Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF), announced the jury and audience award winners for the 2013 Festival at the Awards Brunch over the weekend. 

Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead was on hand to present the awards.

Congratulations are in order for Kevin Jerome Everson whose documentary Stone, won the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

It’s worth noting that Everson also had a feature film screening at the festival (although it didn’t win any awards) – The Island of Saint Matthews, a 70-minute documentary film that tells the historic tale of the people of Westport, Mississippi, and their continuous struggles with annual flooding from the Tombigbee River, in the 1970s, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intervened to put a stop to the cyclical damage by building a dam, and, in doing so, created the Island of Saint Matthews.

The 7-minute short documentary, Stone, is described as a real-time documentary of a street hustler running a betting game of finding the ball under one of three caps.

In awarding Kevin Jerome Everson the Honolulu Film Office trophy for Best Documentary Short Film, the Jury stated: 

“Documentaries can expose us to the world’s harsh realities, but they can also reveal the beauty and mystery of the everyday. The latter is very true in the case of our winner for Best Documentary Short, which is only seven minutes long but is filled with character detail and suspense. Consisting of only one shot, this short introduces us to an unnamed street hustler as he bets onlookers that they can’t find the ball hidden underneath one of three caps, our winner is filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson’s Stone.”

The award comes with an unrestricted $1,500 cash prize.

Also, the $10,000 Millennium Entertainment Fellowship grant was awarded to Vincent Harris and Amy Hobby for their blaxploitation-set  Third Girl from the Left – a project in development that has Kerry Washington attached to star. It’s an adaptation of Martha Southgate’s novel of the same name. The fellowship is part of the festival’s Fast Track program – an intensive, three-day film-financing market that connects participants with financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.

The festival’s top prizes, the DIRECTV Narrative Award, which recognizes the best narrative film in competition went to Janis Nords for Mother, I Love You; and The DIRECTV Documentary Award, which recognizes the best documentary film in competition, went to Ryan McGarry for Code Black. Both were premieres.

The award for Best Performance in the Narrative Competition went to Geetanjali Thapa for her performance in Kamal K.M’s I.D, which made its North American premiere at the Festival.

The recipient for the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Narrative Short Film went to Walker, directed by Tsai Ming-Liang.

Emma De Sweaf and Marc James Roels’ Oh Willy… won the Honolulu Film Office Award for Best Animated or Experimental Short Film.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Short Term 12 directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed byGrace Lee

Sony Pictures Classics’ Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.

The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven, directed by Asa Blanck and Johan Palmgren. 

Katachi, directed by Kijek/Adamski with music by Shugo Tokumaru won the Audience Award for Best Music Video.

Now in its nineteenth year, the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, screened nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.