" (2002), Anders Thomas Jensen
"I Love Budapest" (2002), Agnes Incze
"I Witness" (2003), Rowdy Herrington
"Julie Walking Home" (2003), Agnieszka Holland
"Jump Tomorrow" (2001), Joel Hopkins
"Navigators" (2003), Ken Loach
"Raising Victor Vargas" (2003), Peter Sollett
"Sunday" (2001), Charles McDougall
"To End All Wars" (2002), David Cunningham
"The Visit" (2000), Jordan Walker Pearlman
"Waitress" (2007), Adrienne Shelly

Method Fest's top 10 performances nominees
Peter Falk, "Three Days of Rain" (2004)
Joseph Fiennes, "Leo" (2003)
Gabriella Hamori, "I Love Budapest" (2002)
Hill Harper, "The Visit" (2000)
Ari Larter, "Confess" (2006)
Judy Marte, "Raising Victor Vargas" (2003)
Ian McKellen, "Emile" (2004)
Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas, "Brothers" (2003)
Miranda Otto, "Julie Walking Home" (2003)
Barry Pepper, "The Snow Walker" (2004)
Soren Pilmark and Ulrik Thomsen, "Flickering Lights" (2002)
Christopher Plummer, "Man in the Chair" (2007)
Kevin Pollak, "7 Times Lucky" (2004)
Jeremy Sisto, "Trash" (2000)
Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle, "To End All Wars" (2002)
Naomi Watts, "Ellie Parker" (2001)
Noble Willingham, "The Corndog Man" (1999)