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The curtain came down last night on the 33rd Cambridge Film Festival. After 11 action packed cinema viewing days with over 150 features screened, including 55 UK premieres and scores of visiting filmmakers, the festival came to a close with a special preview screening of Kevin Macdonald’s HOW I LIVE NOW with the Oscar®-winning director in attendance. The winners of this year’s Cambridge Film Festival’s Audience Awards were announces before the screening.
All films receiving their UK premiere at the Festival were eligible for the awards and were voted for by the audience. 2013 sees the inaugural presentation of the newly christened awards names; the ‘Golden Punt’ for Best fiction feature, ‘Silver Punt’ for Best feature documentary and ‘Crystal Punt’ for Best short film.
The 2013 Audience Award winners were announced as:
Golden Punt – Best Fiction THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM – Dir. Andrew Mudge
A profoundly visual story which tells the tale of Atang; a young man obliged to make a pilgrimage from the bustle of Johannesburg to his native Lesotho upon learning that his father has passed away.
Silver Punt – Best Documentary BLACK AFRICA, WHITE MARBLE – Dir. Clemente Bicocchi
Shadow puppetry, animation and archive footage mesh together in this intriguing documentary.
Crystal Punt – Best Short Film - RHINO FULL THROTTLE – Dir. Erik Schmitt & Stephan Müller
Live action animation is used to tell the story of Bruno making his way through Berlin in search of the city’s soul.
The Best short film winner receives a prize courtesy of Black Magic Design, a Black Magic Cinema Camera and a copy of Da Vinci Resolve editing software, worth £3000. The runner up Theresa Braun (THUMBELINA) will also receive a copy of Da Vinci Resolve editing software.
Earlier in the day the prize was given for the Festival’s Young Critics Award. A panel of 18 young critics, aged between 16-19 and in full time education were selected from various Cambridge schools and colleges. Each young critic was asked to submit a minimum of 3 reviews of 250 words. 5 runners up and 1 winner were chosen by the Cambridge Film Consortium who ran the competition.
Abi Loosemore named the winner of this year’s Young Critic Award was presented with a 32GB iPad Mini prize courtesy of the award’s sponsor John Lewis.
Highlights of this year’s Festival edition included:
The biggest Cambridge Film Festival Opening Night Gala for HAWKING, which also marked the first CFF event to have a live Q&A broadcast nationwide. The live Q&A with Professor Stephen Hawking was broadcast to 70 Picturehouse, Everyman, Empire, Vue and independent cinemas across the UK and Ireland.
A live ukulele performance from director Matt Hulse preceeded his screening of DUMMY JIM. Directors Joe Swanberg and Josephine Decker treated the audience to a tour of their house in a lively Skype Q&A session following their screenings of ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY and ME THE TERRIBLE.
The Festival was especially delighted to welcome cult German director Roland Klick to Cambridge for a special presentation of his films in association with the Goethe-Institut and Filmgalerie 451, it was exciting to see Roland Klick make a legion of new fans in the UK. The Contemporary German Cinema strand was well received with a strong programme including HANNAH ARENDT and DUST ON OUR HEARTS.
Musician, accompanist, playwright and most recently TV presenter, Neil Brand brought NOSFERATU back from the undead, with a live piano accompaniment of Murnau’s horror classic, as well as bringing the joy of silent comedy to children and adults alike in his ‘Not So Silent Cinema’ Family event sharing the stage with Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. Neil Brand will be resurrecting Count Orlock to perform NOSFERATU for Halloween against the impressive ruinous backdrop of 12th century Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds at the opening night of the Kirkstall Abbey festival, a key component of the BFI’s Gothic season presented by the Cambridge Film Trust.
Popular festival discoveries included Kurdish Western MY SWEET PEPPERLAND and the politically charged OPERATION BETHLEHEM, documenting the building of the wall in Bethlehem as well as South African thriller LAYLA FOURIE and timely Syrian documentary AS IF WE WERE CATCHING A COBRA, recounting the experiences of Egyptian and Syrian cartoon artists.
The Cambridge Film Festival returns in September 2014.
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