Gasparilla International Film Festival wraps with honors
A tense financial drama and a breezy rom-com led the tenth annual Gasparilla International Film Festival to a flashy, feted conclusion Sunday night.
Before the closing selection Everybody Wants Some!! and a Ritz Ybor blowout, the festival awarded prizes decided by grand jury and audience ballots. (Full disclosure: As a jury member, I had a vote.)
First the jury awards:
The Debt starring Stephen Dorff as a shady international financier was voted best international feature, and The Truth About Lies earned best narrative feature honors. Ron Chapman's Cuban music chronicle The Forbidden Shore was chosen as the festival's top documentary.
Christy Carlson Romano's turn in the odd romantic comedy Bear With Us earned best female performance honors, while Joel Kelley Dauten won male honors for Remember Me.
Other grand jury selctions include Dooder in the Lighthouse (best Florida production), Come Away With Me (best short), and Short Hush (best college production).
Awards selected by audiences throughout the five-day festival include:
Bear With Us, directed by former St. Petersburg resident William J. Stribling, earned festivalgoers' top narrative feature prize, for its tale of a marriage proposal interrupted by an angry bear.
Moviegoers chose a different Cuba-themed documentary than the jury as its favorite, going with Craving Cuba, directed by Zuzy Martin Lynch.
Corey Horton's comedy Waiting on Mary earned the crowd's best Florida production award, and Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship was named top international feature.
Lionheart was selected best short, while Dixie was voted the best college short prize.