Helmer Mark Banning has taken home the Target filmmaker award for narrative feature at the just-concluded Los Angeles Film Festival, including a $50,000 cash prize, for his feature debut, “Jellysmoke.”
Pic — a portrait of a young African-American man looking for love while striving to maintain his sanity — was among 266 films, including 77 features, representing 30 countries, that were screened during the 10-day fest.
Beth Bird is also $50,000 richer, having clinched the Target documentary award for “Everyone Their Grain of Sand,” which chronicles a Mexican community’s battle to obtain education, electricity and water from their government.
Auds dished out kudos of their own to performance artist Miranda July’s feature debut, “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” which captured the award for narrative feature. Other crowdpleasers included David Zeiger’s “Sir! No Sir!,” a docu depicting the anti-Vietnam War movement, and Luc Jacquet’s “March of the Penguins.” The former of the two secured the audience award for docu feature, while the latter waddled away with the crowd kudo for international feature.
Fest organizers also announced Saturday night that the Los Angeles Film Fest will make its new home in Westwood in order to accommodate an increasing number of attendees and screenings.
“With 60,000 attendees, the festival is expanding to a village with multiple screens and ample parking, all within walking distance,” noted fest director Richard Raddon. “Westwood is the perfect match for us and allows for the future growth of the festival.”