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L to R: Alan Inkles, founder/director of the Stony Brook Film Festival; Gert Embrechts, director/writer, ALLEZ EDDY!; Ate de Jong, director and co-writer, THE BLITZ; John Burgess, director, ONE SMALL HITCH; John Anderson, film critic and master of ceremonies at the Stony Brook Film Festival awards reception; Georg Maas, director/co-writer of the Closing Night film TWO LIVES.L to R: Alan Inkles, founder/director of the Stony Brook Film Festival; Gert Embrechts, director/writer, ALLEZ EDDY!; Ate de Jong, director and co-writer, THE BLITZ; John Burgess, director, ONE SMALL HITCH; John Anderson, film critic and master of ceremonies at the Stony Brook Film Festival awards reception; Georg Maas, director/co-writer of the Closing Night film TWO LIVES.

The 18th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival wrapped up on Saturday night with a Closing Night Reception and announced the winners of the 2013 festival. MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY written and directed by Michaela Kezele was selected by the jury as the 2013 Jury Award-Best Feature; and the 2013 Audience Choice-Best Feature a tie between ALLEZ, EDDY! written and directed by Gert Embrechts and THE BLITZ directed and co-written by Ate de Jong.

Winners of the 18th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival

2013 Jury Award-Best Feature
MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

Written and directed by Michaela Kezele.
East Coast Premiere from Serbia/Croatia/Germany
Zrinka Cvitešić, Mišel Matičević, Andrija Nikčević, Miloš Mesarović, Danica Ristovski, Slavko Štimac. In Serbian with subtitles

During the civil war in Kosovo, the young Serbian widow Danica takes care of Ramiz, a wounded Kosovo-Albanian soldier on the run from the Serbian militia. She finds him seeking refuge in her home on the Serbian side of the River Ibar. As love slowly blossoms between them, Ramiz begins to make friends with Danica’s two sons, both deeply affected by the recent loss of their father at the hands of Albanians.

Produced by Gabriela Sperl. Edited by Andre Bendocchi-Alves. Director of Photography: Felix Novo De Oliveira. From Global Screen GmbH.

2013 Audience Choice-Best Feature (tie)
ALLEZ, EDDY!

Written and directed by Gert Embrechts.
East Coast Premiere from Belguim
With Jelte Blommaert, Peter van den Begin, Barbara Sarafian, Els Dottermans, Stefaan Degand, Bruno Georis, Mathias Vergels, Frieda Pittoors. In Dutch and French with subtitles.

ALLEZ, EDDY! is a heart-warming comedy about Freddy, an 11-year old cycling enthusiast with special needs and lots of courage. He is the son of a butcher in an idyllic village, disrupted when the first supermarket opens its doors and sponsors a cycling race as an opening event. The winner of the race will meet world famous cyclist Eddy Merckx. Since the supermarket is the enemy of the local shopkeepers and, in particular, his own father, Freddy is obliged to enter the race in secret.

Produced by Jacqueline de Goeij. Edited by Els Voorspoels. Director of Photography: Bert Pot. From Global Screen GmbH.

2013 Audience Choice-Best Feature (tie)
THE BLITZ

Directed and co-written by Ate de Jong.
U.S. Premiere from the Netherlands
Screenplay by Ate de Jong, Paul Ruven. With Jan Smit, Roos van Erkel, Monic Hendrickx, Mike Weerts. In Dutch and German with subtitles.

Set in Rotterdam, May 1940, just days before the Germans bombed citizens of the Netherlands in a surprise attack, The Blitz tells the story of Vincent, a poor, young amateur boxer, and Eve, a young woman from Germany who has agreed to marry a wealthy middle-aged industrialist she does not love in order to save her family.

Produced by San Fu Maltha, Paul Ruven (Don’t Touch My Children), René Huybrechtse. Edited by Herman P. Koerts. Director of Photography: Gabor Szabo. A Fu Works & Talent United Production.

2013 Achievement in Directing
John Burgess
ONE SMALL HITCH

Written by Dode B. Levenson. With Shane McRae, Aubrey Dollar, Daniel J. Travanti, Ron Dean, Robert Belushi, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Mary Jo Faraci, Rebecca Spence, Heidi Johanningmeier.

In this hilarious comedy, Molly and Josh innocently agree to fake a wedding engagement to make Josh’s dying father’s last wish come true. Things quickly get out of hand with their two boisterous families as they pretend to be a couple and start planning a phony wedding. The Stony Brook Film Festival congratulates John Burgess on his excellent direction of One Small Hitch, his first feature film.

Produced by Brett Henenberg and John Burgess. Edited by Ryan Koscielniak. Director of Photography: Tari Segal. A Principle Entertainment Film from Curb Entertainment.

2013 Audience Choice-Best Short
(MY RIGHT EYE) THE APPLE OF MY EYE

A film from Spain by Josecho de Linares. New York Premiere.

As a child, Zurdo shared a special relationship with his grandmother but he has lost contact with her. On the last day of summer, he visits her with the intuition that he might not see her again.

2013 Jury Award-Best Short
FALLEN

A film from Germany by Christoph Schuler. New York Premiere.

Upon returning home from Germany after a tour of duty in Afghanistan, a soldier tries to adjust to civilian life.

Career Achievement Award – Christine Vachon, Killer Films

On Friday, July 26, a Career Achievement Award was presented to Christine Vachon of Killer Films, one of the nation’s most esteemed and influential independent film producers. Director Mo Ogrodnik and Pamela Koffler, co-founder of Killer Films, attended the screening of Deep Powder. Vachon’s extraordinary career as a producer includes 70 movies over 20 years (Boys Don’t Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Happiness, One-Hour Photo, Kids, I Shot Andy Warhol, At Any Price, and virtually all of Todd Haynes’ films). She recently joined the faculty of Stony Brook Southampton and spearheaded 20/20/20, which granted full scholarships to 20 students to make 20 short films in 20 days (July 8-28). The entire class and staff of 20/20/20 students attended the screening of Deep Powder.

Opening Night and Closing Night Films Recognized at Closing Night Awards Reception sponsored by HBO

John Anderson presented trophies for the powerful opening and closing night films. ZAYTOUN (Israel/U.K./ France), which opened the Stony Brook Film Festival on July 18, had director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree) and actor Stephen Dorff (Blade, Somewhere) at the screening, where they fielded questions at a Q&A. Georg Maas, the director of the closing night film, TWO LIVES (Norway/Germany) attended closing night’s screening, with a full house of nearly 1000 filmgoers in attendance.

(Descriptions provided by Stony Brook Film Festival)

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