Monday, March 29, 1999

Cleveland festival awards cash prizes for short films

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CLEVELAND — The Cleveland International Film Festival closed its 10-day run Sunday after handing out cash prizes to an array of short films submitted by filmmakers from across the country.

        “We are one of the few festivals that awards cash prizes to makers of short films,” said selection committee chairman Jesse Epstein. “We are very proud of that.”

        Prize-winners were:

        • Best Ohio short film ($1,000 worth of Kodak color film stock) — Script Doctor, by Adam, Jordan and Scott Fields. The trio of filmmaking brothers from Cleveland recently earned multiple movie deals on the strength of this 8-minute spoof of the Hollywood screenwriting system.

        • Best student short ($500) — Bobby Loves Mangoes by Stuart Acher. Judges also voted an honorable mention for Moon Juice by Margie Strosser.

        • Best women's short ($500) — Between Girls by Julie Blumberg. In this category, judges also awarded an honorble mention to Four Corners, made by a quartet of Ohio University students -- Christopher Jeansonne, Konstantia Kontaxis, Sharon Teo and Xiao Yu.

        • Best documentary short ($500) — Daughter of the Bride, by Terri Randall.

        • Process award for Visual Excellence ($500) — Hell for Leather, by Dominik Scherrer.

        • Georgia Mae Campbell Award (for films by or about African-Americans) — Jorge, by Joel Hopkins

        On Friday night, Cleveland-based cinematographer David Litz won the first Midwest Independent Filmmaker of the Year Award, presented by Cleveland Filmmakers, which sponsored a conference on independent filmmaking in conjunction with the festival.

        Among the “colleagues, customers and mentors” Mr. Litz thanked when he accepted the acrylic sculpture was Cincinnati cinematographer Jeff Barklage.

        The festival's top prize, the Roxanne T. Mueller Award for best film, is based on audience ballots. The winner will be announced today as soon as the vote tally is complete, festival organizers said.


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