Shortly before the Academy Awards were handed out Sunday night honoring the best of Hollywood’s 2013 offerings, Durango Film: An Independent Film Festival wrapped with its own awards ceremony at the Henry Strater Theatre. Unlike the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, however, Durango Film allows audience members to make their own picks that sometimes align with the panel of 12 official jurors, and sometimes don’t.
More than 30 festival filmmakers from the 86 entries made the journey to Durango, but none was still in town by Sunday’s closing ceremony (It was Oscar night, after all). And while executive director Joanie Fraughton said she’s thankful for such a turnout, it was the filmmakers who expressed their thanks.
“They repeatedly told us how warm and welcoming the town was,” she said. “Everyone commented on how wonderful the people in Durango are. I think this was the best year yet, and we hope to build on this year, so we can go all out for our 10th year next year.”
A handful of the winning films will be shown Wednesday and Thursday at the Animas City Theatre for those who missed out over the weekend. The 2014 Durango Film winners, with filmmakers in parentheses:
Best Narrative Feature Film: Jury Award –“Putzel” (Jason Chaet)
Jury Commendation – “One Small Hitch (John Burgess)
Best Documentary Feature: Jury Award – “Rafea: Solar Mama” (Mona Eldaief & Jeahane Noujaim)
Jury Commendation – “Uranium Drive-in” (Suzan Beraza)
Best Documentary Short: Jury Award – “The Apothecary (Helen Hood Scheer)
Jury Commendation – “Can’t Stop the Water” (Jason and Rebecca Ferris)
Best Adventure Sport: Jury Award – “Spice Girl” (Nick Rosen)
Jury Commendation – “High and Hallowed: Everest 1963” (David Morton, Jake Morton)
Best Live Action Short: Jury Award – “Natives” (Jeremy Hersh)
Jury Commendation – “The Last Border” (Daniel Butterworth)
Best Animated Short: Jury Award – “A Tangled Tale” (Corrie Francis Parks)
Jury Commendation – “Estefan” (Jeff Call, Lauren Taylor, & Lauren Oppenlander)
Best Narrative Feature Film: “One Small Hitch”
Best Documentary Film: “Beautiful Faces” (Russell Martin)
Best Adventure Sports Film: “Spice Girl”
Best Short Film (TIE): “Butterfly Dreams” (Venkat Krishnan) and “The Boy and the Bus” (Simon Pitts)
Best Family Film: “Estefan”
Best Native American Film: “Shhh!” (Steven Paul Judd)
Best School Film: “The Numberlys” (Sara Herbert)
Future Filmmaker Award: Nick Brieger for “Don’t Forget to Look on the Inside”
BEST OF THE FEST
Selected award winners from Durango Film: An Independent Film Festival will be shown this week at the Animas City Theatre, 128 E. College Drive.
4 p.m. “A Tangled Tail” (Jury Award – Best Animated Short); “Natives” (Jury Award – Best Live Action Short); “Rafea: Solar Mama” (Jury Award – Best Documentary Feature).
6:30 p.m. “The Apothecary” (Jury Award – Best Documentary Short); “Putzel” (Jury Award – Best Narrative Feature).
4 p.m. “Shhh!” (Audience Award – Best Native American Film); “Estefan” (Audience Award – Best Family Film); “The Numberlys (Audience Award – Best School Film); “Beautiful Faces” (Audience Award – Best Documentary Feature).
6:30 p.m. “Shhh!” (Audience Award – Best Native American Film); “Butterfly Dreams” (Audience Award – Best Short Film); “The Boy and the Bus” (Audience Award – Best Short Film); “High and Hallowed” (Jury Commendation – Adventure Sport Film); “Spice Girl” (Audience Award and Jury Award – Best Adventure Sport).