‘Drunktown's Finest,’ ‘The Circle’ Win Top Outfest Awards

'Drunktown's Finest,' 'The Circle' Win Top Outfest Awards

"Drunktown's Finest"

Audience awards go to “The Way He Looks” and “Back on Board: Greg Louganis”

Sydney Freeland's narrative feature “Drunktown's Finest” and Stefan Haupt's documentary “The Circle”  have won the top jury awards at the 2014 Outfest, organizers announced on Sunday, as the 11-day Los Angeles festival devoted to LGBT stories came to an end.

“Drunktown's Finest, which follows three characters in the alcohol-plagued town of Gallup, New Mexico, was saluted by the jury for showing “a dynamic world full of rich and flawed characters with unexpected journeys.”

“The Circle,” about the gay organization Der Kreis in 1950s Europe, was honored for “its innovative techniques in overcoming the unique challenges of telling the little known history of a courageous pre-WWII underground gay movement.”

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Audience awards went to Daniel Ribeiro's dramatic feature “The Way He Looks” and Cheryl Furjanic's doc “Back on Board: Greg Louganis.”

Other jury awards were given to actors Mark Strano for “Tiger Orange” and Gaby Hoffman for “Lyle,” to screenwriter Desiree Akhavan for “Appropriate Behavior,” and to “Something Must Break” in the international dramatic feature category.

Special programming awards went to Robert Hawk for “Home From the Gym,” Mariana Rondon for “Bad Hair” and Abdellah Taia for “Salvation Army.”

This year's Outfest opened on July 10 with “Life Partners,” featuring Leighton Meester and Gilliam Jacobs, and closes on Sunday with “Space Station 76,” starring Patrick Wilson, Matt Bomer and Liv Tyler. Other films screened included “Boulevard,” with Robin Williams and Kathy Baker; “Last Weekend,” with Patricia Clarkson, Zachary Booth and Joseph Cross; “Match,” with Patrick Stewart, Matthew Lillard and Carla Gugino; and a 25th anniversary screening of “Longtime Companion,” with Mary-Louise Parker, Campbell Scott and Bruce Davidson.

Also read: Tribeca: Patrick Stewart and Mary Elizabeth Winstead Steal the Show on Night 3

The full list of awards, along with jury statements about the winners, are below:

Audience Awards

Dramatic Feature: “The Way He Looks,” Directed by Daniel Ribeiro
First US Dramatic Feature: “Drunktown's Finest,” Directed by Sydney Freeland Documentary Feature: “Back on Board: Greg Louganis,” Directed by Cheryl Furjanic
Documentary Short: “Families Are Forever,” Directed by Vivian Kleiman
Dramatic Short: “Alone With People,” Directed by Drew Van Steenbergen

Grand Jury Awards

U.S. Dramatic Feature Film: “Drunktown's Finest,” Directed by Sydney Freeland
International Dramatic Feature: “Something Must Break,” Directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark
International Dramatic Feature Special Recognition: “Lilting,” Directed by Hong Khaou
Documentary Feature Winner: “The Circle,” Directed by Stefan Haupt
Documentary Feature Special Recognition: “Dior and I,” Directed by Frédéric Tcheng
Actor in a U.S. Dramatic Feature: Mark Strano in “Tiger Orange”
Actress in a U.S. Dramatic Feature: Gaby Hoffmann in “Lyle”
Screenwriting in a U.S. Dramatic Feature: Desiree Akhavan for “Appropriate Behavior”
Documentary Short Film: “Flying Solo: A Transgender Widow Fights Discrimination,” Directed by Leslie Von Pless
Experimental Short Film: “Get Ripped,” Directed by Leonardo Van Dijl
Dramatic Short Film: “Jellyfish,” Directed by Rosie Haber

Special Programming Awards

Emerging Talent: Robert Hawk for “Home From the Gym”
Freedom: “Bad Hair,” Directed by Mariana Rondón
Artistic Achievement: Abdellah Taïa for “Salvation Army”

Special Programming Awards Statements

Emerging Talent
“For drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of queer cinema –developed over a lifetime of attending festivals and helping other directors fulfill their creative ambitions — to craft a powerful and sexy debut short film of his own at the age of 76, the Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Robert Hawk for HOME FROM THE GYM.”

Freedom
“For depicting the corrosive effects of familial homophobia on a child determined to defy cultural expectations the Special Programming Award for Freedom goes to writer-director Mariana Rondón for BAD HAIR.”

Artistic Achievement
“For crafting an autobiographical portrayal of sexual awakening in the Muslim world that is both gorgeous and unflinching in its honesty, the Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to writer-director Abdellah Taïa for SALVATION ARMY.”

Short Film Grand Jury Statements

Documentary Short
“In a remarkable story of strength, perseverance, and dignity about a vanguard spirit, and for capturing an extraordinary history that will inspire generations of people, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Documentary Short Film goes to FLYING SOLO: A TRANSGENDER WIDOW FIGHTS DISCRIMINATION by Leslie Von Pless.”

Experimental Short
“With stunning and stark visuals, this film explores the complexity of masculine obsessions with power and sexuality. The 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Experimental Short Film goes to GET RIPPED by Leonardo Van Dijl.”

Dramatic Short
“For an engaging and unique film that encapsulates the simplicity, beauty, and amorphous nature of its namesake with maturity and nuanced sensitivity, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Dramatic Short Film goes to JELLYFISH by Rosie Haber.”

Documentary Grand Jury Statements

Special Recognition
“The jury honors a film with Special Jury Recognition for excellence in artistic achievement that includes masterful direction, cinematography, editing and composition. Through a compelling cinema verité style, engaging subjects and characters, the jury would like to award a Special Jury Recognition to DIOR AND I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng.”

Documentary Feature
“The Jury's selection is a film that redefines the form of documentary filmmaking. With seamless integration of fiction and nonfiction, it elevates the craft of storytelling to new emotional heights. For its innovative techniques in overcoming the unique challenges of telling the little known history of a courageous pre-WWII underground gay movement, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature Film goes to THE CIRCLE (DER KREIS) directed by Stefan Haupt.”

International Grand Jury Statements

Special Recognition
“The Jury honors a film with special recognition for strong art direction complemented by even stronger performances that showcase the director's cinematic maturity. The 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for International Feature Film would like to award Special Jury Recognition to LILTING, directed by Hong Khaou.”

International Dramatic Feature
“The Jury's selection is a film that is both fearless and original. Through the lead character's gripping performance, we experience a love story that is unconventional and also truly universal. The storytelling is enhanced by an impressive sound design and raw cinematography. The 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for International Dramatic Feature Film goes to SOMETHING MUST BREAK, directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark.”

US Grand Jury Statements

Actress
“For taking us on a supernatural journey, all the while remaining sincere and sympathetic, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a US Dramatic Feature Film goes to Gaby Hoffmann for LYLE.”

Actor
“For his honest portrayal of a brother conflicted with responsibility to family and career, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actor in a US Dramatic Feature Film goes to Mark Strano for TIGER ORANGE.”

Screenwriting
“For her commitment to honesty and vulnerability with hilarious and poignant results, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Screenwriting in a US Dramatic Feature Film goes to Desiree Akhavan for APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR.”

Feature Film
“For taking us into a dynamic world full of rich and flawed characters with unexpected journeys, the 2014 Outfest Grand Jury Award for US Dramatic Feature Film goes to DRUNKTOWN'S FINEST directed by Sydney Freeland.”