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Big Bear Film Summit Wraps Up Second Edition


Winners of the Audience Awards and the Screenplay competitions will be announced on Wednesday.

Big Bear Film Summit Wraps Up Second Edition

The 2nd Big Bear Film Summit announced its filmmaker awards during a Sunday afternoon ceremony at Big Bear Bar and Grill (42164 Moonridge Rd.) as BBFS wrapped up the three-day in-person/in-theater portion of the hybrid event which successfully brought the film festival experience back to the Big Bear Lake area. Lane Michael Stanley's Addict Named Hal took the jury prize for Best Narrative Feature Film and the Chris Hite and Dennis Ford's Firestorm '77: The True Story of the Honda Canyon Fire won the Best Documentary Feature Film award. Winning films will be available for virtual encore viewings by the public for another week here.

Following the ceremony, which included the presentation of one of a kind, hand blown glass awards created by Mike Mendez (Glazed and Amused Gift Shop) to the winners of select categories, Co-Founders Gabriel Horn and Michael P Hanson, said, "As filmmakers AND film fans ourselves, it was a thrill to see this this weekend instantly become a joyous coming together of the people who make the films with the people who love the films. Big Bear once again lived up to its reputation as a place that embraces the moviemaking spirit, with a rustic setting that is beloved by the people that make those movies. Our award winners exemplified that spirit, both with their wonderful films and with how they immediately felt at home in this amazing locale. We absolutely expect to see several of them returning to make their next films here."

The thought-provoking drama Welcome to the Show was a two-time winner, with Dorie Barton winning the award for Best Director - Feature Film and the film's cast winning the Best Ensemble award. Jared Jay Mason and Clark Runciman's locally shot and produced The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord won the inaugural Big Bear Mountain Made Award. Best International Narrative Feature went to Brent Baird and Becker Brothers' Canadian-produced Seeking Oblivion, while Best International Documentary Feature went to Christina Hogarth's Australian-produced With Flying Colours. The feature film awards were rounded out by the presentation of the Big Bear Film Summit Rising Star Award to 11-year-old Wolfgang Wincott for his performance in The Issue with Elvis.

Short film winners included the locally shot and produced winner of the Best Narrative Short, Killing Time, directed by Patrick Hogan, Nancye Ferguson's Sue, winner of Best US Documentary Short, and Tathagata Ghosh's Indian produced drama The Meat, which took the prize for Best International Narrative Short Film. Tracie Laymon won the Best Short Film Director nod for her work on Ghosted, and Best Ensemble Cast went to Jesserey Tugas' All In.

Additional awards included; Best Music Video, which went to Stephen Foster's Dream Vacation; Best Experimental Film, which was won by Dan Parks' America: Socially Speaking, Best Animation, which was taken by Bryan Beasley's The Gherm Guys; and Best Student Film, which was won by Joshua Gravitt and Anthony Alyassi's Back the Way We Came.

Completing the awards ceremony was the presentation on the inaugural Big Bear Film Summit Lifetime Achievement Award in Film & Television to legendary Casting Director Mary Jo Slater. Slater, who earlier in the day took part in a casting workshop with friends and casting professionals Jenny O'Haver, Susan Turner, Michelle Gabriel, and Sharon Gytri, told the very funny story of her first job in casting which due to leaving Neil Simon on the hold too long, ended her job answering phones, yet launched her casting director career with an assignment to cast Simon's next play.

From the enthusiastic reception on Opening Night to Stanley's deeply affecting drama Addict Named Hal, to world premieres of Charlotte Wincott's The Issue with Elvis, Sri Charan's Half & Half, and Bentley Doyle's In Their Honour, to the lively post-screening discussion following the Comedy Shorts program and Barton's Welcome to the Show, the Big Bear Film Summit demonstrated that beyond the gorgeous destination appeal of the Big Bear Lake area, there is a strong base of film lovers happy to forego the draw of the mountains to spend some time inside a theater and be introduced to great and entertaining independent films.

Winners of the Audience Awards and the Screenplay competitions will be announced on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: John Wildman

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