11th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Announces Award Winners

“The Bad Penny” Wins Golden Palm Award”; “Chicago 8” Wins Audience Award for Best Feature; “Polish Bar” Wins Jury Award for Best Feature & Best Actor, Judd Hirsch -- Actor Jon Voight Receives 4th Annual Legends Award
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Beverly Hills Film Festival
Bhff 2011
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Awards Gala



April 11, 2011 - PRLog -- BEVERLY HILLS, CA (April 11, 2010) – Last night, at the 11th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival (BHFF) closing Gala Awards ceremony, “The Bad Penny,” a feature-length drama directed by Todd Bellanca, starring Tom Arnold and Bai Ling, received the Golden Palm Award.  The Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film went to “The Chicago 8,” from writer/director Pinchas Perry, starring Danny Masterson, Gary Cole and Orlando Jones.  The Jury Award for Best Feature Film went to “Polish Bar” from director Ben Berkowitz.  “Polish Bar” star Judd Hirsch also won the prize for Best Actor.  “Espera un Milagro,” a documentary from Spanish director Gemma Ventura also won two prizes for Best Director and Best Foreign Film.  The event was held at the The Four Seasons Hotel, located at 300 South Doheny, and featured over 200 distinguished guests.  

The 4th annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Legends Award was presented to Oscar-winning movie star Jon Voight (“Coming Home,” “Deliverence,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Catch 22,” ”Mission Impossible,” “National Treasure”).  Voight was presented the award by friend and producer Avi Arad, founder of Marvel Studios (“Silver Surfer,” “Iron Man,” “Spiderman”).

Voight addressed the audience saying, “We are in difficult times, but movies always are an important part of the economy, and they always lift us, especially films that impact truth.”

Voight presented the 2011 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honoring icon of French cinema, Jean Vigo (1905-1934), to his daughter and film critic Luce Vigo, who flew in from Paris for the event.

President of the 2011 BHFF Jury was Steven Paul (Crystal Sky, CEO & President).  Jurors included agent Matt DelPiano (CAA), director/screenwriter Josef Rusnak (“The Thirteenth Floor”), casting director Fern Champion, independent producer Jason Price, producer and manager Brian Medavoy (Jackson-Medavoy Entertainment), producer/sales rep Cassian Elwes, Gene George (Starz Media, Exec V.P. Worldwide Distribution), Steve Ransahoff (CEO, Film Finances Inc.).

The five-day festival—featuring premieres, parties and panels—kicked-off Wednesday, April 6th with an Opening Night event at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills.

2011 BHFF recipients were awarded with custom-made crystal and marble trophies.  A complete list follows:

The Golden Palm Award (best film in all categories) went to “The Bad Penny,” directed by Todd Bellanca.    

Best Actor went to Judd Hirsch for his role in “Polish Bar.”

Best Actress went to Saye Yabandeh for “5th and Alameda.”  

Best Producer went to Brett Henenberg, John Nargiso, Quinn Saunders and John Lutz for “Cherry.”

Best Director went to Spanish filmmaker Gemma Ventura for the documentary, “Espera un Milagro."  

Best Foreign Film went to the Spanish film shot in India, “Espera un Milagro” from director Gemma Ventura.

Best Screenplay went to Eric B. Hughes and Elizabeth Regen of “The Fallen Faithful.”

Best Animation went to the short “Blame Cupid Stupid,” directed by Michael Patrick O’Hara.

Best Cinematography went to “Pillow" from filmmakers Miles B. Miller and Joshua H. Miller.

Best Editing went to the drama/thriller “5th and Alameda," directed by Richard Friedman.

Best Short Film went to “The Love Song of Iskra Prufrock" from writer/director Lucy Gaffy.
Best Documentary went to "HN - Hermann Nitsch,” written and directed by Daniela Ambrosoli.
Best Feature Film went to “The Chicago 8" from filmmaker Pinchas Perry.

Best Feature Film went to “Polish Bar," directed by Ben Berkowitz.
Best Documentary went to “Bhopali" from director Van Maximilian Carlson.
Best Short Film went to “Bang” by filmmaker Holle Singer.  

The Golden Palm Screenplay Competition Award went to Michael Mares for “God’s Architect.” The first runner up award went to Nicky Julius for "Erin, Owen, and the Mythfits."  The second runner up award went to “Lenin,” written by Patrick Flenniken.
About BHFF
The annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival was founded in 2001 by award-winning independent filmmaker Nino Simone.  The 11th annual event, taking place from April 6 through 10, 2011, is dedicated to showcasing and promoting non-studio films to the entertainment industry. Designed to bridge the world of premiere independent cinema with the renowned community of Beverly Hills, the festival hosts world-class screenings, networking events and industry seminars. Partners of the 11th Anniversary BHFF include Aqua Beverly Hills, Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Westwood, Premiere Supper Club, Stone Rose Lounge and Voyeur.  Sponsors include Image Metrics Inc., The Hollywood Reporter and Stella Artois.  For more information, please visit www.beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com.

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