The Cannes Independent Film Festival Announces 2010 Awards

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The Cannes Independent Film Festival announced its awards today, concluding a 10-day festival which showcased the best of low-budget filmmaking.

Natalie Eleftheriadis in BIRTHDAY

The Cannes Independent Film Festival announced its awards today, concluding a 10-day festival which showcased the best of low-budget filmmaking. The festival, which runs alongside but is completely independent of the Festival de Cannes, keeps its focus on celebrating indie filmmakers.

First-time UK director Becky Preston took CIFF's award for Best Film for her afterlife drama LOVELORN shot for €200k. Australian actress Natalie Eleftheriadis won the festival's Best Actor award for her lead role in the prostitution drama BIRTHDAY. Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu won Best Short Film for her post-apocalypse short PUMZI. And rounding out an awards list dominated this year by female filmmakers, American documentarian Cassie Jaye took Best Documentary for her DADDY I DO, shot for €20k, which explores the abstinence movement in America

Winning writer-director Becky Preston said "It's superb to win at CIFF -- a festival that really recognises great indie talent. As first-time feature team, winning Best Film means a great deal us. A huge thank you to CIFF for their support of independent films"

During the festival run from May 12 to 22, the Cannes Independent Film Festival screened over 40 features and 90 short films, showcasing indie filmmakers from all over the world. The majority of the screenings took place in the 50-seat screening room at the CIFF Villa, just off the Croisette, but CIFF films also screened at the Palais des Festivals and other top screening venues in Cannes. The CIFF Villa also housed 6 teams of participating filmmakers during the festival.

"We felt the time was right to inject a bit of indie film power into Cannes. The response from filmmakers, film lovers and the industry has been overwhelmingly positive and we're all looking forward to seeing the festival grow" said festival director Erich Schultz.

With the mission of integrating low-budget indie films into the lifeblood of the Cannes experience, the Cannes Independent Film Festival works to level the playing field for new filmmakers to get their works shown, and sold, in Cannes.

Actress Natalie Eleftheriadis, who also produced BIRTHDAY, used the screening at CIFF as a jumping off point for selling her film to buyers gathered for the Marché du Film. She, and the film's director James Harkness, spent their days working the Croisette, enticing sales agents and buyers to attend BIRTHDAY's screening at the CIFF Villa. Eleftheriadis said "Being a part of CIFF has provided a unique 'entree' into the market with its boutique, intimate screening facility and wonderfully supportive indie filmmaker vibe. Participating in the festival has generated considerable buzz for our film, and we have planted the seeds for many future international collaborations. The Cannes Independent is a gem in the festival circuit."

Full information about the festival can be found at:
http://www.cannesfest.org

Contact in Cannes, festival director Erich Schultz on info(at)cannesfest(dot)org

A list of CIFF winners:

Best Film: Becky Preston for LOVELORN (UK)

Best Micro-Budget film: Mercy Malick for TALES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ELVIS! (USA)

Best No-Budget film: Kris De Meester for FOUR ROSES (Belgium)

Best actor: Natalie Eleftheriadis for BIRTHDAY (Australia)

Best Horror / Sci Fi: Till Kleinert for LANGE NACHT (Germany)

Best Documentary: Cassie Jaye for DADDY I DO (USA)

Best Short Film: Wanuri Kahiu for PUMZI (South Africa)

Best Short Documentary: Mike Walter BREAKING NEWS BREAKING DOWN (USA)

Best Animated Short Film: Sen Wong for SATAY SATAY (Malaysia)

Best Music Video: Robert Powers for TEST (USA)

This text and press photos can be found at:
http://press.cannesfest.org

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Erich Schultz
CIFF
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