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'Happy Endings' for the Los Angeles Film Festival

June 28, 2005|Kevin Crust | Times Staff Writer

The 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival came to a close Sunday night with a screening of Don Roos' "Happy Endings" and the presentation of this year's awards. The festival presented 266 films, including 77 features, during its 11-day run. Events and screenings stretching from downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica pier drew an estimated 60,000 attendees.

The festival's top juried prizes, the Target Filmmaker and Target Documentary awards and the accompanying $50,000 cash prizes, went to Mark Banner's "Jellysmoke," about an African American man's search for love, for best narrative feature, and Beth Bird's "Everyone Their Grain of Sand," an exploration of a small Mexican town's struggle with the government to obtain education, electricity and water, for best feature documentary. The narrative jury also tapped Catherine Kellner and Ebon Moss-Bachrach, the stars of Leslie McCleave's "Road," for outstanding performance among competition films.

Audience awards went to Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" for best narrative feature, David Zeiger's "Sir! No Sir!" for best documentary and Luc Jacquet's "March of the Penguins" for best international feature. The Oscar-winning "Ryan" by Chris Landreth was the audience's choice for best short. July and Jacquet's films both opened Friday and are currently in theaters.

Jury awards also went to "La Vie d'un Chien" by John Harden for best narrative short and Gaelle Denis' "City Paradise" for best animated short. There was a tie for best documentary short between "Lawn" by Monteith McCollum and "Undressing My Mother" by Ken Wardrop.

Saturday night, the festival presented the Spirit of Independence Award to George Clooney as well as announcing that it will be relocating in 2006 from its traditional perch at 8000 Sunset Blvd. to Westwood, where it will partner with the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, the Hammer Museum and the village's movie houses.

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