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2011 Vail Film Festival Announces Award Recipients

Written by: FFT Webmaster | April 8th, 2011

Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, and Michael Imperioli Receive Tribute Awards

Vail, CO. – The 2011 Vail Film Festival presented by Cadillac, today announced the official award winners of the 8th annual Festival, held March 31st – April 3rd, 2011 at America’s top-rated ski resort in Vail, Colorado. The Festival showcased 67 films from around the world, including 11 feature films and 56 documentaries, shorts, adventure, student, and animated films, at the Sebastian hotel in Vail Village, and Cinebistro in the Solaris complex.

Tribute Award Recipients

The Festival presented the Excellence in Acting Award to Kate Bosworth, known for her roles in Blue Crush, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns and Kevin Spacey’s Beyond the Sea. Bosworth stars in Idiots, a short film screened at the Festival, directed by Kat Coiro.

Kate Bosworth & Josh Lucas

Josh Lucas was in attendance to accept the Vanguard Award and was present to screen the North American premiere Red Dog, the story of the legendary dog’s epic life, vast travels, rise to fame and how he brought together an Australian community.  Lucas also screened Daydream Nation, an astute and frequently comic account of adolescent confusion and angst, exposing the wide rift between the adult and the adolescent worlds.

“The Vail Film Festival Vanguard Award recognizes film artists who are at the forefront of their field, on the cutting edge,” said Sean Cross, co-founder and co-director of the Vail Film Festival.  “The Festival considers a wide range of actors and directors who embody the Vanguard spirit. Mr. Lucas’ work demonstrates a strong commitment to the art of acting, and his choices set him apart as a leader in the field. From his breakout role in Sweet Home Alabama to his magnetic performance in Glory Road to his current scene-stealing in The Lincoln Lawyers, Lucas is that rare actor who can seamlessly transition between Hollywood studio films and small independent productions. It’s no wonder Clint Eastwood chose Mr. Lucas to play Charles Lindbergh in his upcoming J. Edgar.”

Michael Imperioli was in attendance to accept the Renegade Award for risk taking in film. Imperioli has starred hit television series The Sopranos and Detroit 1-8-7, and is himself a writer, director and producer of such independent productions as The Hungry Ghost.  At the award ceremony panel discussion, Imperioli shared that independent films are often driven more by passion than commercial interests, allowing for more freedom of expression.

Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer of The Clean Bin Project received the Blue Sky Award, bestowed by the institute for environmental consciousness in filmmaking.  In this documentary, a regular couple and their quest to answer the question ‘is it possible to live completely waste free?’. Partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a comedic battle to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least amount of garbage in an entire year.

Audience AwardRed Dog, directed by Kriv Stenders (see description, above)

Best Adventure FilmThe Bill Johnson Story, directed by Zeke Piestrup. In this short documentary, a down and out Olympic champion, America’s first Gold Medalist in downhill, attempts to make a comeback at 40 years old to win back the family he has lost.

Best Short FilmThe Interview, directed by Michelle Steffes. In this post-apocolyptic dark comedy, The last man on Earth tries to get a job from the second-to-last man on Earth.

Best DocumentarySaving Pelican 895, Luke Matheny. Saving Pelican 895 is the story of the 895th bird to be rescued and rehabilitated by a dedicated team of wildlife experts and every day people, many of whom travel the world responding to oil disasters. The tale of a single animal and the compassionate people deployed to save him, Saving Pelican 895 shows how the process of saving one life restored a degree of humanity for the rest of us.

Best Feature FilmBoy Wonder, Michael Morrissey. A psychological thriller, in which a young boy witnesses the brutal murder of his mother during a Brooklyn car-jacking, leaving him to be raised by his alcoholic father (Bill Sage). Now a 17-year-old loner, Sean Donovan (Caleb Steinmeyer) is relentlessly haunted by his past and obsessed with finding his mother’s killer.

Best Student FilmGod of Love, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky. Lounge-singing darts champion Raymond Goodfellow finds his prayers are answered — literally — when he receives a mysterious package of passion-inducing darts. The catch is that the one woman he loves — Kelly, a drummer in his band — is already in love with Ray’s best friend Fozzie, the guitarist in the band.

Best Screenplay ShortTrue Blue, Phil Yuhas

Best Screenplay FeatureLucky Star, Thomas Pace

Olympus PEN Your Short 48 Hour Film Contest – The Colorado Film Institute and Olympus today announce that Running Colors is the Grand Prize Winner of the Olympus PEN Your Short 48 Hour Film Contest at the 2011 Vail Film Festival. During the contest, 19 teams of emerging filmmakers from around the country were challenged to create a film, from start to finish, in a 48-hour timeframe with the powerfully simple Olympus PEN camera and a variety of lenses and accessories. The winning film was directed and produced by Austin and Maitland Lottimer and featured the acting of Barclay Lottimer and writer Sophie Sakson.

“The Vail Film Festival is honored to screen the work of established artists and emerging talent that will shape the film making landscape of tomorrow,” said Cross. “True to the

Festival mission to nurture new filmmakers, many of the films have been directed or produced by first time filmmakers. After record submissions and an abundance of high quality work, we are very proud of the caliber of films at this year’s festival. The mix of documentaries, dramas, comedies, shorts, and student films promises to be the best film program we’ve had yet.”

The 2011 Festival donated 5% of the overall ticket sales to the American Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami recovery efforts in Japan, and an additional 5% to Angelight Films, a 501(c) (3) non-profit production company that gives chronically ill children the opportunity to express themselves in their own short film.

EpicMix Ad Contest Winner Announced: Bobby Willis, from Minneapolis, MN, $10,000 prize

A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to Bobby Willis of Minneapolis, MN during the 2011 Vail Film Festival for his winning :30 second  EpicMix commercial film. The commercial was submitted to The Vail Film Festival’s EpicMix Ad Contest in February,  and out of the top ten finalists, received the greatest number of ‘likes’, which determined the winner. For more information:

About Vail Film Festival

The Vail Film Festival promotes independent filmmaking, with a special focus on new and innovative filmmakers.  Besides screening some of the year’s top films from around the globe, the festival will also feature workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and special events with award-winning actors, writers and directors.  A special awards ceremony, family festivities, ski and snowboarding events, VIP parties and live music will round out this four-day event. The Vail Film Festival is produced by the Vail Film Institute, a non-profit arts organization that is dedicated to fostering independent cinema and creative filmmaking. Festival passes incorporate a combination of movies, filmmaker panels, galas and music, with deep discounts on skiing for festival pass holders.  For tickets and additional information, visit or call (866) 476-1092.

About Cadillac

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at


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