Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Dog Tale Takes Narrative Feature Award at Festival

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Dog Tale Takes Narrative Feature Award at Festival

Article excerpt

SARASOTA

After screening more than 200 films, rolling out dozens of red carpets and hosting conversations with the likes of Jane Seymour, Blythe Danner and Rachel Weisz, the 17th annual Sarasota Film Festival came to a close last night at the Sarasota Opera House with the announcement of its juried awards and special recognitions.

Hungarian director Kornel Mundrucszo's "White God," the story of a mixed-breed dog who organizes an uprising against a government that has created a "mongrel" tax, was selected as the Narrative Feature winner. The film previously won the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival, and earned the humorously-named "Palm Dog" award (a take on Cannes' Palme D'Or prize) for its canine stars.

In the Documentary Feature competition, Eliza Kubarska's "Walking Under Water" took home the honors. The film focuses on one of the last compressor divers from the Badjao tribe of Borneo's Mabul Island, sea nomads whose traditions have been increasingly endangered by modern civilization.

In the Independent Visions category, jurors selected "Lamb," director/screenwriter/actor Ross Partridge's adaptation of Bonnie Nadzam's novel about the friendship that develops between a 47-year- old man at the end of his rope and the 11-year-old girl he takes under his wing.

"We had a very competitive lineup this year," said Mark Famiglio, SFF president, in a statement released just before the presentation. "These films thrive on genuine passion and ambition, which is a sentiment we truly capitalize on at the Sarasota Film Festival."

The festival also singled out several films and individuals for special recognition. Danner received the Impact Award; Ondi Timoner, received the Dramatic Storytelling in Documentary Award for "Brand: A Second Coming," and Weisz presented the Emerging World Cinema Auteur Award to colleague Tom Browne, whose film, "Radiator," she produced. Director Lynda Obst was given the Polly Platt Award for Producing and local judge Charles E. Williams, who directed the Booker High School student film, "Newtown at 100," received the Poitier Family Award.

The jurors, who have the discretion to single out additional films, also awarded four special jury prizes. …

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