BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Last night, at the 10th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival (BHFF) closing Gala Awards ceremony, “3 Saisons,” a feature-length drama from writer/director/producer Jim Donovan, received the Golden Palm Award and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film. The Brazilian documentary “Sequestro” (“Kidnapping”)—which received a five-minute standing ovation during the World Premiere on Opening Night—was awarded Best Director for Jorge W. Atalla and the Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary, went to the film’s executive producers, Frederico Lapenda and Christian Gudegast. Lapenda announced that he is next producing the live action version of the film with Gudegast as screenwriter. The event was held at the Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel), located at 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, and featured over 400 celebrities, VIPs, city dignitaries and filmmakers.
The third annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Legends Award was presented to legendary producer and screenwriter Frank Yablans (“Mommy Dearest,” “Love Story,” “The Godfather,” “Paper Moon,” ”Chinatown,” “Congo”). The night also featured the incoming Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad and a special Proclamation announcing the City’s full support of the Festival. In addition, BHFF founder Nino Simone was presented with the Parajanov-Vartanov Award for his commitment to independent cinema and his devotion to promote and support the art of late legendary Russian filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov. Mrs. Parajanov (Svetlana Sherbatiuk) and Mrs. Vartanov (Svetlana Manucharian) were also honored.
VIP guests also included actors Quentin Aaron (“”The Blind Side”), Elliott Gould (“Oceans Eleven” franchise), Ethan Embry (“Eagle Eye,” “Sweet Home Alabama”), Jason London (“Saving Grace,” “Dazed and Confused”), actress Kate Maberly (“Finding Neverland,” “The Secret Garden”), as well as producers Ted Kotcheff, David Zucker, Steven Paul, Michael Hertzberg and Mark Amin.
The five-day festival—featuring premieres, parties and panels—kicked-off Wednesday, April 14th with an Opening Night event at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills. Celebrities on the red carpet included Andie MacDowell (“As Good As Dead” World Premiere) and her daughter Rainey Qualley, as well as Billy Zane (ABC’s “The Deep End,” “Titanic”), amongst many others.
BHFF panelists this year included industry luminaries, such as Avi Lerner (Nu Image/ Millennium Films, CEO), Cassian Elwes (Independent Producer), Mark Amin (Sobini Films), Jay Cohen (Gersh), Dean Wilson (First Look Studios, COO), Heidi Jo Markel (Eclectic Pictures, CEO), Daniel Mandil (MPAA, CCPO), Justin Brown (Overture Films), and actor/producer Eddie Griffin.
Frank Yablan’s Legends Award
Frank Yablans was presented the 3rd Annual Legends Award by friend and long-time colleague director/producer Ted Kotcheff who credited Yablans with his transition from TV to film directing when the two met on “Fun with Dick and Jane” in 1977, starring Jane Fonda and George Segal. Actress Kate Maberly played the piano as a live accompaniment to a video tribute, featuring words from actor James Caan. A moving personal letter from Sherry Lansing was also a highlight.
As he spoke to a new budding generation of filmmakers Sunday evening, Yablans proclaimed, “I am honored and humbled to accept this award that represents independent filmmakers—you are the spine, past and future of our business.” Yablans also encouraged film festivals of the world to join together to create a new distribution channel for their winning films. He continued with anecdotes and tales from the trenches involving industry luminaries such as Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson and Peter Bogdanovich.
2010 Beverly Hills Film Festival Awards
2010 BHFF recipients were awarded with custom-made crystal and marble trophies, created by Society Awards.
The Golden Palm Award (best film in all categories) went to “3 Saisons” directed by Jim Donovan.
Best Actress went to Hanna Hall for “Happiness Runs,” directed by Adam Sherman.
Best Actor went to Santiago Diaz for his role in “En Tus Manos,” directed by Ron Jacobs.
Best Director went to Jorge W. Atalla for “Sequestro.”
Best Producer went to co-producers/co-directors Jack Lucarelli and Troy Price of “Disrupt/Dismantle.”
Best Foreign Film went to the Austrian/French feature, “For a Moment-Freedom” from director Arash T. Riahi.
Best Cinematography went to the documentary “A Surprise in Texas” from director Peter Rosen.
Best Editing went to the short “Killing Tarantino,” directed by Norman Lesperance.
Best Animation went to the retro-style short “7 Weaks” from writer/director Evan York.
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS
Best Short Film went to “Takeo” from writer/director Omar Samad.
Best Documentary went to “A Surprise in Texas” directed by Peter Rosen.
Best Feature Film went to “3 Saisons,” written and directed by Jim Donovan.
SPECIAL JURY AWARDS
Best Feature Film went to “Happiness Runs,” directed by Adam Sherman.
Best Documentary went to “Sequestro” executive producers Frederico Lapenda and Christian Gudegast.
Best Short Film resulted in a tie: “En Tus Manos” and “Larsen” by director Carlo de Rosa.
GOLDEN PALM SCREENPLAY COMPETITION
The Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award went to Peter Ringgaard for “Gilgamesh.” The first runner up award went to David Kane for “Boat People.” The second runner up award went to “Family Secret,” written by Warren Hull.