Winners of third annual Imperial Valley Film Festival celebrate victories
Director Ruben Marrufo's documentary film "Here We Stand" was awarded "Best depiction of Valley life" at the awards ceremony of the Imperial Valley Film Festival and Artist Showcase at Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro on Saturday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / August 3, 2013)
This year was no different as the panel of judges handed out nine awards following a day of screenings, workshops and discussions at the Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro.
“I look around and I see a lot more people than I did last year and the year before,” said Raul Celaya, one of the five judges. “It’s great to see the community supporting the artist. Thank you for letting us be a part of your creations.”
Holtville native Rob Padilla received the first award of the evening when the music video he directed earned an honorable mention.
“It’s really awesome,” Padilla said of his win and festival experience. “I really liked all the workshops and meeting people from here who will be able to help me, or maybe I’ll be able to help them. It’s great.”
El Centro native Bryan Shaw took home an award for his work with the documentary, “How We Made Love.”
“This (festival) is sort of what kick-started my career,” said Shaw, the documentary’s editor, co-director and co-cinematographer. “You can mix and mingle and find that small gap in the door to push your foot through.”
The festival’s top prize went to the short film “Adverso,” which was accepted by Paola Fernandez, as the director was out of town.
“I was very surprised,” said Fernandez, the short film’s production assistant. “It was cool to see the process from the first draft to the last draft and to (the festival).”
First-time judge Jason Durdon said he was impressed by all the entries in this year’s festival and was surprised to learn a number of them were made by students.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but the level of talent was definitely impressive,” Durdon said. “They are paying more attention to the story, and for young filmmakers that is quite impressive.”
Charla Teeters-Stewart, commissioner of the Imperial County Film Commission, said she already has been receiving inquiries about next year’s festival and is looking forward to seeing it continue to grow.
“It started off as a grassroots effort that has been able to grow through networking and connections,” she said. “It’s fun to see familiar faces each year. We’ve sort of become this fine-tuned unit that enjoys putting it on for the community and the artists.”
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Show “Adverso,” director Ruben Guillermo Garcia Martinez, short film
Best depiction of life in the Valley “Here We Stand,” director, Ruben G. Marrufo, documentary
Best actress “Snow Birds,” Sara Nuñez, director Kirk Anderson, short film
Best cinematography “Broken Knuckles,” director Justin Burquist, short film
Best editing “Leather and Grace,” director Fernando Garcia, music video
Best direction “Tea Spoon,” director Jasmine Hoshino, short film
Best documentary “How We Made Love,” director Mark Polish, documentary
Honorable mention “Let Loose,” director Rob Padilla, music video
Honorable mention “Movie Lovers,” director Justin Burquist, short film