‘St. Vincent’ and ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’ win top honors at Aspen Filmfest
The new Bill Murray black comedy “St. Vincent” and the musical documentary “Keep on Keepin’ On” won the top prizes at the 2014 Aspen Filmfest, the nonprofit Aspen Film announced Thursday afternoon.
They were named Audience Favorite Feature and Audience Favorite Documentary, respectively. The winners are determined by votes from audience members following screenings during the six-day film festival, which wrapped up Wednesday night with a screening of Jason Reitman’s new feature, “Men, Women & Children.”
“St. Vincent,” the debut of writer-director Theodore Melfi, stars Murray as a hard-living bachelor who becomes an unlikely babysitter and mentor to his 12-year-old neighbor. It was a late addition to the lineup and screened at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
“Keep on Keepin’ On,” the festival’s opening-night documentary, focuses on the friendship between jazz legend Clark Terry, 89, and 23-year-old piano prodigy Justin Kauflin.
Receiving the Special Audience Recognition Awards were “The Imitation Game,” a biopic on World War II code-cracker Alan Turing starring Benedict Cumberbach, and “Limited Partnership,” a documentary about a gay couple who was legally married in Boulder in 1975.
A new festival award, the Documentary Spotlight, was presented to Colorado-based filmmaker Daniel Junge on Monday evening before a surprise screening of his new film “Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary.”
Junge, in previous years, had screened short documentaries at Aspen Shortsfest, including his 2013 Academy Award-winning short, “Saving Face.”
“This place is very special to me and the audiences are, too,” Junge said Monday night at the Wheeler.
Aspen Film reported that its overall attendance at the festival was up 14 percent over 2013. Screenings took place in Aspen at the Wheeler Opera House and Isis Theater and in Carbondale at the Crystal Theatre.
“Across the board, audiences responded strongly to this year’s program, with several filmgoers attending multiple screenings,” Aspen Film Co-Director George Eldred said in the awards announcement. “Post-show, the lobby dynamic was an audience enthusiastically engaged in all the films across the board. For many, it was their favorite lineup ever, with ballot ratings consistently on the high side of high.”
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