oav Potash, director of CRIME AFTER CRIME and winner of the $25,000 Golden Gate Award for Investigative Documentary Feature, celebrating with subject Joshua Safran at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, May 4, 2011.

54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21 – May 5) with 265 screenings of 193 films from 48 countries came to close on Thursday.

Eleven films were in juried competition for the 15th annual $15,000 New Directors Award which was given to director Park Jung-bumʼs The Journals of Musan (South Korea).

The Salesman by Sébastien Pilote (Canada) was awarded the FIPRESCI prize. The jury described it as “a first feature with a precise sense of character and place, yet which is also provocatively ambivalent about the value of work in the aftermath of local economic collapse.” FIPRESCI, the influential international organization of film critics, supports cinema as an art and as an autonomous means of expression.

As previously announced, the GGA for Best Investigative Documentary Feature was presented to Crime After Crime by Yoav Potash (USA). Best Documentary Feature and Best Bay Area Documentary Feature were both presented to Better This World by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway (USA).

Other awards included Best Documentary Short, awarded to Into the Middle of Nowhere by Anna Frances Ewert (Scotland/England). The Best Narrative Short was Blokes by Marialy Rivas (Chile). First place for Best Bay Area Short went to Tourist Trap by Skye Thorstenson (USA), with second place going to Young Dracula by Alfred Seccombe (USA). The GGA Youth Work winner was Z-Man by Nat Talbot (USA), with The Math Test by Sam Rubin (USA) receiving Honorable Mention. The Best Work for Kids and Families was Specky Four Eyes by Jean-Claude Rozec (France), with Honorable Mention going to The Snowman by Kelly Wilson and Neil Wrischnik (USA). The Best Animated Short was The External World by David O’Reilly (Ireland) and Best New Visions was Lost Lake by Zackary Drucker (USA).

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, with Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins also scoring well with festivalgoers. The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Yoav Potash’s Crime After Crime, with Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway’s Better This World also tallying high votes from the viewers.

Park Jung-bum, director of THE JOURNALS OF MUSAN, which won the New Directors Award at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, May 4, 2011.
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