DALLAS, TX, April 16, 2010 – At the first “Dallas Film Society Honors” presented by the Gail L. and Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation awards event in the four-year history of the DALLAS International Film Festival, Ryan Piers Williams’ THE DRY LAND was announced as the winner of the unrestricted $25,000 cash prize for the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature and Lucy Walker’s WASTE LAND received the unrestricted $25,000 cash prize for the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary Feature.


The Documentary competition jury also gave a Special Jury Prize to Michael Pertnoy’s and Michael Kleiman’s THE LAST SURVIVOR and a Special Mention for Editing (for Claire Didier’s work on the film) to Mark Landsman’s THUNDER SOUL.


DALLAS Star Award recipient John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE) made the presentation of the Target Filmmaker Awards during an evening that also included the presentations of the DALLAS Star Awards to Academy Award nominated director Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) and cinematographer Wally Pfister (BATMAN BEGINS, THE PRESTIGE, THE DARK KNIGHT), as well as the Texas Avery Animation Award to Pete Docter (UP).


Hancock’s award was presented by “Prison Break” producer Garry Brown, Darabont received his award from longtime Dallas area film critic Philip Wuntsch, and Pfister’s DALLAS Star Award has handed to him by longtime friend and Dallas Film Society Chairman Michael Cain. Docter was introduced by REEL FX Entertainment’s Animation Director Bryan Engram.


Dallas Film Society Executive Director Tanya Foster said, “The Dallas Film Society Honors” event was created to provide an exciting and glamorous event honoring our filmmakers to match the presentation and reverence shown them and their films throughout the festival. We are very fortunate that the Gail L. and Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation joined the DFS family and provided us with the means to put on the kind of show that this film festival and frankly, Dallas are known for.”


Matt Harlock’s and Paul Thomas’ AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY was the recipient of MPS Studios’ Texas Filmmaker Award and $20,000 in cash, goods and services. Robert Byington’s HARMONY AND ME received a Special Jury Prize. The presentation was made by MPS Studios’ Meredith Stephens with Bill Hicks’ niece Rachel Hicks on hand to accept the award.


Amy Grappell’s QUADRANGLE won the award for Best Short. Special Jury Prizes went to David Call’s B.U.S.T., Chris Teague’s MONKEYWRENCH and Kelly Sears’ VOICE ON THE LINE. Daniel Elliot’s JADE received a Special Mention for Acting for Aisling Loftus’ performance in the film. The award for Best Student Short went to Beth Spitalny’s PROCESSION. Shorts jurors Jon Korn and Kaz Radwanski presented the awards. Reel FX ENTERTAINMENT XXChief Operating Officer Kyle Clark presented the award for Best Animated Short to Cordell Barker’s RUNAWAY.


Will Cannon’s BROTHERHOOD won the Audience Award for Best Narrative, while Mark Landsman’s THUNDER SOUL won for Best Documentary and T.G. HERRINGTON’s MR. OKRA won the Audience Award for Best Short. DALLAS IFF Artistic Director James Faust and Senior Programmer Sarah Harris presented the awards.

(L – R) Aubin Peterson, Mike Peterson, Jason Crawford (BROTHERHOOD), Rachel Hicks (AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY), Andre Jones (MR. OKRA), Mark Landsman (THUNDER SOUL), Amy Grappell (QUADRANGLE), Ryan O’Nan (THE DRY LAND), Emilia Mello (WASTE LAND), Jason Berman (THE DRY LAND), Michael Nash (CLIMATE REFUGEES)

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