The 2011 Fallbrook Film Festival had 68 films in competition; four were nominated for best of show in each category; and the following films were announced as award winners at the festival’s Gala at the Pala Casino Spa and Resort on Sunday.
For Best Documentary Feature: John Muir In the New World, directed by Catherine Tatge. Nearly a century after John Muir’s death, he is remembered in this beautiful film as California’s most beloved environmental hero.
Best Narrative Feature: Colin ♥ Kay [Colin Heart Kay], directed by Sebastian Ho Conley. When Brooklyn-based cartoonist Colin Jenson breaks up with longtime girlfriend Kay Ho, he pulls out all the stops to win her back, including dragging her into his world of illustrated cartoons. Life definitely imitates art in this micro-budget gem that seeks to answer the age-old question: What is love?
Best Narrative Short: Sudden Death! directed by Adam Hall. Finally, a musical where everyone dies.
For Best Documentary Feature: American Masters series’ John Muir in the New World – premiering April 18 on PBS (check local listings) – directed by Catherine Tatge. Nearly a century after John Muir’s death, he is remembered in this beautiful film as California’s most beloved environmental hero.
Best Documentary Short: She Wore Silver Wings, directed by Devin Scott. Told by Jean Landis, this is the true story of the Women Air Force Service Pilots — the joys and triumphs of being needed to fly military aircraft for the Army in WWII. The challenges and dangers. The heartbreak and insolence of being abruptly disbanded.
Best Animation: Sharfik, directed by Karina Gazizova. An almost unbearable siege threatens to suck the last drop of life out of a once warm family.
Best Student Film: The Response, directed by Andrew Spieler. In the early hours of the 1992 LA Riots, Shauna, a seasoned African-American paramedic is forced to confront an incensed and dangerous mob after her idealistic white partner, Rick, violates protocol in hopes of saving a severely wounded child.
The Frank Capra Award: Heal, directed by Mian Adnan Ahmad. This short feature tells the poignant story of a young boy whose special gifts enable him to help his stricken teacher rise above the shattering effects of the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan to recapture hope. The Capra Award is given to the film that best uplifts the human spirit, as Capra’s films did so eloquently.
Audience Choice Award: Listen To Your Heart, directed by Matt Thompson. A touching musical drama that follows struggling songwriter Danny Foster (Kent Moran) and a wealthy hearing-impaired girl (Alexia Rasmussen) as they fall in love against all odds and the wishes of her controlling mother (Cybill Shepherd).