Malibu International Film Festival honors Michael Madsen

The 9th annual event draws local filmmakers.

By Laura Tate / Associate Publisher / Editor

The ninth edition of the Malibu International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday by presenting the year’s filmmakers with the festival’s top awards. Hosted by actor and comedian Joel McHale, the evening honored actor and Malibu resident Michael Madsen for his Achievements in the Art of Acting.

Madsen starred in the featured film “Strength and Honour,” directed by Mark Mahon, that screened at the festival’s closing night on Sunday. Madsen’s Oscar-nominated (“Sideways”) sibling, Virginia Madsen, showed up Sunday in support of her brother’s efforts.

The three-day festival took place entirely in Malibu for the first time in three years, with screenings at Malibu High School, the opening night party at Malibu West Beach Club and closing night celebrations at Taverna Tony’s.

Local young filmmaker Dominic Scott Kay, 11, screened two of his short films, “Grandpa’s Cabin” and “Saving Angelo” on Sunday and participated in a discussion about his film work. Kay co-wrote, directed and acted in both films. Kay and his father and mother, Scott and Cindy Kay, attended opening night festivities, where the young writer/director/actor/singer mingled with other filmmakers and talked about working with actors Robert Forster and Kevin Bacon on his films.


Another local, producer David Thane, a tennis pro, talked Friday night about meeting director Rex Miller and collaborating on the documentary “Somay Ku: A Uganda Tennis Story,” in which the tale of Uganda’s top-tanked professional tennis player, Patrick Olobo, leaves behind the horrors of a civil war in his country to encounter a different kind of struggle in the United States.

Thane had read a story about Olobo that Miller wrote in Tennis Magazine. “It captured me, the story about Patrick,” Thane said. “When I read about it, I said, I have to be involved.”

The film won MIFF Best Documentary.

Following are the festival awards given Sunday:

Best Director: “The Run,” Tania Meneguzzi

Best Documentary: “Somay Ku: A Uganda Tennis Story,” Rex Miller and David Thane

Best Feature: “Mona”

Best Soundtrack: “Strength and Honour,” Ilan Eshkeri

Best Leading Actor: “Just One of the Gynos,” Brandon Olive

Best Screenplay: “Nina Quebrada,” Diana Romero, Danny Klein, Jen Kleiner

Best Art Direction: “Now and Nowhere,” Brent Bonacorso

Best Sound Editing: “Bad Day, Good Day, Bad Day,” Drew Campbell

Best Cinematography: “Stars and Sun,” Michael Totten

Best Sound Mix: “Bad Day, Good Day, Bad Day,” Drew Campbell

Best Editing: “First ____,” Steven Ngai

Best Leading Actress: “Limpiando Sapos,” Tania Rebecca

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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