Sleeper hit at this year’s Santa Barbara fest, Serbian director Darko Lungulov’s Monument to Michael Jackson was awarded today the top prize in the Eastern European (Eastern Bloc) competition. Festival’s executive director Roger Durling announced the winners earlier today at the Fess Parker hotel.
“It is a great honor to win the award at such an amazing film event,” said Lungulov who attended the festivities. “International filmmakers have a great opportunity in Santa Barbara to present their work to highly educated and sensitive audience. I was so fortunate to have the U.S. premiere of my film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.”
The jury of the 30th annual film fest in Santa Barbara included director and cinematographer Will Eubank, director Peter Chelsom, producer Chaz Ebert, actors Anthony and Arnette Zerbe, composer/lyricist Adam Guettel, actor James Read, SBIFF founder Phyllis de Picciotto, director/actor Perry Lang and producer Mimi deGruy.
Monument to Michael Jackson tells the story of a man who, in a desperate attempt to save his crumbling marriage and to bring life back into his community, plans to replace an old communist monument with a statue of the King of Pop.
Writer/director Darko Lungulov’s previous film, Here & There won Tribeca’s Best N.Y. Narrative Award in ’09. It starred David Thornton, whose wife Cindy Lauper composed an original song, and also had a cameo in the movie.