Highlights from the Awards Ceremony can be seen on the Festival Website.
The 2008 Festival included 121 features and 79 short films from 41 countries. The world competition winners were chosen from 12 narrative and 12 documentary features from 18 countries. Two awards were also given to honor New York films, which were chosen from seven narrative and nine documentary features. Awards were also given for the best narrative, best documentary and student visionary films in the Shorts competition.
In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including American Express, Apple, Cadillac, Delta Air Lines, Edelman Studios, The New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, The New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting the Festival presented the winners with original pieces of art created by 13 acclaimed artists.
Awards Categories and Winners:
- The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Let the Right One In (Lat den rätte komma in), directed by Tomas Alfredson (Sweden). Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Maternal Nocture: Clearing Storm, created by Stephen Hannock.
Jury Comments: “For its mesmerizing exploration of loneliness and alienation through masterful reexamination of the vampire myth.”
- Best New Narrative Filmmaker – My Marlon and Brando” (Gitmek), directed by Hüseyin Karabey (Turkey, Netherlands, UK). Winner receives $25,000 cash, sponsored by American Express, and the art award Bonfire, created by Ross Bleckner.
- Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello in Somers Town directed by Shane Meadows (UK). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Each winner receives a business elite ticket voucher for anywhere Delta travels.
Jury Comments: “For an extraordinary and exhilarating rendering of a friendship found, the Narrative Feature Jury is awarding the Best Actor prize to this magical team.”
- Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Eileen Walsh in Eden, directed by Declan Recks (Ireland). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two business elite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.
Jury Comments: “For her exquisite rendering of a lonely wife aching to be seen and heard.”
- Best Documentary Feature – Pray the Devil Back to Hell, directed by Gini Reticker (USA). Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Liza Minnelli, created by Timothy White.
Jury Comments: “In a relentless pursuit of peace, the women of Liberia show us how community, motherly love and perseverance can change the fate of a society. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a reminder that we have the power to say “Enough!” to the atrocities of our world.”
- Best New Documentary Filmmaker – Old Man Bebo directed by Carlos Carcas (Spain). Winner receives $25,000 cash, sponsored by American Express, and the art award Maquette for Primary Compass, created by Don Gummer.
Jury Comments: “We the jury feel that Carlos Carcas showed us that if you truly have art in your body and soul it will find its way out into the world. We applaud the filmmaker for bringing Old Man Bebo into our consciousness.”
Jury Comments: “For its skillful blending of documentary style with a classic love story and ultimate creation of a truly modern and unlikely international heroine.”