Sonoma International Film Festival wraps up with parties, winners
The 26th annual Sonoma International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with what organizers say was the highest attendance ever recorded. It included a visit from Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley, a dinner with Martin Yan, a spotlight on LGBTQ+ issues complete with inaugural GAY-LA, a celebration of Spanish film and food and a slew of awards.
“The audience wholeheartedly embraced the films we selected from around the world,” said Artistic Director Carl Spence. “In our search, we found films we loved, both the awe-inspiring and sublime, as well as entertaining box office hits from other countries; including eight extraordinary films that also made their premieres in Sonoma. We also welcomed many industry veterans from the filmmaking community who served to elevate our festival profile, and film competition levels, and to provide valuable insights and interaction with our visiting filmmakers.”
The following awards were presented in a ceremony on Sunday:
∎ Stolman Audience Award, Best Feature went to “JULES” starring Ben Kingsley.
∎ A3 Audience Award, Best Documentary went to “Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection.”
∎ The McNeely Audience Award, Best Short Film went to “Nina & Irena.”
∎ Grand Jury Best Narrative Feature went to “Burning Days.”
∎ Grand Jury Best Documentary Feature went to “The Grab.”
∎ Grand Jury Best Live Action Short Film went to “The Vacation.”
∎ Grand Jury Best Documentary Short Film went to “Historias de Cultura: Comida.”
∎ Grand Jury Best Animated Short Film went to “Christopher At Sea.”
∎ Special Jury Prize went to “The Breakthrough.”
∎ SIFF Filmmaker Award, presented by Cinelease, went to Sarah T. Schwab for her poignant drama “A Stage of Twilight,” starring festival guest Karen Allen, of “Indiana Jones” fame. Schwab will receive $10,000 toward her next project as part of the prize.