Stony Brook Film Festival hosted its LIVE Virtual Awards Ceremony for the 2020 festival and The Subject directed by Lanie Zipoy and written by Chisa Hutchinson, won the Jury Award for Best Feature. The Subject tells the story of a successful documentary filmmaker haunted by his last film, which captured the murder of his Subject, a black teen in Harlem; a timely film that explores the relationship between an artist and their subject and addresses the harsh reality of race and class among the privileged. The film features Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis, Anabelle Acosta, Carra Patterson, Nile Bullock, and Caleb Eberhardt,
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, directed by Caroline Link and written by Anna Brüggemann, Judith Kerr, and Caroline Link, won the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film features Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, Carla Juri, Oliver Masucci, and Justus von Dohnányi. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a German film based on the beloved semiautobiographical children’s book by Judith Kerr. Anna is a nine-year-old living with her family in Berlin in 1933 when her life completely changes. To escape the Nazis, her father—a well-known Jewish journalist—quietly flees one night, and the rest of the family follows. Anna has to leave everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and begins a new life full of challenges as a refugee abroad. A beautiful story for the whole family, filled with suspense, drama, sadness, and hope, with a timely message about being a refugee in a foreign land.
They Won’t Last, a lighthearted short film written and directed by Portlynn Tagavi, won The Jury Award for Best Short. They Won’t Last tells the story of a woman’s uncertain future when her hopeless boyfriend proposes after a friends’ perfect wedding.
The Audience Award for Best Short was presented to Extra Innings, written and directed by John Gray; the film told the story of a reporter who interviewed the Boston Red Sox manager in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past.
The final award presented was The Spirit of Independent Filmmaking, which is awarded to a filmmaker whose work exemplifies the spirit and breadth of filmmaking where the focus is on the art and most often produced with an extremely limited budget. This year, Higher Love received the special award for the Spirit of Independent Filmmaking. Written and directed by Hasan Oswald, Higher Love, is a harrowing and unblinking documentary about lives affected by hard drugs, shown with honesty, compassion, desperation, and hope.
Like many other events around the country, this year’s Festival went virtual, Alan Inkles, Director of the Stony Brook Film Festival and the Staller Center for the Arts, said: “We were thrilled to be able to offer this virtually during the Pandemic, and we were so happy to receive such positive and uplifting feedback from our patrons. The arts are needed now more than ever, and we can’t wait to get back to offering world-class programming in person as soon as it’s safe to do so. Until then, we’ll keep getting creative with virtual programming.”
2020 STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS
JURY AWARD – BEST FEATURE
Directed by Lanie Zipoy.
Written by Chisa Hutchinson
AUDIENCE AWARD – BEST FEATURE
WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT
Directed by Caroline Link.
Written by Anna Brüggemann, Judith Kerr, and Caroline Link
JURY AWARD – BEST SHORT
THEY WON’T LAST
Written and directed by Portlynn Tagavi
AUDIENCE AWARD – BEST SHORT
Written and directed by John Gray
SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING – SPECIAL AWARD
Written and Directed by Hasan Oswald