IIFC awards program shows sophistication

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Tracy Galmidi and Marlene Mc’Cohen, who won an Indie Spirit award for their film “The One,” stand in front of the screen announcing each honor. Photo by Peter Szabadi


The Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema awards ceremony showed a new level of sophistication and seamless management.

Especially polished were the full-screen graphics behind each award, the music played as award recipients walked from the audience to the stage and the seamless sharing of award introductions.

Sharing introductions were guest host Anne Archer, Festival Founder, Director and Chairman Stephen Savage, and Executive Producer Trinity Houston. The awards ceremony was no longer in its early adolescence. It was grown-up, smooth, spirited and on a par with far longer established festivals.

Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington said he was thrilled to attend. “It is such an honor to have an award named after me,” said Washington. “This district and the entire community up here is absolutely stunning, and if I can play just a small part in helping to add to the richness and creativity of this town and festival, I am honored.”

Representatives from the Riverside County Film Commission attended and lauded the festival and Idyllwild’s long history as a filmmaking location as helping to attract more film production to the county.

Academy Award Nominee Archer added a shimmering level of grace and warmth as a guest host.

And acceptance speeches were heartfelt and meaningful. Especially noteworthy was 18-year-old Erik Hirschhorn’s Best Director, Short Film acceptance speech for “Standpoint.” The film centers on a young married Jewish ballerina in Nazi-occupied Poland whose danger-fraught journey to Prague for an audition is the centerpiece of the film. Said Hirschhorn in accepting his award, “This film is dedicated to the righteous among the nations — those who put their lives at risk to save the lives of others — people who had their dreams in times of war and fought for those dreams. Please, all of you, speak out against racism and sexism.”

Also noteworthy was how smoothly the acceptances were managed by the onstage hosts, moving the festival forward in a timely fashion that even the Academy Awards producers would admire.

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