There were prizes all around – in front of the cameras, behind the cameras, and in the audience – at the 1st annual Philadelphia Independent Film Awards held Sunday, May 22 at International House in Philadelphia.
LGBT romantic comedy “Cassanova Was a Woman” directed by Kevin Arbouet took home the most prizes with Best Picture, Best Actress for Jezabel Montero as Cassanova (pictured left), and Best Supporting Actress for Carolann Valentino. Montero was there with other cast members including co-stars Margo Singaliese (Lola) and Chaz Mena (Fantasy Man).
Diemiruaya Deniran earned Best Director honors for helming the gritty, undercover cop drama “Diary of a Badman.” Peter Cilella co-starring as Officer McVitie in the satiric comedy “Driving While Black” won Best Supporting Actor. And Blake Scott Lewis took the prize for Best Actor as the heroin junkie Skyler in “Imperfect Sky.”
Two lucky audience members took home mink wraps courtesy of awards sponsor Zinman Furs and everyone who purchased a ticket walked away with complimentary swag bags filled with upscale goodies like Razac hair care products, Kissy Kosmetics and Primal Derma skin care products. And everyone enjoyed complimentary hors d’oeuvres from D&D Quality Catering, gourmet cupcakes from Tonya Sears of Totally Delicious Delicacies and fine wines courtesy of Got Wine of Bristol (PA).
Bu the biggest prize goes to the Philadelphia Independent Film Awards team. It took bravery to start something new in a city that has such a fine array of arts institutions. But the organization, headed by Founder Floyd Marshall Jr., Director Angelique Marshall, and Assistant Director Keyon N. Smith pulled it off with assists from Media Relations Manager Karen Waller Martin, Sponsorships Director Tascha Coleman, Strategic Consulting from Stephanie Cain and Demetre Pough Edwards, and yours truly Webmaster and Content Manager Terri L. Heard.
Visit the site to learn more about what you missed at the awards gala, join our mailing list to get alerts about upcoming 2016 events and the 2017 awards, and to see event photos that will posted in the coming days.
Terri L. Heard is a former TV Guide writer and assignment editor who lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA She is currently working on a feature-length screenplay, “Game Change,” which combines James Brown’s “The Big Payback” with the 2015 film “The Big Short.” Visit her online portfolio at www.tlheard.weebly.com