The 2008 Gen Art Film Festival has come to a close, and four very good films have emerged victorious. Their Grand Jury awards went to Jennifer Phang'sHalf-Life (feature) and The Ladies (short). Half-Life, which combines troubling global conditions and a dysfunctional Asian-American family together in this sort of mish-mosh, half real, half animation head trip, first premiered back in January at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a good flick that tries a tad too hard to get across its message, but nevertheless one you should definitely seek out.

The Audience Award for best feature went to my favorite film of the fest, Surfwise. The doc, which was funded -- in part -- by Mark Cuban, follows the Paskowitz family (aka the first family of surfing), who, lead by Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, traveled the coast with no money and big dreams. Whether or not you believe in what "Doc" Paskowitz did or didn't do for his family (not one of his nine children went to school), Surfwise is a powerful documentary -- funny, sad, hopeful, spiritual and tremendously engaging. Watch this one if and when you get the chance. Additionally, the Audience Award for best short went to A Day's Workand the Stargazer Award (which recognizes new, upcoming talent in front of the camera) went to Luis Chávez, from A Day's Work. (Gotta love a fest that rewards actors in its short films. Kudos Luis!)

You can check out another one of David Jr.'s fabulous video blogs from Day 7 of the fest (the night The Take screened) after the jump, or view one from each night over here. Check out Night 4 and keep an eye out for a familiar face ...
categories Awards, Cinematical