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3 items from 2009

CIFF 2009: The winners! And our reviews

22 October 2009 6:39 PM, PDT | | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

Tina Mabry's "Mississippi Damned," an independent American production, won the Gold Hugo as the best film in the 2009 Chicago International Film Festival, and added Gold Plaques for best supporting actress (Jossie Thacker) and best screenplay (Mabry). It tells the harrowing story of three black children growing up in rural Mississippi in circumstances of violence and addiction. The film's trailer and an interview with Mabry are linked at the bottom.

Kylee Russell in "Mississippi Damned"

The win came over a crowed field of competitors from all over the world, many of them with much larger budgets. The other big winner at the Pump Room of the Ambassador East awards ceremony Saturday evening was by veteran master Marco Bellocchio of Italy, who won the Silver Hugo as best director for "Vincere," the story of Mussolini's younger brother. Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Filippo Timi won Silver Hugos as best actress and actor, »

- Roger Ebert

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Okonedo's Skin Rules Paff Film Competition

17 February 2009 4:10 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Sophie Okonedo's new movie Skin has triumphed at the 17th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival Film Competition, scoring two major prizes.

The drama, based on the true story of a black woman born to white parents in apartheid South Africa, was awarded the Jury Favourite prize at the awards luncheon in Culver City, California on Monday.

The picture was also named Best Narrative Feature in the category voted for by moviegoers.

French film Cuba, An African Odyssey landed the Best Documentary Feature honour, Prince of Broadway was handed Best Narrative Feature by festival bosses and Maria Govan was handed the coveted Best Director-First Feature award for 2008 film Rain. »

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Palm Springs International Film Festival Announces Winners!

19 January 2009 9:31 AM, PST | Manny the Movie Guy | See recent Manny the Movie Guy news »

The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival was a huge success! The Opening Night Gala was well-attended, and there were many A-list celebrities including Clint Eastwood, Anne Hathaway, etc.

But it's all about the quality of films! And last night, the festival honored films around the world.

The Festival, held from January 6-19, 2009, screened 208 films from 73 countries, including 50 of the 67 foreign entries for this year.s Academy Awards®. Palm Springs. increasingly popular Festival continues to expand its diverse programming of quality independent and foreign films, setting the stage for the year.s film festival circuit.


This year.s Festival attendees selected Departures (Japan) directed by Yojiro Takita, as the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. A failed cellist connects with his inner undertaker, his rural hometown, and his newly deceased father in this tonally eccentric, lushly scored, moving drama. The film is on the Academy Awards® shortlist »

- Manny

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