THE ARTIST Three Times Lucky at the 18th Annual Chlotrudis Awards

The ArtistTHE ARTIST, the French black & white silent that has taken the film award season by storm, completed the circuit by winning three Trudies, including Best Movie, last Sunday at the 18th Annual Chlotrudis Awards.  However, it did not dominate the evening as it did the Oscars – it won no acting awards, picking up instead Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. Three other films came close to tying, or besting THE ARTIST’s tally, finishing the night with two awards each. 

A SEPARATION earned Iran’s Asghar Farhadi a Trudy for Best Director, and tied with Mike Leigh’s ANOTHER YEAR for Best Ensemble Cast.  Lesley Manville’s wrenching performance, however, stood out from the winning Ensemble enough for ANOTHER YEAR to add Best Supporting Actress to its final count.  And the late Tracy Wright earned Best Actress honors for her tour de force final performance in Canada’s TRIGGER, which also won the most coveted prize of the night, the Buried Treasure. In order to be eligible, Buried Treasure nominees must have earned less than $250,000 in US box office.  Chlotrudis created the category in order to shine a spotlight on those films the group feels deserve wider attention and a second look.

With no runaway sweep and two categories ending in ties, this year’s distribution of Trudies was a generous one.  On the men’s side of the acting awards, Best Supporting Actor followed the trend with Christopher Plummer winning for BEGINNERS, while Chlotrudis favorite Michael Shannon earned a Best Actor Trudy for TAKE SHELTER.  Meanwhile, an odd couple was announced when BUCK and BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK split Best Documenary honors.

Atom EgoyanLegendary Canadian director Atom Egoyan was inducted into the Chlotrudis Hall of Fame and gave an enthusiastic and heartfelt acceptance speech, speaking of the importance of community support to his success, and the success of any independent filmmaker, noting that Boston was fortunate in that respect, judging by the energy of the room.   He also confessed that he was grateful at last to receive his own cat on a stick, so that he could stop coveting the Chlotrudis Awards given to his friends!

Later in the night, the Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFB) was awarded The Cat’s Meow, to celebrate its upcoming 10th anniversary and its development into one of the largest and prestigious film festivals in New England.  The Cat’s Meow is awarded to a particular person, event or organization in the Boston film community that has provided support or has been a great friend to Chlotrudis and to film.  The award was given to IFFB by a special surprise presenter, returning Chlotrudis special award recipient  Arsinee Khahjian, in attendance with Mr. Egoyan.

A tribute to art house theaters early in the show, featuring a video montage of theaters past and present, inspired many guest presenters and members to offer up memories of favorite or best art house experiences as the show proceeded.  While many of these were fondly nostalgic, several ran more earthy in their focus, leading to a general impression that, whether on or off the screen, many of the audience relied upon their art thouse theaters for all kinds of sex education.

Finally, throughout the night the audience was treated to musical salutes to the five Buried Treasure nominees, most notably the jazzy crooning of Andrew Cincotta, who pondered the meaning of UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES to the tune of that Billy Paul classic ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’ while his Boomettes provided strong backup.  Presenters and guests included many members and friends of the Boston film community, among them film critics Peter Keough & Wesley Morris,  programmers from the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Boston Jewish Film Festival & the Boston Irish Film Festival; and representatives of the cultural arms of various consulates of Boston and New England.

The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is a Boston-based non-profit group that teaches people to view film actively and experience the world through independent film, and encourages discussion.  The group works with film festivals, local art-houses and theatres, production companies, directors and actors to bring creative, quality films to the attention of audiences and film-lovers.   Visit http://www.chlotrudis.org, join us at Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST (TIE!)
Another Year and A Separation

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Laurence Bennett for The Artist

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Guillaume Shiffman for The Artist

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Chang-dong Lee for Poetry

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer for The Beginners

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lesley Manville for Another Year

BEST ACTOR
Michael Shannon for Take Shelter

BEST ACTRESS
Tracy Wright for Trigger

BEST DIRECTOR
Asghar Farhadi for A Separation

BEST DOCUMENTARY (TIE!)
Bill Cunningham New York and Buck

BEST MOVIE
The Artist

BURIED TREASURETrigger

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