By Julie Pendray
IDYLLWILD, Calif. — Two dramatic films made by culturally diverse teams have won big honors at Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.
54 Days, about people surviving after a nuclear bomb explosion, was brought to the screen by an international team based in Australia. It won the “Grand Jury Award, Best of Festival,” as well as Best Foreign Feature, and Best Director, Best Cinematography in the Feature category.
After School, an intense look at what happens when a child has to keep the secret of a prostitution ring, was produced by a Latino-American company, and won “Best of Festival, Audience Choice,” as well as Best Child Actor.
In 54 Days, five people are trapped in a 1960s nuclear bunker in Sydney, Australia after a nuclear and biological attack. They are faced with the gut-wrenching decision of whether one person should die so the rest can live.
The movie stars John Michael Burdon, Michael Drysdale, Dianna LaGrassa, Michela Carattini and Gregory J. Wilken. It was written and directed by Tim Lea, originally of the United Kingdom, and produced by Nicholas Andrew Halls, Ravi Kambhoj and Zayed Al Otaiba.
After School is the first feature produced by True Form Films, an independent movie company founded by veteran actress and producer Yeniffer Behrens, actor, director, producer Mauricio Mendoza and DeWayne Cox, a director and producer. It was written by educator, Ruben Padilla.
Both movies were crowd funded.
This was the sixth year of Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, which draws moviemakers from all over the United States and beyond to this mountain village above Palm Springs. This year, 135 features/featurettes, shorts and documentaries from a variety of countries were offered.
To see the full list of nominations and award winners, visit the festival’s website.