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Entertainment News: SDFCS Recognize Indie Films

San Diego Critics Give Out Annual Awards

Above: Jean Dujardin in "The Artist."

Audio

Aired 12/27/11

SDFCS president Anders Wright talks about group's award winners.

Transcript

This month, the San Diego Film Critics announced their winners for the best of 2011. I checked in with the group's president Anders Wright about the winners.

The film awards season is in full swing. The Oscars may be the best known of these but they are given by industry professionals who may be voting for their own films or those of their colleagues. CityBeat's Anders Wright is president of the San Diego Film Critics Society, which has a very different agenda.

"Film critics groups are designed to really shine a light on movies that are of high quality and caliber," says Wright, "The fact that the San Diego Film Critic Society often highlights movies that are sort of out of the mainstream to me is something that makes me proudest of this organization."

This year the group distinguished itself by awarding Michael Shannon the best actor award for "Take Shelter," and Brit Marling the best actress award for "Another Earth. " Both are independent films that not many people saw.

"[Marling's] really is quite a good performance," Wright says, "She's playing a young grad student who has caused a terrible tragedy and is living up to her responsibilities in terms of that while the entire planet is going through some serious changes. I'd also highlight Nick Nolte, we gave him the supporting actor award for 'Warrior.' He's come to be seen like a punchline to a joke but with this film he really redeemed himself."

Jessica Chastain stars as a Mossad agent in "The Debt."

Focus Features

Above: Jessica Chastain stars as a Mossad agent in "The Debt."

The group gave its Body of Work Award to Jessica Chastain for her diverse roles in films such as "The Debt," "The Help," and "The Tree of Life." The critics also give out an annual award to someone who champions the art of film in San Diego. This year its Kyle Counts Award (named in honor of the late SDFCS' film critic) went to Lee Ann Kim, executive Director of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation and Festival.

"The San Diego Asian Film Festival is such a success story here," states Wright, "They have a terrifically diverse line up of stuff that they show every year and it just keeps getting bigger and better so we feel as though Lee Ann definitely deserved the award and we're happy to give it to her."

The San Diego Film Critics gave their top prize to "The Artist," a black and white silent film from France currently playing at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas. A complete list of nominations and winners can be found here.

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