Awards for 2009

Jury Award

Best Documentary

WINNER

The Mosque in Morgantown: Brittany Huckabee
This film demonstrated an exceptional skill with camera, editing and the ability to objectively respect-rather than objectify-its subject. The narrative was given room to speak and not deified or vilified, which is often the case with such an obvious and volatile political subject-that a director will choose to draw conclusion, rather than draw out the story. This patience by which the story is revealed reflects directorial maturity, and the use of music as a contextual and transitional modifier speaks to this, both underscoring the emotional and cultural location of a "mosque in Morgantown," and serving as an intelligent metronome to the unfolding conflict.

Best Narrative

WINNER

Half-Life: Jennifer Phang
It's rare to encounter a film with both a sensitive dramatic touch and an extraordinary visual imagination. For these reasons and more, the jury is pleased to present its narrative award to Half-Life, a film that provocatively, and with no small measure of dark humor, considers the end of the world through the salvation of one family. It announces Jennifer Phang as a striking and original new voice in independent film.

Special Jury Award

Documentary

WINNER

Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe: Harry Kim
This is a film like no other about an individual that has no comparison. And it is what every artist working with film hopes to experience and achieve: a perfect, almost sublime, match between camera and subject. Stimulating, profane and sometimes uncomfortable, both move in step with each other, screaming and dragging the audience into an insanely energized and zig-zag narrative that is impossible to separate from the artist, or his wildly kinetic art. Entirely refreshing, beneath the intoxicating pace and intensity is a noteworthy choice to frame the individual first through his work, rather than through his Asian American identity.

Narrative

WINNER

Children of Invention: Tze Chun
Children of Invention was blessed with strong presence of actors. Especially Cindy Cheung's true and delicate performance as a struggling Chinese single mother was outstanding. The heartbreaking child actors were unforgettable as well. Tze Chun succeeded to capture the chemistry of each character by using precise and insightful observations.

Audience Award

Best Documentary

WINNER

Best Narrative

WINNER

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