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Mark Hayes’ ‘Marathon’ Races to Audience-Favorite Win at Santa Barbara Festival

Mark Hayes’ “Skid Row Marathon” won the audience choice award at the 33rd Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival, one of 11 honors given out at the event.

The documentary centers on a criminal court judge who organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering alcoholics, and paroled men and women in L.A.’s Skid Row who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth.

The other winners are:

Kyle Morrison’s “Mott Haven,” documentary short film; Richard Van’s “Audition,” Bruce Corwin Award for live-action short; Randall Christopher’s “The Driver is Red,” Bruce Corwin Award  for animated short; Grant Korgan and Geoff Callan’s “The Push,” documentary award; Gjorce Stavreski’s “Secret Ingredient (Iscelitel),” the Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award for international feature film; Molly McGlynn’s “Mary Goes Round,” Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema; Pablo Solarz’s “The Last Suit (El último traje),” Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America Cinema; Antti-Jussi Annila’s “The Eternal Road (Ikitie),” Valhalla Award for Nordic film; Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett’s “Sky and Ground,” ADL Stand Up Award; Ludovic Bonleux’s “Guerrero,” social justice award for documentary; and Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero, and Marcos Hecht’s “Get the Weed (Misión no oficial),” special mention.

The films were chosen by jury members Jan Bijvoet, Geoffrey Cowper, Mimi deGruy, Martin Gooch, Perry Lang, Jesus Lloveras, Marc Meyers, José Novoa, Artie Schmidt, Leslie Zemeckis, Anthony Zerbe, and Arnette Zerbe.

This year’s festival, sponsored by UGG, ran Jan. 31-Feb. 10.

The festival screened dozens of feature films and shorts, and had numerous tributes to filmmakers, including the Variety Artisan Awards, which saluted nine Oscar nominees for their behind-the-camera work. In the wake of the recent wildfires and mudslides locally, the festival each day highlighted a different organization making a positive impact on the environment and the victims, and encouraged festival attendees to support.

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