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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 

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Black Tie International:
 Palm Beach Film Festival

Robert Roth, Executive Director David Lynch Foundation (DLF), Producer "Meditation, Creativity, Peace"Jessica Wisk, DLF

Robert Roth, Executive Director David Lynch Foundation (DLF), Producer "Meditation, Creativity, Peace"
Jessica Wisk, DLF
Joanna Plafsky
Anne Metzger
Adam Pressman, DLF
Bill Metzger, Chairman Palm Beach Film Institute


 Palm Beach Film Festival
Photo by: Studio Palm Beach/ Corby



* * *



It was a true celebration of film as the Palm Beach International Film Festival celebrated its 18th installment with tremendous success. Despite being faced with serious financial adversity, PBIFF thrived in the true spirit of independent film camaraderie as filmmakers from around the world enjoyed welcoming audiences, shared their experiences and attended fabulous parties!

After a week of screenings, festivities and fanfare, the votes were tallied to determine the winners for Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, while audiences voted for their favorite in categories of features, documentaries and shorts. Winners were announced at the closing night screening.

The Award for Best Feature Film went to Lonely Boy, directed by Dale Fabrigar about the romantic misadventures of a schizophrenic bachelor. Alev Aydin wrote and starred in the film. Aydid was there to accept the award.

The Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor, directed by John Wager. Five severely wounded Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were given the opportunity to explore their experiences through the healing power of humor. This film follows their journey as they work with professional comedy writers and A-List comedians Zach Galifianakis, Lewis Black, Bob Saget, and B.J. Novak, who help them write and perform their own personal stand-up comedy routines. This exciting venture gives them new comedic perspectives from which to view their injuries and their lives, and culminates in one big night performing at one of LA's top comedy clubs. Producer Ray Reo was there
 to accept the award.

The Award for Best Short Film went to Sahasi Chori, directed by Erin Galey. A dramatic thriller exploring con-artists of the sex industry, Sahasi Chori follows Bhumika, a 13-year-old Nepali girl, traveling with her family friend Krishna from her Himalayan home to her first job in the city. This story is inspired by the director's firsthand experience traveling the roads of Nepal and India, and meeting survivors of sex trafficking.

The PBIFF Audience Favorite Award for Best Feature went to As High as the Sky, directed by Nikki Braendlin. Margaret has always been a little particular. But since being dumped by her fiancée, her obsessive compulsive behaviors are in overdrive. The last thing she needs is company. Showing up on her doorstep unannounced is Margaret's nomadic older sister Josephine, with ten-year-old daughter Hannah in tow, initially an unwanted jolt to her carefully regulated life. But their playfulness eventually wins Margaret over and she begins to loosen her neurotic control on life. However, when Margaret discovers the real reason for her sister's visit. She's forced to confront the betrayed... and the long suppressed grief at the roof of her
 fastidious behaviors.

There was a tie for Audience Favorite Award for Best Documentary, both of which were World Premieres. The winners were Bearing Witness: the Voices of Our Survivors and Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist.

Bearing Witness: the Voices of Our Survivors shares the collective stories of six Holocaust survivors from Germany, Poland, Greece, Netherlands, and Hungary whom endured anti-Semitism, Kristallnacht, life in hiding, ghettos, camps, and death marches. Director Heather Elliott-Famularo was there to accept the award.

Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist takes a look at the controversial Iranian caricaturist and his struggles with artistic freedom. Director Bahman Maghsoudlou was there to accept the award.

The Audience Favorite Award for Best Short Film went to The Color of Christmas, directed by Cyrus Kowsari about a man who walks through hell to deliver the Christmas his daughter wants.

The Audience Favorite Award for Best of Florida went to The Shift, directed by Lee Cipolla and starring Leo Oliva, Casey Fitzgerald, and Danny Glover about one 12-hour shift in the ER where a veteran nurse, who struggles with the haunting guilt of his brother's drowning, is forced to train a new nurse.

The 18th edition closed with Bruce Mason?s Chez Upshaw, starring Illeana Douglas and Kevin Pollack, about an endlessly bickering but truly devoted and quirky couple who run a B&B that's about to sink when along comes the opportunity of a lifetime... they turn it into a 'check in, don't check out' last resort for assisted suicides . Director Mason and Illeana Douglas attended the screening and
 Wrap Party.

The Palm Beach International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization supporting film programs in local schools and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of future filmmakers by helping them fulfill their dreams to one-day work in the world of film.
 For more information, please call (561) 362-0003
 or visit the festival web site at

Bobby Roth

Bobby Roth
Joanna Plafsky
Yvonne Boise, Chairwoman Palm Beach International Film Festival
Bill Metzger, Chairman Palm Beach Film Institute


Debra Caldwell Murphy,donna preudhomme

Debra Caldwell Murphy,
Donna Preudhomme, President Show Inc.


Debra Caldwell, Joanna Plafsky

 M J Moran, Taira Blankenship

 M J Moran, Taira Blankenship

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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