The Stony Brook Film Festival hosted its live awards ceremony on Saturday, July 31, at the Staller Center for the Arts, presenting awards to seven films.
Anchorage, an American film directed by Scott Monahan and written by Dakota Loesch, won the Grand Prize, and Willow, from the Republic of North Macedonia written and directed by Milcho Manchevski, won the Jury Award for Best Feature.
Red River Road won the special award for the Spirit of Independent Filmmaking, presented to a filmmaker whose work exemplifies the spirit and breadth of filmmaking where the focus is on the art and most often produced with an extremely limited budget. Written and directed by Paul Schuyler, it is a suspenseful, moody film shot entirely under COVID lockdown by one family — and their dog — that served as the entire cast and crew.
Trey Nelson, director of The 5th Man, received a unique Special Achievement Award for his directorial debut for his documentary on Paul Limmer, a former track coach at Bellmore’s Mepham High School. During his 50-year career, Limmer racked up hundreds of wins, though Nelson focuses on the story of all the other kids — the ones who never felt “seen” — until Paul Limmer came into their lives. It was the first documentary to ever open the Stony Brook Film Festival.
The Castle won the Audience Award for Best Feature, The Saverini Widow won the Jury Award for Best Short and Noisy won the Audience Award for Best Short.
Of the winning films, filmmakers and cast and crew from Anchorage, Red River Road and The 5th Man were in attendance to accept their awards. This year’s festival was one of the only festivals in the world to offer their screenings both in-person and virtually.
Starting August 5, patrons can purchase virtual passes to view the encore screening of the festival on IndieFlix Festivals, from August 5-30. Visit stonybrookfilmfestival.com for more information.
The Staller Center for the Arts also announced that it will be returning in-person for their Live Performing Arts Season, which kicks off on September 25 with Chris Botti, and includes performances by Alan Cumming, Wayne Brady and Sheléa. View the entire season at stallercenter.com.