Small-town movie wins 3 Hamptons kudos
Tyro feature director Kirk Davis’ dramatic exploration of faith, religion and race in small-town Texas, “Screen Door Jesus,” was the major winner at the 11th Hamptons Intl. Film Festival, taking three prizes in the principal competition; event wrapped Sunday.
Davis’ film took the Golden Starfish for narrative feature, comprising more than $180,000 in goods and tech services for the writer-director’s next project. Prize was presented by Joan Allen, who received an honorary award from for career achievement in acting.
“Jesus” lenser Daniel Stoloff took the $6,000 Kodak Award for Cinematography, while pic’s composer, Max Lichtenstein, won the $3,500 Artbridge Assn. kudos for original score.
Also in the main competition, writer-director Deborah Kampmeier was presented the $5,000 Zicherman Family Foundation screenwriting prize for her drama about adolescent life “Virgin.”
In the nonfiction category, the $10,000 Spike TV docu honor went to Amy Morrison’s “The Morrison Project,” which chronicles the struggle of the filmmaker’s family after the attempted murder of her father, Lower East Side beat writer and philosophy professor Jean Morrison. Special mention for visual beauty was given to Greg Samata’s “Island.”
The fest also handed out three audience awards: Narrative feature went to Roger Spottiswoode’s “Spinning Boris,” about American political consultants hired to work on Boris Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election campaign; Nathaniel Kahn’s examination of father Louis Kahn’s life and work “My Architect” won for doc; and international film went to Danish helmer Lone Scherfig’s Scottish tale of attempted suicide, “Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.”
In the sociopolitically focused Films of Conflict and Resolution section, the jury gave both prizes — the Dan & Ewa Abraham and Tammy Abraham and the Brizzolara Family Inspirational Film awards — to “Refugee,” San Francisco-based filmmaker Spencer Nakasako’s account of Cambodian-American teens returning to Cambodia to meet family members for the first time. Combined prizes are worth $10,000.
Other kudos presented include the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation science and technology prize to maverick 22-year-old multihyphenate Ryan Eslinger’s “Madness and Genius,” about the relationship between an eccentric physics professor and two students.
The Stella Artois Short Film Award of $5,000 went to Aimee Lagos and Kristin C. Dehnert’s “Underground,” while the audience named Amy Lippman’s “House Hunting” best short.