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Awards for Talent at Method Fest

Method Fest returned to the San Fernando Valley in late August for the first time in 10 years with screenings on the rooftop outdoor deck at Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks.    On the evening of Aug. 30 the festival presented its awards for the feature and short films, actors, actresses and directors. “Beautiful Dreamer,” a dramedy about a group of Bay Area friends that explores the messy secrets and complicated nature of parenthood and the modern family, came away with three awards, the most of the festival. They included Amy Glazer for best director; Wendie Malick for best supporting actress; and Louie Ozawa for best supporting actor. “Party With Me,” about a young woman coping with the death of her father by distracting herself with alcohol, drugs and the antics of her misguided friends,” scored with two awards. They included best ensemble cast and the Festival Directors Award for best film. Festival Director Don Franken said in an interview with the Busines Journal that “Party With Me” was a well put together film with great direction, incredible acting, a strong story and was made on a low budget. “That was a film that we wanted to give special recognition to,” Franken said. The festival went well, Franken added, although there were some challenges on the first night with the parking situation and an inflatable screen onto which the films were projected. More power sources had to be brought in and lights had to be dimmed to make the picture as perfect as possible, he said. “After that first night, things went very smoothly,” Franken said. “The crowds were good, particularly the first few days.” Method Fest bills itself as the only major film festival in the United States focused on acting. Its mission is to celebrate breakout acting performances in story-driven independent films. In its first 13 years, Method Fest has launched more than 140 films into the marketplace – including theatrical distribution, DVD/video release and TV deals – and brought attention to acting talent such as Naomi Watts, Jena Malone, Ellen Page and Kristin Stewart. This year’s program featured films from both U.S. and international directors that made their West Coast, U.S. or world premieres. Other award-winning films from this year’s Method Fest included Jackson Rathbone for best actor in feature film “The Wall of Mexico”; Patrycja Planik for best actress in a feature film for “Lillian”; John Meyers for best screenplay for “Being Dead”; “Stitches” and “Scent of My Daughter” for best foreign language films; and Kate Hackett for best director of a short film for “Oleander.” For the Audience Awards this year, the voting was done online. Franken was careful to make sure people didn’t vote multiple times, he added. “The film ‘Breaking Them Up’ just edged out ‘Party With Me,’ in that category,” Franken said. “For short film, it was ‘A Perfect Circle’ that won easily.”

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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