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Winners of the 2011 FLIFF Unveiled - Two Bahamian Films Win Awards
By Jan Mitchell, FLIFF
Nov 18, 2011 - 11:09:38 AM

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Two Bahamian Films Win Awards!

Fort Lauderdale, FLORIDA –The 26th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF)
unveiled their Jury and Audience awards during a ceremony on closing night, Friday, November 11.   Fort Lauderdale, FL
THE ARTIST drew four top awards:  Best Picture, Best Director - Michael Hazanavicius, Best Actor - Jean Dujardin and Best Actress - Bernice Bejo.   As winner of Best Film, THE ARTIST, received the prestigious Seashell Award, a trophy uniquely created by Uruguayan artist Jesus Sosa and presented each year by Professor Nelson Pilosof, President of The World Trade Center of Montevideo.  
As Pilosof presented the award, he noted that the trophy, was the 11th one of it's kind and coincidentally being given on 11/11/11.  Additionally, Pilosoff  announced the enhanced trade relationship between the World Trade Center Fort Lauderdale and World Trade Center of Montevideo at which time representatives signed a document and Pilosof pledged Montevideo's continued support for the film festival.    
WOMEN ON THE SIXTH FLOOR picked-up two awards: Best Foreign Film and the Audience Award for Foreign Language Film.
The drama THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY, starring Dennis Farina, received the award for Best American Indie Film and comedy ABOUT FIFTY received the Audience Award for Best Indie.

Below is a complete listing of The 2011 FLiFF Award Winners
Best Film
THE ARTIST - Michel Hazanavicius directed this charming and clever homage to the age of silent film with all of the glamour and romance of the times. THE ARTIST tells the story of the interlinked destinies between a rising young starlet and a silent movie superstar whose career is on the decline at the advent of the talkies.
Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Best Actor
Jean Dujardin, THE ARTIST
Best Actress
Bernice Bejo, THE ARTIST
Best Foreign Film
THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR - directed by Philippe Le Guay, is a delightful comedy about French couple's bourgeois world that is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid Maria.
Best American Indie
THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY - directed by Joe Maggio and starring Dennis Farina, the film chronicles the last days in the life of an aging, short money hustler who is presented with one last shot at greatness.
Best Documentary
HOW TO START A REVOLUTION -  director Ruaridh Arrow tells the remarkable story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, the world's leading expert on non-violent revolution.
Best Short Film
THE LIFE SMUGGLERS - directed by David W. Wells the film is about two retirees from Phoenix, Arizona run prescription drugs from Mexico to help pay for a wife's medical bills. But when their work suddenly includes people smuggling, it becomes much more ethically complex.
Best Florida Film
JESSE’S DAD - directed by Boaz Dvir,   tells the story of Mark Lunsford’s transformation from an uneducated truck driver to a savvy activist after losing his 9-year-old daughter to a convicted pedophile.
Audience Award Foreign Language
Audience Award American Indie
ABOUT FIFTY - Directed by Thomas Johnston , Writers Martin Grey and Drew Pilsbury star alongside Wendy Malick in a film that explores the simple yet comical truth that it’s never too late to start over again, even at age 50.
Audience Award Documentary
THE POWER OF TWO - directed by Marc Smolowitz, an intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters, their lifelong battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF), survival through miraculous double lung transplants, and improbable emergence as authors, athletes, and advocates for organ donation and those suffering from CF in the U.S. and Japan.
Humanitarian Award
A NEW KIND OF LISTENING - directed by Kenny Dalsheimer ,  takes us inside the creative work of the Community Inclusive Theater Group where Richard Reho inspires cast members, some with disabilities, to be writers, actors and dancers in an overcoming fashion. We bear witness to Chris Mueller-Medlicott’s journey from a lonely, withdrawn adolescent to co-director of the theater group.   The result is a groundbreaking film that will revitalize spirits in doing what it takes to be heard.
Spirit of Independents Awards
ANDROS: Living Off The Sea & Land - directed by Matthew McCoy, explores the natural resources of largest island in The Bahamas,  major source of fresh water for Nassau, and the third largest barrier reef in the world, giving it the potential to become an international eco tourism mecca.    
THE ENCORE OF TONY DURAN - directed by Fred A. Sayeg is the story of human transformation and redemption revolving around a washed-up singer of 20 years and a friend who forces the truth about his downward spiral to make Tony Duran sing again.  
FROM HOLLYWOOD TO DOLLYWOOD - directed by John Lavin, follows twin brothers on a cross-country journey from RV parks and Bars through the floods of Nashville and even an Oklahoma Tornado to follow their dream of getting a script into their idol’s hands- Dolly Parton.    
THE HOPEFUL - directed by Brendan Kirsch, is a two-year journey of young man whose dream is to become a Division I college quarterback and who became the center of a very heated social discussion on the ethics of transferring high schools for athletic purposes. 
ISLANDS OF LIFE - directed by Bo Boudart, shows the results of Bahamians’ conservation efforts-from the rich forests that shelter parrots and crabs, to the colorful reefs that nurture fish, turtles and other natural wonders.
LIKE CRAZY - directed by Drake Doremus, this passionate, well-crafted story stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as two young people who fall head-over-heals in love but, whose perfect relationship and trust is tested when geography sets them apart for extended periods of time.
LOST AIRMEN OF BUCHENWALD - directed by Mike Dorsey, the documentary gives us the first-hand story via interviews with the seven surviving members of the Allied Airmen, including the heroic commanding officer, captured in Paris by the German Gestapo and sent to the infamous "Koncentration Lager Buchenwald" in Germany.    
MISS SOUTH PACIFIC- directed by Mary Lambert, the film follows the 2009-2010 Miss South Pacific Pageant whose contestants address the theme of climate change and eloquently and passionately implore judges, spectators, and the world at large to reduce global carbon emission lest their island homes will be lost to rising seas.  
SILVER CASE - directed Christian Filippella, the crime comedy takes place in "Tinseltown", where the world of scheming reaches a nasty low when a powerful producer hatches a plan to undermine the future success of his shady arch rival. His plot begins with the delivery of a silver briefcase. But when the case goes missing, it sets off a chain of events that are not part of the plan.  
SILVER TONGUES - directed by Simon Arthur, this morally ambiguous and sophisticated tale takes you to the brink of the unexpected as a pair of lovers' deceitful game spirals out of control.    
TURBINE - Directed by Isaak & Eva James, is an erotic and darkly surreal drama set against the wind turbines of rural Missouri.     
Awards presented during the film festival, October 21-November 11 included :
Lifetime Achievement Honorees
Actor, Beau Bridges
Actress, Piper Laurie
Career Achievement Honorees
Actor, Dennis Haysbert
Actress, Penelope Ann Miller
Star On The Horizon
Actor, Larry Mullen, Jr.

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