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ONE CHANCE directed by David Frankel

The 36th Starz Denver Film Festival (SDFF) announced its jury and audience award winners for the 2013 festival, which ran from November 6 to November 17 in Denver, Colorado, and featured more than 270 films from 44 countries.  ONE CHANCE directed by David Frankel and produced by Simon Cowell, won the Starz People’s Choice Awards for Best Film, and CODE BLACK directed by Ryan McGarry won the Starz People’s Choice Awards for Best Documentary. ONE CHANCE is described as a classic underdog story of the sensitive, artistic kid triumphing over adversity, this gentle comedy reads like Billy Elliot but is based on the life of cellphone salesman Paul Potts, who stepped on stage for Britain’s Got Talent and amazed the world.  CODE BLACK follows a group of young, energetic doctors battling an overburdened health-care system while training in the trauma bay at Los Angeles County General Hospital.


Narrative Feature

Winner: “ONE CHANCE”
Director: David Frankel
Producers: Simon Cowell, Michael Menchel, Kris Thykier, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Weston
Writer: Justin Zackham
Cast: Julie Walters, Colm Meaney, Mackenzie Crook, James Corden, Jemima Rooper, Alexandra Roach

Documentary Feature

Winner: “CODE BLACK”
Director: Ryan McGarry
Producer: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Writers: Ryan McGarry, Joshua Altman

Short Film

Director/Writer: Goran Dukic
Producer: Mikal Portnoi Lazarev
Cast: Azazel Jacobs, Diaz Jacobs


The Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Foreign Feature Film

Winner: “A TOUCH OF SIN,” (China) directed by Jia Zhangke

The jury stated: “We salute Jia Zhangke for writing, directing and producing this startling collection of stories featuring masterful imagery, deeply human characters and searing social relevance. Created against unimaginable odds, this film represents an unprecedented level of commitment.”

Special Jury Award: “THE FIFTH SEASON” (Belgium), directed Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope Woodworth

The jury stated: “Chosen for its visionary creation of an imaginary, yet vivid and fully realized world inspired by our current sociological and environmental challenges.”

The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film

Winner: THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA, directed by Oskar Alegria

The jury stated: “A film that is impeccably crafted yet still captures the freewheeling spirit of artistic discovery. Beautifully composed, formally innovative, it is at once a documentation of a work of experimental cinema and a work of art in itself.”

The New Directors Award

Winner: “HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES,” directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone

The jury stated: “To Daniel Patrick Carbone for Hide Your Smiling Faces, an affecting and nuanced mediation on coming of age. With a confident visual style complimented by grounded performances from his young actors, Carbones film proves him an exciting new voice in American independent film.”

The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award

Winner: “UNORTHODOX,” directed by Patrick Waismann

The jury stated: “Unorthodox is an unexpected look at family, religion, punk rock, and hot dogs, told through the eyes of a kid warming up for his bar mitzvah. The distinct visual style, engaging direction, and truthful performances unravel a truly unique coming-of-age tale.”

The ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award

Winner: “VIRTUOSO VIRTUAL,” directed by Maja Oschmann and Thomas Stellmach

Liberty Global International Student Short Award

Winner: “NOAH” (Canada), directed by Patrick Cederberg and Walter Woodman

The jury stated: “Noah broke out of conventional form with an engaging story that succinctly portrays the fragmentation of our technology-laden lives. Through clever direction, well-executed compositing, and grounded performances, Noah reveals a rapidly dissolving relationship in real-time. Taking place entirely on a computer desktop and an iPhone, Noah explores the disconnect caused by the immediacy of social media and modern communication. This non-traditional storytelling forces you to experience the story along with the characters, in a way that feels eerily familiar.”


Feature Screenplay

Winner: “FALFURRIAS,” written by Edward Tyndall

The jury stated: “A young woman living in Mexico makes a perilous passage into Texas after learning her sister is afflicted with cancer and receiving no medical care. Her journey proves to be a harrowing mission that tests a sister’s unflinching sense of duty and love. Tyndall’s script exhibits an ever-deepening compassionate story that poignantly explores the tangled aspirations of the human spirit.”

Shorts Screenplay

Winner: “SLIP KID,” written by Stephen G. Eoannou

The jury stated: “Set in the Buffalo, New York in 1979, this gripping drama centers on the murder of a priest in a close-knit Greek community. Driven by a guilt-ridden 16-year-old protagonist, this compelling crime tale charts the tragic consequences of malevolence. Eoannou’s script exhibits a true mastery of character and dialogue within a perpetually engaging narrative structure.”

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