'Head On,' 'Blind Faith,' take int'l, domestic feature nods

Australia’s “Head On” and the Showtime production “Blind Faith” were cited as the best international and American features, respectively, at the conclusion of Outfest ’99 Sunday evening. “The Most Unknowable Thing” received the juried award for documentary feature.

“Head On,” the story of a young gay man attempting to break free of the rigid bonds of Melbourne’s Greek community, had previously earned kudos in Australia for lead and supporting actors Alex Dimitriades (who also directed the pic) and Paul Capsis. It will be distributed domestically by Strand in the fall.

“Blind Faith,” directed by Ernest Dickerson, centers on a murder investigation in which a young black man is the prime suspect. His father, a police officer, uncovers more than one truth in the course of the investigation. Frank Military’s script was honored by the Writers Guild earlier this year.

Mary Patierno’s “Most Unknowable Thing” focuses on her HIV-positive brother who meets and marries a woman while seeking out holistic therapies.

All jury prizes come with a cash award of $15,000.

Prized with Audience awards Sunday were the comic drama “Chutney Popcorn,” a cross cultural, interracial lesbian saga from actor-filmmaker Nisha Ganatra, and John Scagliotti’s docu portrait “After Stonewall,” a sweeping study of the gay rights movement since 1969.

Organizers of the event reported record attendance for the 17th edition of the fest. Final numbers will be announced Tuesday.

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