SANTA BARBARA — The 16th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival wrapped Sunday with the presentation of a bevy of awards for its international and American indie entries.
Romantic comedy “Amy’s Orgasm,” the second feature from writer-director-star Julie Davis, took the audience choice award for fictional features. Aud favorite among documentaries was Lianne Klapper McNally’s “Artists and Orphans: A True Drama,” about a group of theater artists helping orphans in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Selected by the jury, the World Prism Award for best foreign feature went to Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s schizophrenia study “Angels of the Universe,” from Iceland. Taking the Independent Voice Award for best North American feature without distribution was Rosemary Rodriguez’s “Acts of Worship,” a look at a young woman’s drug addiction.
Rodriguez was also named the winner of a new prize, Perrier’s Bubbling Under Award for best new director. Perrier is establishing partnerships with five U.S. film festivals (the first are Santa Barbara and Taos), and the five first-time features honored at these fests will compete for a $50,000 grant to be applied to the grand prize winner’s next production.
“Acts of Worship” also copped the actress award (Ana Reeder), while Zbigniew Zapasiewicz was named best actor for his work in the Polish pic “Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease.”
Special jury award was given to Farhad Mehranfar’s “The Legend of Love” from Iran. The Fund for Santa Barbara Human Rights Award, given to a film promoting social justice and human rights, went to David Blaustein’s docu from Argentina “Spoils of War,” while the Phoenix Prize for the feature best saluting the “outsider” spirit was bestowed upon Ken Loach’s L.A.-shot “Bread and Roses.”
Insight Award for feature docu was given to Agnes Varda’s “The Gleaners and I” from France, and the Bruce Corwin Award for short docu went to Greg Marcks’ “Lector.” Animated short prize was presented to Michele Cournoyer’s “The Hat.” Peter Stark Screenwriting Competition award winner was Peter Koper for “Joyful Noise.”