laff 2013

Yesterday the Los Angeles Film Festival ended its 10-day run, a stretch that featured some expected heavy-hitters and surprise breakouts. Before the yearly venue even commenced, it was assumed that no film would stop the two movies from Sundance that plowed through its competition in Park City, Utah: Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now. But it was the SXSW festival champ Short Term 12 that nabbed the top prize at LAFF 2013 thanks to incredible word-of-mouth. I unfortunately did not catch the film but everyone I spoke to had nothing but the most positive things to say about the Brie Larson-starring indie. While it may not make waves at next year’s Academy Awards© ceremony, Short Term 12 is now practically guaranteed to make a major splash at the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards. Below you’ll find the list of winners from LAFF 2013 (who, thanks to sponsors DirecTV, were given a cash prize for their win). Furthermore, the staff writers who covered the fest (myself, Nicole Melkonian, and Tiff Chai) will unveil their own personal “best of” lists based on the films they were privileged to see. Enjoy!

LAFF 2013 Official Winners:

DIRECTV Narrative Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
Mother, I Love You directed by Janis Nords

DIRECTV Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
Code Black directed by Ryan McGarry

Best Performance in the Narrative Competition
Geetanjali Thapa in Kamar K.M’s I.D.

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Short Term 12, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee

Audience Award for Best International Feature
Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour

HONOLULU FILM OFFICE AWARD for Best Narrative Short Film
Walker directed by Tsai Ming-Liang

HONOLULU FILM OFFICE AWARD for Best Documentary Short Film
Stone directed by Kevin Jerome Everson

HONOLULU FILM OFFICE AWARD for Best Animated/Experimental Short Film
Oh Willy… directed by Emma De Sweaf, Marc James Roels

Audience Award for Best Short Film
Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven directed by Åsa Blanck and Johan Palmgren

Audience Award for Best Music Video
Katachi directed by Kijek/Adamski

the conjuring 2

Joseph Braverman’s “Best of Fest” Picks:

Best Film at LA Film Fest: The Conjuring

Runner-Up: The Spectacular Now

Best Director: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station

Best Actor: Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now

Best Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, The Way, Way Back

Best Supporting Actress: Kristin Scott Thomas, Only God Forgives

Best Cast Ensemble: Fruitvale Station

Best Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now

Best Production Design: The Conjuring

Best Visual Effects: The Conjuring

Best Hairstyling and Makeup: The Conjuring

Best Sound: The Conjuring

Best Film Editing: The Conjuring

Best Cinematography: Larry Smith, Only God Forgives

Best Original Score: Cliff Martinez, Only God Forgives

Best Foreign Language Film: Mother, I Love You

Best Documentary: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

*Because I went to a pre-screening before the festival, I’m required to hold my review of The Spectacular Now until its theatrical release on August 2nd (just know that I loved it!)*

aint them bodies saints

Nicole Melkonian’s “Best of Fest” Picks:

Best Film at LA Film Fest: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Runner up: Goodbye World

Best Director: David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Actress: Rooney Mara, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, The Way, Way Back

Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Bishe, Goodbye World

Best Cast Ensemble: Goodbye World

Best Screenplay: David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Production Design: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Film Editing: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Cinematography: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Best Documentary: The Act of Killing

wadjda640

Tiff Chai’s “Best of Fest” Picks:

Best Film at LA Film Fest: Wadjda

Runner-Up: Forev

Best Director: Johnnie To, Drug War

Best Actor: Honglei Sun, Drug War

Best Actress: Waad Mohammed, Wadjda

Best Supporting Actor: Matt Mider, Forev

Best Supporting Actress: Reem Abdullah, Wadjda

Best Cast Ensemble: Forev

Best Screenplay: Wadjda

Best Production Design: When I Saw You

Best Visual Effects: My Little Pony Equestria Girls

Best Hairstyling and Makeup: Wadjda

Best Sound: Forev

Best Film Editing: Wadjda

Best Cinematography: When I Saw You

Best Original Score: Wadjda

Best Foreign Language Film: Wadjda

Discuss.