After screening 85 films from 32 countries over nine days, the 10th annual Bermuda International Film Festival, which ran March 16-24, 2007, drew to a close on Saturday night.
Following a screening of the closing film “Eagle vs. Shark,” the first film by Kiwi stand-up comedian Taika Waititi, winners of the juried prizes and the audience award were announced during the closing night festivities.
The Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Award for Best Narrative Feature was chosen by jurors writer/actor Carrie Fisher and actor/director/producer Richard Dreyfuss. A tie was announced and the two films sharing the title were Dror Shaul’s “Sweet Mud” and Sean Ellis’s “Cashback.”
“Sweet Mud” was a winner for Fisher because “I love films that are made from the point of view of children. The child in the film has a mentally ill mother, and tries so hard to make his mother okay. When that proved impossible, he got away. Ultimately, ‘Sweet Mud’ is a very sad but hopeful film. It is a dark film with a light at the end of the tunnel. The story is very inventive.” For Dreyfuss, “Cashback” made sense because, “the film had a perfect whimsy that didn’t try to become something that it was not. The ambition of the film has a narrow niche … and it hit the mark, it did not become unbalanced. It had a strong script, and it was exactly right.”
Documentary filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Lucina Spurling announced “Cats of Mirikitani,” directed by Linda Hattendorf, as the winner of the Best Documentary. Nelson said of the winning film, “The film works on many levels to blend history and a story of personal suffering. From the natural beginning of an unlikely friendship it takes us on a fantastic journey to reaffirm the redemptive power of caring and understanding.” Special mentions went to “Living with Lew” and “Beyond the Call.”