TX - The 35TH Annual WorldFest-Houston
International Film Festival concluded with a slight downturn in box office due
to weather and April 15 IRS filings. Several bona-fide hit movies, a Gala Awards
Banquet with top honors presented to up-and-coming attending filmmakers from
over 33 countries from round the globe, Indie Panels and a fun Houston Yacht
Club Regatta were highlights of WorldFest-Houston this year! Attendance at the
10-day fest was near 22,000, down slightly from record 2001 box office figures.
sold-out Awards Dinner at the new Inter-Continental Hotel in Houston, on
Saturday night (April 13) also saw a Career Achievement Award going to actor Jo
Beth Williams (27 feature films, including The
Big Chill and Poltergeist)
there to receive her honors.
top honors -
The Remi Grand Awards went to the following productions: Best Feature Film,
(Germany) directed by Bettina Wilhelm; Best Film & Video Production,
Pioneer Productions (UK); Best Television & Cable Production, "Lincoln"
2 part mini-series, David Grubin Productions (USA); Best Short Subject "Indefinitely,
Mark Pilvinsky (TX); Best Music Video, "Everything
Toothin Theatre (Canada); Best Commercial "Musco
Black Rocket (SFO); Best Graduate Level Student Production "Revival",
Meghna Haldar (TX); "Vessel
Lisa Yu, Best Experimental (CA).
In addition to
Grand Awards, WorldFest presented a special Grant-in-Aid Award: the Eastman
Kodak Cinematography Award, $2500 in raw stock to "Baba's
Barbara Badessi, Halifax, Canada. Other major awards in the feature categories
went to the magnificent "As
Far As My Feet Will Carry Me"
(Germany) directed by Hardy Martins (Germany), Platinum in Action/Adventure;
The Big Secret"
(Spain) Miquel Pujol, Platinum in Animation; dark comedy "The
(USA) Platinum in comedy. "How
Harry Became a Tree"
(Ireland) Goran Paskaljevic, was awarded a Special Jury Award in Dramatic
Features as well as, "Florida
(USA) Ralph Clemente. "One
(USA) Robert Moresco received a Platinum in Dramatic Features. "Briar
(USA) Zev Berman received a Special Jury Award. In Suspense/Thriller; Platinum
went to Eric Gardner for "Under
(USA.) In Family films, top honors went to "The
(Canada) Rick Stevenson, with a Special Jury Award, Mark Medoff won the Platinum
On Their Birthdays"
(USA) and Gold to C. Dorian Walker for "The
Greatest Adventure of My Life"
(USA.) In Fantasy/Horror, Mike Figgis won the Special Jury Award for his Dogma
(USA/Italy) Gold going to Thomas Wright for "Unspeakable"
(USA). Special Jury Award in First Feature went to Aleks Rosenberg for "Zelimo"
(USA/Russia). Foreign feature Gold Award went to Christos Giorgiu for his
(Cyprus.) Platinum honors for Low Budget Features went to Dwayne Beavers for his
intense hockey-themed "The
(Canada), Gold to "Be
(Taiwan) Yankee Zhou. Jeffrey Jeturian won the Gold in Adult Category for his
heart wrenching "Tuhog"
(Philippines). Romance Special Jury Award went to Christos Stark for his
(Germany), and Platinum to "Alexandria"
(Greece) Maria Iliou.
Jury Awards in WorldFest features were as follows: Best Directing, Jon C.
Scheide for "The
(USA); Best Cinematography to Pavel Lebeshev (Russia) for his camera work in the
epic true-life story "As
Far As My Feet Will Carry Me"
(Germany), Best Editing to Petar Putnicovic for his work in "How
Harry Became a Tree"
(Ireland) Moon-stone Entertainment & Best Music to James McVay for "One
(USA) Manhattan Pics.
Documentary section was extremely competitive this year with Special Jury Awards
going to "Children
of Kosovo 2000"
Ferenc Moldovanyl (Kosovo, Hungary), "Oil
(Iran) Ebrahim Forouzesh, "Witness
to Hope:The Life of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II
(USA) Judith Dwan Hallet, & "Terror
(USA) Jason van Fleet, and "The
Life & Significance of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, Part II
(USA) Mary Ellen Korman.
ranged in categories such as short subjects, student films to screenplays &
music videos. Altogether, slightly under 4,000 category entries were received
for WorldFest, down from last year due to the Sept. 11th disaster and the
economic downturn. WorldFest, the largest and oldest film festival in North
American operating under the same continuous non-profit management and the only
one fiercely dedicated to presenting and honoring only new independent,
event for WorldFest was special digital video projection by Wagner Media and
Christie Digital Systems, with the new Wagner/Christie Roadie X10 DLP
"Black Chip" digital projector screening more than 100 features and
shorts at the festival. Viewers were astounded at the brilliance and clarity of
the new Wagner/Christie Digital equipment and the filmmakers made regular
pilgrimages up to the projection booth to take a look at the current cinematic
state-of-the-art technology. All came away both impressed and inspired by this
look at the future of the movies and theaters.
There were 5
exceptional seminars, presented by experienced professionals. These included: Kodak/24P
presented by Ken Replich (in 2-parts), Agents
& Managers & Studios: An Overview
by Andrew Deane of Immortal Entertainment (LA), Beyond
by Robert Nowotny of Teocalli Entertainment (NM), Distribution
by Stuart Strutin of Panorama Entertainment (NY), and an exciting and
informative panel on
Producing and Directing the Independent Feature
with filmmakers Rob Gladstone, Jon C. Scheide, Yhoka Kusano, C. Dorian Walker,
Ralph Clemente, Bettina Wilhelm, Douglas Underdahl, James Slocum & Eric
Gardner and moderated by Leigh Murray, (Producer, Charleston, SC)
is unique in the festival world, as it is totally dedicated to the Independent
feature and short film. WorldFest does not screen any films produced by the
major studios or distributors as it feels that the Indie filmmakers are the ones
that need support from a film festival. WorldFest offers 11 major areas of
competition and awards, including Documentary, Film & Video production, TV
& Cable production, Experimental, Short Subjects, TV Commercials,
Screenplays, Music Video, New Media, Feature Films and Student Films. Both film
and video formats are accepted, video only for the jury deliberations. Next up:
WorldFest # 36, April 2003!