Is Proud To Announce Its Grand Prize Winner

Of Theatrical Distribution From Cinema Libre Studio

And Scandinavia Locations Prize

Of Scandinavian Trip And Writers Retreat

Is Awarded To

Love Steaks

Directed By Jakob Lass & Edited By Gesa Jäger (Germany)

A Beautiful Love Story, Told With Candor, That Evokes The Behind-The-Scenes Madness Of The Restaurant And Resort World.  Funny, Audacious, Touching, And Brilliantly Acted And Directed.*


First Time Fest Special Jury Prize To


Directed By Tommy Oliver (USA)

A Man Struggles To Keep His Family Together In A Threatening Environment, A Philadelphia Neighborhood Of The Early 1980s.  Deeply Evocative Of A Specific Area And Place, 1982 Shows A Bold, Imaginative Spirit.


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Directing To


Directed By Marieke Niestadt (Netherlands)

A Disarming And Beautifully Constructed Documentary That Opens Up The World Of Women’s Boxing And, More Specifically, Charts One Women’s Experience In That Brutal, Challenging World


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Storytelling To

Farewell, Herr Schwarz

Directed By Yael Reuveny (Germany/Israel)

For Its Evocative Use Of Language In Telling The Story Of One Woman's Exploration Of Painful Family Truths.


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Cinematography To

The Sleepwalker

Cinematography By Zachary Galler (Norway/USA)

Whose Subtle, Gorgeous Visuals Set The Tone For A Tense Drama In Which Four Individuals Stumble Into A Web Of Unsettling Secrets.


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Editing To

Love Steaks

Edited By Gesa Jäger (Germany)

Whose Editing Work -- Lively, Adventurous And Precise -- Brilliantly Captures Both The Breakneck Pace Of Restaurant Work And The More Languorous, Tentative Pace Of Budding Romance.


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Scoring

The Sleepwalker

Music By Sondre Lerche And Kato Åbland (Norway/USA)

For Its Evocative And Original Approach To Storytelling Through Sound, Sounds That Linger After You've Gone.


FTF Award For Outstanding Achievement In Acting

Hill Harper

For1982 (USA)

Harper's Portrayal Of A Father Who Takes Action To Protect His Family In Early-'80s Philadelphia Is Simultaneously Tender And Tough-Minded, An Intimate And Ultimately Glorious Performance.


*Film Blurbs From Jury Members Presentations.  Jury Members: Actor Nicholas Haden-Guest; Eye For Film’s Anne-Katrin Titze; Village Voice Chief Film Critic Stephanie Zacharek



2014 John Huston Award For Outstanding Achievement In Cinema To

Julie Taymor

Presented By Elliot Goldenthal


After 5 days featuring 10 new films from around the world; 9 retrospective screenings with artists such as Jennie Livingston, James Toback, Julie Taymor and Frederick Elmes; 9 amazing panels featuring the brightest industry minds; and 8 special events including conversations with Michael Moore, FIRST TIME FEST, The Second Time Around came to a close on Monday, April 7 with its Closing Night Awards Ceremony which took place at the 42West Nightclub in NYC. 


The members of the Jury presented all the Awards except for the presentation of the Grand Prize, distribution from Cinema Libre Studio and Scandinavia Locations package, which was presented by FTF Co-Founders Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward.


Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director Julie Taymor will be the FIRST TIME FEST’s 2014 John Huston Award For Achievement In Cinema recipient.  Ms. Taymor was also represented in the Fest’s ‘First Exposure’ Retrospective Program where she attended to present and discuss with the audience her first feature film, Titus.  Presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of cinema, and whose presence in our community has offered leadership and inspiration to other cinema artists, the John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema is named in honor of one of America's greatest filmmakers.  Academy Award®-winning Composer Elliot Goldenthal presented the John Huston Award to Julie Taymor.


Among the many guests and participants attending the festival over the five days were Tony Bennett, Julie Taymor, Elliot Goldenthal, Slash, Duncan Sheik, Carol Alt, Rosie Perez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Brook Shields, Lake Bell, Frederick Elmes, Jennie Livingston, Tom McCarthy, Michael Moore, Kelly Reichardt, James Toback, Jess Weixler, Nicholas Guest, Noah Levy, Anne-Katrin Titze, Stephanie Zacharek, and our fantastic competition filmmakers: Tommy Oliver (1982), Marieke Niestadt (Bittersweet), Josephine Decker (Butter on the Latch), Rok Bicek (Class Enemy), Jayce Bartok (Fall To Rise), Yael Reuveny (Farewell, Herr Schwarz), Serene Meshel-Dillman (Getting to the Nutcracker), Gesa Jäger (Love Steaks), Mikael Berg (Miss Julie), Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker).


The 2014 First Time Fest (FTF) – a celebration of first time filmmakers – is a second year, unique film festival that took place in New York City from April 3rd through 7th, 2013. FTF is set to discover and present the next generation of great cinema artists. Screenings were held at Loews Village VII and panels at NeueHouse, a new FTF sponsor, and a work and social space. This year’s FTF industry jury included Nicholas Haden-Guest, Anne-Katrin Titze and Stephanie Zacharek, together with the audience members.  The Grand Prize winner was offered theatrical distribution for their film and full international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio, a leader in distributing social-issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers, as well as a trip to Norway and Sweden to spend a week at a writer’s cottage in Northern Sweden to work on their next project, courtesy of Scandinavian Locations – the consortium of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish film commissioners -


In addition to the Competition Films, FTF presented FIRST EXPOSURE, a series of first films from now prominent filmmakers. They included TITUS (Julie Taymor), Roger & Me (Michael Moore), FINGERS (James Toback), TARGETS (Peter Bogdanovich), ERASERHEAD (Frederick Elmes), RIVER OF GRASS (Kelly Reichardt), SALESMAN (Albert Maysles), IN A WORLD (Lake Bell), THE STATION AGENT (Todd McCarthy), The Festival also included special presentations of SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY (Drew Tobia), and the first film produced by musician Slash NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR by Anthony Leonardi III.


First Time Fest also included a series of panels called “How They Did It,” in which a diverse group of award-winning filmmakers and industry professionals moderated filmmaking case studies and spotlighted some of the most successful and accomplished masters of the industry.  The panels were Women in Entertainment (with Carol Alt, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Rosie Perez, Brooke Shields); From Rock To Score (with Slash, Duncan Sheik); Show Me the Money (moderator Steven Beer); Panel What’s Up Doc? (with Carol Suh, Michael Bonfiglio from Radical Media, and directors Rachel Doynton and Richard Rowley); Sell Baby Sell (with) Help Me Help You: Everyone Needs an Agent, Manager, Publicist, Lawyer and Personal Umbrella Handler! (with moderator Steven Beer; We Need a Bigger Boat – Producing Independent Cinema (with ) and A Critical Eye: Critics and their Role in Discovering New Filmmakers (with Eric Hynes, Keith Uhlich, Josh Rothkopf , Violet Lucca and moderated by Film Society’s Eugene Hernandez).


Stand Alone!Conversations with the Outstanding” featured a one-on-one interview with notable cinema artist Michael Moore.


Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward are the co-founders of First Time Fest. As an accomplished philanthropist, actor and social entrepreneur, as well as the daughter of singer Tony Bennett, Johanna Bennett has immersed herself within the entertainment and artistic community her entire life. Mandy Ward has worked in the film industry for the past decade in varied capacities, namely as a film producer of several projects. Mitch Levine, CEO of The Film Festival Group, is producing the festival. Through his company, Mitch offers consulting services and expertise to film festivals, film commissions, distribution companies and filmmakers around the world, and was formerly the CEO and Executive Director of the renowned Palm Springs International Film Festival. The Festival’s Director of Programming is David Schwartz, the Chief Curator of Museum of the Moving Image.


Other terrific sponsors of the fest include our media sponsor The Village Voice, RBC Wealth Management, Absolut Elyx, The Recording Academy, De Beers, Gilt City, Pop Chips, Bulleit Bourbon and more.


For more information visit The Festival Website at




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