The Chaplin Theatre at the Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles packed full as the 18th Annual International Family Film Festival celebrated it's culminating award evening on May 5, 2013. Hosted by voice over specialists Bill Farmer (known to many as the voice behind Goofy and Pluto) and Candi Milo (of Hana Barbera), they were ably enhanced by the music of Tony Saint Tome and his band.
The humorous animator, 30 year old JG Quintel, creator of the "Regular Show" for Cartoon Network was presented with his award by the head of Cartoon Network, Brian Miller. J G, received the Friz Award for animation, as a lifetime achievement.
Presenting the Excellence in film award, Margaret Loesch of Hub TV, talked of the accomplishments of her fellow producer, Charles Floyd Johnson. Well known for NCIS, The Rockford Files, Magnum P.I. and many others, Charles was also responsible for the moving story "Red Tails" about the Tuskegee Airman who fought during World War II against massive odds. Noted for his membership in Who's Who in Black America, he was also recently awarded the Chairman's Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors.
Voted the favorite film with the Audience Award was Anita Ho by Director Steve Myung while the Pearl Award for family values and excellence went to The Gordon Family Tree, produced by Jennica Schwartzman. A Fish Story, produced by Sam Roberts and directed by Matt Birman, a story about a father's dream, was given the IFFF Directors Gold Award. The Spirit Award went to the US/Indian production Not Today by writer Jon Van Dyke while Bretten Lord won for Best Child Actor in Lad: The Yorkshire Story from screenwriter Dan Hartley.
Director Chen Deming's The Dreams of Jinsha, written by Su Xiaohong and Planner Yao Fei, from China, received the Best Feature Foreign Animation while Poland's director Wiktor Skzynecki and Rafal Kosik received the Best Foreign Mixed Media Feature for Felix, Net & Nika and Theoretically Possible Catastrophe. The foreign comedy La Clinique de L'Amour (France) from director Artus de Penguern received best of its group while the Best Feature Foreign Drama went to China's Li Yong with The Promise of Chuncao.
Sam Kadi, who wrote The Citizen, about a young man trying for his American citizenship just after 9/11, was awarded Best Feature Drama and Best Feature Documentary, Art Recession came to us from Ming Lai. Best Feature Comedy went to Road to the Open from Cole Claassen.
Shorts were not forgotten. Palms, the story of an orphan boy, from James (Deep) Williams received Best Short Drama while the Short Comedy went to While You Weren't Looking by Jeremy Mackie and Best Short Foreign Comedy was the Australian entry The Interviewer from Directors Genevieve Clay Smith and Robin Byron. Animation short award went to Chel White's Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star while the UK's Swoosh Director Sabina Sattar received Best Short Mixed Media and Tiffany Shlain's Brain Power: On Neurons and Networks received the Best Short Educational Award. The short documentary The Tahitian Pearl by Jeremy Shepard won for that category.
Student winners included Drama - The Eyes of Heaven by Grace Hendley; Drama - Foreign Singapore's Sean Ng's Sepuloh; Comedy was Elin Gronblom's Goldfish Love and Animation was Si Wen Sui's Paramount. Karisma's Molly Gard, Mor Albalak, Britne Goldstein received Best Student Documentary.
Screenplays were also awarded.
Submission for next year's 19th Annual Family Film Festival will be open in September. Check it out at www.ifff.org for more information.