Filmmakers Simeon Schnapper and Brett Singer’s “Dotcom: Hot Tubs, Pork Chops and Valium” took the top award at the fifth annual Dances With Films fest Thursday night at Santa Monica’s Viceroy Hotel.
Pic won the feature nod, with the produced screenplay gong going to “This Is Not a Love Story,” written and directed by Keith Hill. Audience award went to “String Theory,” directed by Jacob Freydont-Attie and Joshua Milrad.
The first Dances With Films screenplay winner was Spencer Beglarian for “The Performance.” Fest will present a staged reading of script in September.
Twelve features and 27 shorts competed for the fest’s top honors with screenings held July 12-18 at Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex in Santa Monica. Winning films will also be Monday through July 27 at the Guerrilla Film & Video Festival at the Tribeca Film Center in New York.
Best comedy short award went to “The King” directed by Russell B McKenzie. Other winners included “Little Red Plane” directed by Joey Jones & Wira Winata for best dramatic short and audience short award went to “Och Cups for Christmas” directed by Michael Fimognari.
“We’ve been thrilled by the overwhelming response we’ve had this week by industry and public,” said fest founders Michael Trent and Leslee Scallon. “Many of our screenings were sold out and there has been lots of interest by distribs.”
Films shown at DWF, which specializes in highlighting the work of “unknowns,” have gone on to be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Sundance, Deauville, Showtime and HBO. This year the short “Speed for Thespians,” initially shown at DWF, got an Oscar nom, a first for the fest.