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March 31, 2012
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Vail Film Festival announces awards

VAIL, Colorado - The 2012 Vail Film Festival presented by Cadillac announced Saturday the official award winners of the ninth-annual Festival. The Festival showcased 58 films from around the world, screened at The Sebastian hotel in Vail Village, Four Seasons Vail and Cinebistro in the Solaris complex.

Honoring a filmmaker for his or her overall outstanding achievement in film, the Vail Film Festival is proud to present the Vanguard Award to Golden Globe-winning writer-director Fred Schepisi. Past Vail Film Festival Vanguard award recipients include Josh Lucas, Harold Ramis and Edward Pressman. With a rich career in the industry spanning more than 36 years, Schepisi's credits include "Six Degrees of Separation," "Last Orders," "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith," "Roxanne," "Evil Angels" and the mini-series "Empire Falls," for which he gained an Emmy nomination for best director and won a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series.

His latest film, "The Eye of the Storm," starring Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davis, made its U.S. premiere as the 2012 Vail Film Festival's opening night film on Thursday at the Vail Mountain School. Nominated for 12 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards, "The Eye of the Storm" will be released by Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. throughout the United States following the Vail Film Festival.

The Vail Film Festival is honored to recognize Krysten Ritter with the Excellence in Acting award, joining past winners Kate Bosworth, Michelle Monaghan and Jane Seymour. Starring alongside many of Hollywood's biggest names, including Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Isla Fisher, Kristin Bell and Alicia Silverstone, Ritter's films include Dreamworks' comedy "She's Out of My League," the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer film "Confessions of a Shopaholic," "What Happens in Vegas," "27 Dresses" and Amy Heckerling's comedy "Vamps."

In television, Ritter has starred in "Breaking Bad," the leading role on the Starz series "Gravity," as well as recurring roles on "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars." Her upcoming comedy series, "Apartment 23," will debut on April 11, after "Modern Family," on ABC. Ritter's most recent film, "L!fe Happens," in which she stars and co-wrote alongside talented new filmmaker and Vail Film Festival alum Kat Coiro, was screened following the awards ceremony on Saturday as the Vail Film Festival's official closing night film.

Michael Brown was in attendance to accept the Blue Sky Tribute award for Environmental Activism presented by Chipotle. Brown is a director and producer who has displayed passion for environmental initiatives both on and off the silver screen. His film "High Ground" captivated audiences at this year's festival, and past environmental films include: "3 Peaks 3 Weeks," "Farther Than the Eye Can See" and "In the Shadow of the Condor."

The Blue Sky Tribute award is presented to a filmmaker who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment by highlighting an issue through film or actively adapting his or her everyday life to live more sustainably. Past awards have been presented to Adrian Grenier, star of the hit HBO series "Entourage," and Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer, of The Clean Bin Project.

Kim Langmaid accepted the inaugural Vail Film Festival Community Activism award in recognition of founding the Walking Mountains Science Center and for her current professional role as Colorado Program Director for the National Forest Foundation.

The Vail Film Festival promotes independent filmmaking, with a special focus on new and innovative filmmakers. Besides screening some of the year's top films from around the globe, the festival also features workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and special events with award-winning actors, writers and directors. A special awards ceremony, skiing and snowboarding, VIP parties and live music will round out this four-day event. The Vail Film Festival is produced by the Colorado Film Institute, a nonprofit arts organization that is dedicated to fostering independent cinema and creative filmmaking. Festival passes incorporate a combination of movies, filmmaker panels, galas and music. For tickets and additional information, visit www.vailfilmfestival.com or call 970-476-1092.


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 31, 2012 11:00PM Published Mar 31, 2012 10:57PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.