'Samurai' tops LA Shorts Fest

Justin Ambrosino wins Best of the Fest honors

Justin Ambrosino’s “The 8th Samurai” received the Best of the Fest Award at the the 2009 LA Shorts Fest, which ended Friday night with its awards ceremony at Cinespace in Hollywood.

The nine-day event handed out best music video honors to “Man-Sized Wreath,” directed by Crush Toronto and Gary Thomas; named “Free Doritos!,” directed by Joe and Dave Herbert, best creative commercial, and singled out Jonathan Kalafar’s “We Love You” as best documentary.

Special recognition awards went to Dan Cadan’s “The Devil’s Wedding” and Bert Bertie’s “The Taxidermist.”  Jim Rothman’s “I’m Not Matt Damon” earned the best independent filmmaker award.

In addition to “Samurai,” the following winners are automatically eligible to be submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar consideration:

Experimental: “Sky People,” directed by Shanti Thakur
Animation: “Alma,” directed by Rodrigo Blaas
Comedy: “Boutonniere,” directed by Coley Sohn
Drama: “Hotel,” directed by Tim Conrad
Foreign Film: “Sidney Turtlebaum” directed by Tristram Shapeero