U.S. premieres of foreign films took the top awards at the 19th Annual Stony Brook Film Festival, which ended Saturday, July 26, with a reception hosted by film critic John Anderson.
Stony Brook’s 10-day festival screened films each evening at Staller Center. Opening night was sold out, with more than 900 in the audience for Ralph Macchio’s short film, Across Grace Alley, followed by the U.S. premiere of the German film Back on Track from Beta Cinema. Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Festival, greeted European and American filmmakers at the awards night, following the New York Premiere of Erik Poppe’s 1,000 Times Good Night starring Juliette Binoche.
The winners are:
2014 Jury Award-Best Feature: Paper Souls (Les âmes de papier)
U.S. premiere from France/Luxembourg/Belgium, directed by Vincent Lannoo, written by François Uzan
2014 Audience Choice-Best Feature: Kenau
U.S. premiere from the Netherlands, directed by Maarten Treurniet, written by Marnie Blok and Darin van Holst Pellekaan
2014 Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking: Maïna
Canadian film, directed by Michel Poulette, written by Pierre Billon
2014 Festival Outstanding Performance: My Sweet Pepper Land
New York premiere from Iraq/France/Germany, directed by Hiner Saleem, written by Hiner Saleem and Antoine Lacomblez
2014 Jury Award-Best Short: Sequestered
U.S. film by Lucas Spaulding
2014 Audience Award-Best Short: Little Africa
U.S. film by Curtis Adair Jr.
2014 Special Jury Recognition: Into the Silent Sea
U.S. film by Andrej Landin
Attending the Awards Reception
John Anderson, film writer for The New York Times and Newsday among other publications, presented the awards at a reception following the Closing Night film, 1,000 Times Good Night, with Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, in a New York premiere from Film Movement.
Accepting the Audience Choice for Best Feature was Eva Bartels, who played Alda in Kenau. The Dutch actress is working on projects in New York this summer and attended the festival to introduce the U.S. premiere of Kenau earlier in the week.
The Jury Award for Best Feature for Paper Souls was accepted by François Uzan, the screenwriter of the film making its U.S. premiere. He flew in from Paris to attend the awards reception and meet and greet Stony Brook’s filmgoers.
Michel Poulette, director of Maïna, returned to Stony Brook to accept an award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking. The Stony Brook Festival was Maïna’s East Coast premiere. (Maïna has also been recognized in Canada, nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Motion Picture in 2014.)
The Audience Award for Best Short was accepted by Curtis Adair Jr., whose short, Little Africa, made its New York premiere at the Stony Brook Film Festival.
Lucas Spaulding of Sequestered sent a video acceptance using footage from his film. Andrej Landin of Into the Silent Sea sent a note of thanks from his home in Sweden.
Presenting sponsors of the Stony Brook Film Festival are HBO, Suffolk County, Teachers Federal Credit Union, The Village Voice and WALK 97.5 Radio. As in past years, there was no entry fee to submit a film for consideration in 2014 thanks to sponsors’ support of the Festival.