Once again, this year’s San Diego Film Festival has presented films likely to be of note in the next few months. “Twelve Years a Slave” was shown two years ago at the festival and later received the Oscar for Best Picture of 2014.
At the culmination of last week’s series of movies, the film festival announced its awards. “Diablo” won Best Feature Award. In this action thriller, a young Civil War veteran is forced on a desperate journey to save his kidnapped wife. The Best Documentary Award went to “India’s Daughter,” the story of the brutal gang rape and murder in Delhi of a young medical student, which exposes the culture of violence against women that exists around the world. An international award was won by “Victoria,” a German thriller filmed in one-take, one-shot.
Audience Award Winners include “He Named Me Malala,” a documentary about the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. She is the young woman who was shot on her school bus for supporting girls’ education. She now campaigns worldwide for her cause. Another audience favorite was “Moments of Clarity,” an indie comedy that follows two young women escaping from their homes.
On Oct. 3, two films listed as Native American due to the presence of Native American actors were shown. “Western Religion” is a tale of good, bad and ugly versus evil in the Arizona town of Religion in the Old West. “For Blood” is a short film in which a poker game morphs from a present day game to a parallel one played for blood in the Old West. This intriguing film won the Kumeyaay Award. Several Native American actors were present at the showings, including elder Saginaw Grant and Sam Bearpaw. The latter, who acted in “Western Religion,” sang and played his hand drum for the audience prior to the showings.