Amélie van Elmbt won best director for Headfirst (La Tête la première) and star Alice de Lencquesaing shared acting honors at the inaugural First Time Fest, a celebration of first time filmmakers that took place in New York City from March 1-4.
Anthony Rapp presented the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award for Headfirst to Belgian filmmaker van Elmbt, who also accepted Lencquesaing's award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting for the role of Zoe in the film. Her producer Frédéric de Goldschmidt joined van Elmbt on stage.
In addition to Sal winning the First Time Fest Grand Prize for director Diego Rougier, David Bravo took home the Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Award for his beautiful cinematography with rich details, surprising touches, and a sense of humour.
Junction director Tony Glazer accepted the second Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award for Neal Bledsoe, for the ferocity of his performance, and playing an unsympathetic character who becomes more and more out of control in a believable way.
The industry jury consisted of B-52s Fred Schneider, author Gay Talese, producer Christine Vachon and Anne-Katrin Titze.
Here are the winners in full, along with why these filmmakers were selected by the jury:
Grand Prize Winner Of Theatrical Distribution From Cinema Libre Studio
Sal Written And Directed By Diego Rougier (Chile/Argentina)
An inventive modern-day western with majestic sweep, great acting, and a lot of surprises.
Outstanding Achievement in Directing
Amélie van Elmbt (Headfirst/La Tête la première) Belgium/France
For balancing a fairy tale quality with genuine believability, as its characters enter a forest, and confront a different world.
Outstanding Achievement in Writing
Max Weissberg (Summertime) USA, Directed by Max Weissberg
For a script showing clarity of vision, great storytelling talent, and sophistication, drawing inspiration from the work of Arthur Schnitzler.
Outstanding Achievement in Acting
Neal Bledsoe (Junction) USA, Directed by Tony Glazer
For the ferocity of the performance, and playing an unsympathetic character who becomes more and more out of control in a believable way.
and Alice De Lencquesaing (Headfirst / La Tête la première) Belgium/France, Directed by Amélie van Elmbt
A star is born. A natural, seemingly effortless performance that makes everything she does convincing.
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
David Bravo (Sal) Chile/Argentina, Directed By Diego Rougier
For beautiful cinematography with rich details, surprising touches, and a sense of humour.
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Jonah Moran, John Young (Zipper) USA, Directed by Amy Nicholson
Fast-paced editing that captures, in a balanced way, a story about humanity in an age of greed. The editing works like The Zipper itself, connecting the ride with the story of Coney Island.
Outstanding Achievement in Scoring
Martin Bossa and Tomás Carnelli (I Love You All / Los Quiero A Todos) Argentina, Directed by Luciano Quilici
A score marked by its precision, use of silence, trust in the place of language, and by its exuberance.
In addition to the Competition Films, First Time Fest presented First Exposure, a series of first films from now prominent filmmakers, with many of them attending to participate in a Q&A. They included The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola), Welcome To The Dollhouse (Todd Solondz), Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson), Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple), The Story Of A Three-Day Pass (Melvin Van Peebles), Pi (Darren Aronofsky), The Maltese Falcon (John Huston), Poison (Todd Haynes), Jack Goes Boating (Philip Seymour Hoffman) The Unbelievable Truth (Hal Hartley), and True Love (Nancy Savoca).
The competition filmmakers who attended are:
Benj Binks (Mongolian Bling), Seth Fisher (Blumenthal), Tony Glazer (Junction), Eliav Lilti (Urban Tale), Amy Nicholson (Zipper), Sophie O’Connor (Submerge), Diego Rougier (Sal) Luciano Quilici (I Love You All), Fredrik Stanton (Uprising), Amélie van Elmbt (Headfirst), Max Weissberg (Summertime).