2016 Jury Award Winners!
Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival is happy to announce the winning films from our jury! A special thanks to our jury members for participating in this year’s festival!
The jury statement is as follows:
The Narrative Jury awarded Best Narrative to “SPA NIGHT” written and directed by Andrew Ahn. The jury valued how this film shed light on the quiet and isolated experience of the main character David Cho’s self-discovery in Los Angeles’ Korean immigrant community. Ahn deftly reveals the present-day challenges of navigating traditional Korean American family, church, and educational values. As the only child of an immigrant family whose family business, a restaurant, does not succeed, the main character surreptitiously takes on a part-time position at a Korean Spa, an integral component of urban Korean American culture. Watching the character’s evolution and discovery of self, gave the film a depth and emotion that was notable amongst the many great films nominated. One nuance particularly appreciated was the portrayal of the main character’s skill in navigating the intercultural interdependence of contemporary Los Angeles. “SPA NIGHT” is an award-worthy film that presents an LGBT story that we don’t see often enough.
In a field of many strong film entrants, the jury awarded an Honorable Mention to Italian entrant “ARIANNA,” co-written and directed by Carlo Lavagna, on the strength of the film’s rarely-seen content. The superb acting by Ondina Quadri as the titular character and spellbinding script by Lavagna, Barzine, and Salsa allowed the audience to understand the painful struggle of self-awareness elevating this film above and beyond the standard “coming of age” narrative.
For best documentary, our jury selected “MAJOR!,” directed by Annalise Ophelian. “MAJOR!” is a film biography of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a longtime transgender activist, a participant in the Stonewall Rebellion, and the leader of the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project, which advocates for and provides resources to incarcerated transgender women of color. Ophelian’s film paints a nuanced portrait of a complex figure who doesn’t conform to any one simple identity, and it gives voice to a wide range of transgender people who often have no chance to tell their own stories. It is a vivid, thoughtful, and moving film.
Our jury also gives a special mention to “FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER,” a fascinating exploration of an important but under-appreciated avant-garde artist and the times and artistic circles in which she has lived.