PBIFF Honorees: Ben Gazzara, Shohreh Aghdashloo,
Michael Clarke Duncan and Joan Benedict Steiger
Photo by Ray Mickshaw
THAT'S A WRAP! FEST CLOSES WITH AWARDS AND ONE
A South Florida style soiree saw the 9th Annual
Palm Beach International Film Festival draw to a
close last night. John C. McGinley, most recently
recognized as Dr. Perry Cox on the hit NBC comedy
"Scrubs," hosted the Closing Night Awards
Filmmakers toasted a successful fest that brought
more than 130 films as well as a number of special
events to Palm Beach County. Nearly 14,000 enthusiastic
filmgoers enjoyed a week of films from all genres.
It all began last week when Nia Vardalos and director
Michael Lembeck walked the red carpet at the Muvico
Parisian theatre at CityPlace for their new film
"Connie and Carla."
The star power continued with the Grand Awards Gala
held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club on Saturday
night. The evening paid tribute to the late Rod
Steiger and presented awards to three of today's
talents. Ben Gazzara received the Legend Award for
more than five decades of work in film; Shohreh
Aghdashloo received the Horizon Award, which recognizes
an emerging talent, for her role in "House
of Sand and Fog;" and Michael Clarke Duncan
was presented with the Career Achievement Award
for his many powerful roles in film.
At the core of the fest were the filmmakers themselves.
Palm Beach County residents as well as film fans
who traveled from far and wide for the week-long
celebration of film were offered an unparalled opportunity
to view independent films and meet the creative
minds behind them.
Gratification also came for festival director Randi
Emerman. "The goal of the festival is to bring
out quality films in the form of shorts, documentaries
and features. We are also here to give back to the
community. This year we succeeded in accomplishing
both!" Proceeds from the festival are given
to the Palm Beach County schools' film and television
programs to provide new technologies for optimal
learning in the forms of grants and scholarships.
In addition to the funds for youth in the community,
bringing the art of filmmaking to Palm Beach County
is another goal. Filmmakers interested in using
Palm Beach County for filming purposes were able
to see the area thanks to the festival staff and
local indie filmmakers who guided them around beautiful