'Violin' top winner at San Fran fest


Francisco Vargas Quevedo's "The Violin" has won the Skyy Prize and the audience award for best narrative feature at this year's 50th annual San Francisco International Film Festival.

The festival wrapped last week with a record 325 screenings that drew an estimated 84,000 viewers worldwide.

The Skyy Prize awards $10,000 to a new feature filmmaker. Other festival standouts: Jeanne Waltz's "Parting Shot/Pas Douce," which won the Fipresci Prize for first-time filmmakers; "The Silly Age," from director Pavel Giroud, winner of the first Chris Holter Humor in Film Award; and Mary Olive Smith's "A Walk to Beautiful," given the audience award for best documentary feature.

Shahar Cohen and Halil Efrat won the Golden Gate Award for best documentary feature for "Souvenirs," and the best Bay Area documentary feature honor went to Robert Arnold's "Key of G." James Longley's "Sari's Mother" won for best documentary short, and best Bay Area documentary went to Besty Bayha's "Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott."

Radu Jude's "The Tube With a Hat" won for best narrative short, "Muse of Cinema" by Kerry Laitala won for best Bay Area nondocumentary short, Jonas Odell's "Never Like the First Time!" took home best animated short, and "Dear Bill Gates" by Sarah J. Christman won for best new visions.

This year's television winners included "My Father the Turk," by Marcus Vetter and Ariane Riecker, TV documentary longform; "Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man's World," by Annette von Wangenheim, for TV doc shortform; "Rage" by Zuli Aladag, TV narrative longform; and Rodolfo Pastor's "Capelito," TV narrative shortform.

SIFF also honored George Lucas with the Irving M. Levin Award, Spike Lee with the Film Society Directing Award, Robin Williams with the Peter J. Owens Award and Peter Morgan with the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting.