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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

CineVegas Award Winners

Easier with Practice Receives Grand Jury Prize
Godspeed and Etienne! Receive Special Jury Awards
All In: The Poker Movie Awarded Documentary Jury Award
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo Wins Special Documentary Jury Award
Full press release after the jump …


CINEVEGAS ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR 11th ANNUAL FESTIVAL
Easier with Practice Receives Grand Jury Prize
Godspeed and Etienne! Receive Special Jury Awards
All In: The Poker Movie Awarded Documentary Jury Award
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo Wins Special Documentary Jury Award
Las Vegas, NV (June 14, 2009) – The 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival announced its jury award winners today at the CineVegas Awards Reception, where Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, George and Mike Kuchar, Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago were also honored.
Festival winners included Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s Easier with Practice, which received the Grand Jury Prize; Godspeed was acknowledged with an Exceptional Artistic Achievement Award for Cory Knauf, Joseph McKelheer and Robert Saitzyk; and Jeff Mizushima with the Filmmaker to Watch Award for his film Etienne!
Additionally, the Grand Jury Prize for Pioneer Documentaries was awarded to Douglas Tirola’s All In: The Poker Movie, with a Special Jury Award for Artistic Vision going to Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo.
Feature Jury Competition
This year’s feature jury was presided over by indieWIRE editor-in-chief and co-founder Eugene Hernandez, writer/director Jody Hill, The Associated Press film critic Christy Lemire and film journalist Glenn Whipp.
The Grand Jury Prize went to Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s Easier With Practice. While on a road trip to promote his unpublished novel, Davy Mitchell finds himself falling for a mysterious phone sex caller.
An Exceptional Artistic Achievement Award was given to Cory Knauf for Godspeed. Directed by Saitzyk, Godspeed is an intense, dramatic thriller set in the lingering light of the Alaskan midnight sun.
Jeff Mizushima was also given a Filmmaker to Watch Award for his film Etienne! After Richard’s best and only friend, a dwarf hamster named Etienne, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to take his pocket pet on a bicycle road trip up the California coast to show it the world before he must put it to sleep.
Documentary Jury Competition
Producer/Director Heather Rae, Senior Editor of Features for Variety Sharon Swart and Bob Tourtellotte, editor-in-charge for entertainment for Reuters news service, made up the Pioneer Documentaries Jury.
The Documentary Jury Award went to Douglas Tirola’s All In: The Poker Movie, which tells the story of poker focusing on why one of our nation’s oldest games has had a renaissance in the past decade and why for so many people poker is a way to chase the American Dream.
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, directed by Jessica Oreck, was awarded with a Special Documentary Jury Prize for Artistic Vision. Working backwards through history, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo solves the mystery of the development of Japan’s cultural obsession with bugs.
Shorts Jury
Emily Doe, associate editor/producer for Wholphin, Denver Film Society Festival Director Britta Erickson and film and culture writer Stu VanAirsdale made up this year’s shorts jury.
Destin Daniel’s Short Term 12 received the CineVegas Short Film Jury Prize while Justin Nowell’s Acting for the Camera won a special Grand Jury Prize in Directing. The jury also acknowledged Markus Kirschner’s Communion with the CineVegas Nevada Short Film Jury Prize.
About CineVegas
The 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival will be held June 10 – 15, 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres in Las Vegas. The CineVegas Film Festival is a platform for artists and art lovers who are drawn to the edge. Held amidst the unique, unpredictable and intoxicating environment that is Las Vegas, the CineVegas Film Festival pushes the boundaries of cinema. The Festival annually presents work by innovative, uninhibited, and renegade artists to an audience of local and national film lovers, journalists, and film industry representatives. Robin Greenspun serves as the festival’s President, Trevor Groth serves as Artistic Director and Dennis Hopper serves as the Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board. For more information on the CineVegas Film Festival, please call 888-8VEGAS8 or visit www.cinevegas.com.

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