Both Payne (pictured below right) and Weinstein (left) will receive their awards at the Directors Showcase on June 14, the last night of the six-day fest.
Payne, who went on to achieve that rare mix of critical success and audience appreciation from his films — "Citizen Ruth," "Election," "Sideways" and "The Descendants" among them — will return to campus as an alumnus of UCLA's MFA program (Class of 1990).
TFT's Filmmaker of the Year Award "honors filmmakers who tell stories with a voice and vision that impact the way people look at the human condition and demonstrate the spirit and message of the of the independent filmmaker," the fest noted in its release.
Meanwhile, Weinstein will receive TFT's Champion Spirit Award that night at the Directors Guild event in recognition of his "courage, integrity, insight, inspiration and dedication to the fostering of new talent" over the course of his career. The Weinstein Company co-chairman was picked by students to be this year's Champion Spirit Award winner.
The fest will end with a screening of 10 live-action and animated Spotlight award-winning films by students. Those projects and their budding auteurs are: "Chocolate Milk" by Eliza Kintz, "88 Miles to Moscow" by Karen Glienke, "Jeff the Robot" by Adam Holmes, "Just One Look" by Cory Miller, "Born to Dance This Way" by Jerell Rosales, "The Secret Life of Shirts" by Eric Leppo, "Dog Meet Goose" by Jonathan Crawford, "I Feel Stupid" by Milena Pastreich, "Detras Del Espejo" ("Behind the Mirrors") by Julio Ramos and "Marginal Superheroes" by Simon Savelyev.