7th Annual Filmmakers Alliance Screening and Vision Award Presentation

The 7th Annual Filmmakers Alliance Screening and 11th Anniversary Celebration was hosted at the Directors Guild of America on August 18th, preceded by the Vision Award Presentation to Alexander Payne for his brilliant body of work.   A multi-purposed organization, the Filmmakers Alliance is dedicated to the education and support of up and coming independent filmmakers. 

The evening began with the time honored Hollywood traditional walking of the red carpet into the theater complex of the Director's Guild of America.  Casual elegance ruled the early evening's crimson stroll in. 

Laura Dern began the affair with a presentation of the 7/11 sponsored Vision Award to Alexander Payne for his body of work spanning 1991 to the present and showing no signs of stopping.  Better known by the general population for About Schmidt, starring Jack Nicholson, his first real break came with the production of Citizen Ruth, starring Laura Dern..  His 1999 black comedy Election, starring Matthew Broderick, delighted audiences with its twisted sense of humor but it was About Schmidt that truly cemented his place in the realm of rising directorial star. 

Following the presentation, a series of short films and works were screened.  Running the gamut from light-hearted fluff to intense passion to political statements, the films showcased proved how vital the support of our next generation of talent can be.  Unlike the built to cash out offerings of most studio productions, the labors of love that flickered across the screen were wonderful.

Among the more breathtaking and provocative films was Tackle Box, directed by Matthew Mebane.  A deeply passionate narrated love story about an elderly couple who's romance lasts well beyond the separating effects of death, it tells the story of an old man's reverence for the hobby his beloved wife loved most - fishing.  The quirky tale twists about along the unlikely path of redemption as a testament to the purity of the decades old love so entirely untainted by time.  This film was the 2004 recipient of numerous festivals, including the Slamdance Audience Sparky Award for Best Short Film and the Sonoma Valley Audience Award.

Perfection was an extended metaphor comparing an Asian-American woman's life to the Milton Bradley game of Perfection.  Written and directed by Karen Lin, the film was an intriguing journey into a woman's struggle to break herself of a life long habit.  The universal topic of being content with the person we are was elegantly presented.

On the lighter side, Six And The City was a superficial romp through the childhoods of the infamous four.  The film, directed by Hanelle Culpepper, dealt with similar material though without the deep, cathartic insight of the TV series. 

Topical and filled with depth, Tel Aviv, follows the nightmarish scenario of an American Jew in the Israeli desert.  Director Richard Goldgewicht weaves a story of tolerance and humanity in a quick ten minutes. 
 
The evening was topped off with the compulsory Hollywood party full of cocktails, beautiful people and a good deal to talk about after so much wonderful stimulation. It was a delightful way to end a spectacular night of independent art.

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