Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Omaha Film Festival 2008 – Sunday, Day 7

The last day of the festival. We made it. The day started with encore presentations of the two excellent films “Jetsam” and “Placebo.” The “Placebo” screening was a lot of fun and everyone responded well to the film and the Q&A session with filmmakers Keith and Faith, despite the fact that Keith was extremely sick and was essentially a zombie for the entire festival. Why can’t we live in a warmer climate?!

After the screenings, we had our third annual awards ceremony. The attendance was great and the ceremony was a lot of fun. This year for the first time we brought in “professionals” to emcee the event. On air personalities Brian Mastre and Rachel Pierce from WOWT (NBC) hosted the event and brought a professionalism that we don’t typically have ourselves (thanks guys). I think the crowd enjoyed the event and it was great to see the audience respond to some of the announcements.

The winners were:
Screenplay Awards
Short Length Screenplay – “Zaid’s Cup” by Kimberly Coleman
Feature Length Screenplay – “The Third Realm” by Nino Del Pesco
Nebraska Screenplay – “This Old Porch” by Jim Christensen

Jury Prizes
Feature Film – “The Flyboys” directed by Rocco DeVilliers
Documentary – “The Listening Project” directed by Dominic Howes, Joel Weber
OFF the EDGE – “The Wretched” directed by Daniel B. Iske
Short Film – “Validation” directed by Kurt Kuenne
Animated Short Film – “Ark” directed by Grzegorz Jonkajtys
Nebraska Short Film – “Temper Espresso” directed by John Albrecht

Audience Choice Prizes
Feature Film – “The Flyboys” directed by Rocco DeVilliers
Documentary – “Strongest Ever” produced by Ben Crane, Christopher Lavigne, Colleen Evanson, Jacqueline Willemsen
Short Film – “The Replacement Child” directed by Justin Lerner

After the ceremony, we had encore screenings of “The Flyboys” as the audience choice feature film, “The Replacement Child” as the audience choice short film and “Strongest Ever” the audience choice documentary.

And then, we rested. Okay, not really, instead we went out to Heidelberg’s for our closing night party and I ended up staying there until after the Oscars. I set a camera up and we did a few interviews as well as a couple of interesting audio-only interviews that will show up on the podcast. Fun night and a great way to wrap up an incredible week.

Thanks so much to everyone that attended the festival this year. We had so many of our All Access pass holders attending so many films. Much love and respect to those that “get it” and understand that the only way to keep something like this going is to continue to support it. The more people that attend our events, the better experience it is for the filmmakers that travel to get here and it certainly makes all of the hard work in putting on such an event feel worth while.

Additional huge thanks to Julie Matthews and all of the volunteers for keeping the festival running smoothly. Jeremy, Jason and I didn’t have to worry about that part of the festival because we knew it would run smoothly with their involvement. So many of the volunteers put in so many hours over the last several weeks and their contribution absolutely did not go unnoticed, and we got tons of compliments on how smoothly things ran. Thanks so much.

Another huge thanks goes to the projectionists. Knowing that the booth was running smoothly allows J, J, and I the ability to participate in the social aspects of the festival that are so important for attendees and filmmakers. Thanks go Jonathan, Dave, Steve, Shaun, Aaron, Ben, Chris, Eric, and Ken.

We absolutely can’t do the festival without those two groups of people. Okay, more thank yous to come over the next few days. Right now I should sleep.


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