2013 Festival Award Winners

Jury Award – Best Feature Film - GORDON FAMILY TREE directed by Marc Hampson
Audience Award – Best Feature Film - AS HIGH AS THE SKY directed by Nikki Braendlin
Jury Award – Best Documentary - GORGING directed by Brian Olliver
Audience Award – Best Documentary - RUNNING FOR JIM directed by Dan Noyes & Robin Hauser Reynolds
Audience Award – Best Short Documentary - THREATENED: THE CONTROVERSIAL STRUGGLE OF THE SOUTHERN SEA OTTER directed by Bill Wisneski (Palomar College)

Jury Award – Best Short Film - THE COIN directed by Fabien Martolell
Audience Award – Best Short Film - TINKER directed by Justin Plummer III & Martin Strauss
Jury Award – Best Student Film - HELPLESS directed by Christene Hurley (University of North Carolina School of the Arts) Audience Award – Best Student Film - PICTURE. PERFECT. directed by Winston Titus Tao (Chapman University)
Jury Award Best Cinematography - USAGI-SAN Cinematography by Paola Suhonen (AFI)
Jury Award – Best Family Film - COOTIE CONTAGION directed by Joshua Smooha (Florida State University)
Jury Award – Best Animation - WILL directed by Eusang Lee (California Institute of the Arts)
Audience Award – Best Animation - ADONIS directed by David Dibble
Audience Award – Best High School Film - IN THE SHADOW OF AN ARTIST: TIOS TACOS directed by Bethanee Hughes & Monica Lawless-Gomez (UCR ARTSblock)
Audience Award – Best Big Bear Connection Film - GORGING directed by Brian Olliver
Audience Award – Best 3D Film - CAPTURED MELODY directed by Melissa Garza (Chapman University)
Audience Award – Best International Showcase - SHIFT OF THE AGES directed by Stephen Copeland


1st Place (TIE) - THE DECENT MAN written by Scott Robert Waldvogel & Matt DeMartini
1st Place (TIE) - WHERE THE GREEN GRASS GROWS written by Jeremy Elliot
2nd Place - BE MY EYES written by Dustin Stevens
Honorable Mention - DISTANCE written by Sally Brockway
Honorable Mention - PHANTOM IN TIME written by Douglas C. MacLeod


2013 Festival Honorees

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for Cinematography will be presented to

Academy Award winning Cinematographer
John Toll, ASC
(“Braveheart,” “Legends of the Fall”)

John Toll, ASC was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19, where he worked part-time for David Wolper Productions while attending college.  He began his career as a production assistant and subsequently worked on documentary and low budget feature film crews as a camera assistant. Toll moved up to camera operator while working with cinematographer, John Alonzo ASC, and subsequently worked with cinematographers Conrad Hall, ASC, Jordan Cronenweth ASC, and Allen Daviau, ASC.  He began shooting commercials as a Director of Photography during the late 1980s and earned his first narrative film credit for the TV pilot for The Young Riders in 1989. He earned his first feature film cinematography credit with director Carroll Ballard for Wind in 1992. His second and third features were Legends of the Fall and Braveheart and received consecutive Oscars in 1994 and 1995 for his work on those two films.  Toll was also nominated for ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards for both films, taking top honors for Braveheart. He earned a third Oscar nomination and his second ASC Outstanding Achievement Award in 1998 for The Thin Red Line. His other narrative credits include The Rainmaker, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky The Last Samurai, Gone Baby Gone, Breaking Bad, Tropic Thunder. Cloud Atlas and Iron Man 3. He is currently shooting Jupiter Ascending with the directors Lana and Andy Wachowski.

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BBLIFF is delighted to announce the Film Music Award of Excellence presented to composer

Nick Urata
(“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”)

 As a composer, Nick Urata—front man of the internationally acclaimed band DeVotchKa—has scored such films as Little Miss Sunshine, the Sundance hit that garnered four Academy Award nominations. He also co-scored the hit romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love (starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling). His other scores include Fling, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Joneses, Waiting for Forever, Father of Invention, and Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut Virginia (starring Emma Roberts and Ed Harris.) His latest work includes the score for Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s Ruby Sparks, Arthur Newman starring Colin Firth and Emily blunt for director Dante Ariola, What Maisie Knew starring Juliane Moore, Stephen Gyllenhaal’s comedy Grassroots, and A.C.O.D. starring Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch and Catherine O’Hara. Coming up for Urata is Premature for director Dan Beers.  Urata left his native New York to play music in Chicago, then moved to Denver where he formed DeVotchKa. Their music, in particular the song “Till the End of Time,” left its impression on the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine, and Urata has enjoyed an impressive stay in film ever since.

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Big Bear Lake International Film Festival honors Tim Wood
Posted on 05/29/2013 Written by Vanessa Finney
BBLIFF to Honor Tim Wood with Community Appreciation AwardTim Wood
40 year Big Bear resident
(The Lighthouse Project and Operation Breakthrough)
Big Bear Lake, CA, May 29, 2013 – The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival is pleased to announce that Tim Wood will accept the 2013 Community Appreciation Award at this year’s festival, set for September 20 – 22.

Tim’s long history with Big Bear began nearly 40 years ago, when he left his job as a journeyman printer at the Long Beach Press Telegram and moved his family to the mountains. In 1976, he started in a new career at Spencer Real Estate. About 10 years later, he joined Mountain Gallery Realtors, and around 1985, he bought what was by then Coldwell Banker Mountain Gallery Realtors. In the late nineties, his son Tyler joined the group, and three years ago, the company changed its name to Coldwell Banker Tim Wood Group.

The high performance of TWG has allowed Tim to give back to his community in many ways. With his growing expertise and success being recognized nationally, he was hired to coach some of the top real estate agents in the country – donating his fees to various Big Bear programs.

With a love of the outdoors to match his strong work ethic, he has also volunteered in the kayaking and snowshoeing programs at the internationally acclaimed United States Adaptive Recreation Center, which established the first full-time on-site adaptive ski school in Southern California at Bear Mountain.
Other important contributions includes cofounding Operation Breakthrough, providing substantial support to Soroptimist International of Big Bear Valley’s annual mammogram program, and partnering with Simeon Prophet to provide over 500 coats to kids through Healthy Start.

Many of Tim’s endeavors reflect a belief that children are society’s greatest assets. But perhaps his broadest and most far-reaching undertaking has been the Big Bear Lighthouse Project. The nonprofit organization is actively advancing the vision of “creating child honoring communities in which children are put first in the minds and hearts of all agencies, organizations, businesses, groups, clubs and individuals,” a state that also calls for adults treating each other respectfully and feeling a sense of belonging in the community.

Since its founding in 2006, the Lighthouse Project has launched or inspired a variety of programs designed to make Big Bear an even better place to live. It is now an umbrella organization for several like-minded organizations. Among them: the Big Bear Strings program, a student musician ensemble that consistently earns a Gold Rating at the Forum Music Festival; vegetablegardens at local schools and the student-produced book, What Grows in a Garden?; the Community Gardens; the Positive Campaign Initiative, in which local office candidates pledged to conduct their campaigns with integrity and to consider the impact of decisions on future generations; Common Ground, dedicated to strengthening families; Coaching Boys Into Men; and Odyssey of the Mind.

They also work in partnership with the Southern California Mountains Association, a group that supports youth development through conservation initiatives.

The idea for the Lighthouse Project came to Tim during long days of walking the 500-mile pilgrimage route, Camino de Santiago. He realized that after years of philanthropy, he wanted to do more than write checks, and that adults need to “emotionally, physically and financially invest in children.” On that same journey he found himself in a cathedral that took 500 years to build. He marveled at the motivation it took for people to work on a project for decades, with no promise of seeing the end result. That same kind of foresight rounds out the Lighthouse mission statement: “To create a child honoring community is to create a cultural and social revolution that will impact the future for generations to come.”

When accepting Rotary International’s Eagle of Excellence Award in 2006, Tim read the following piece that is attributed to a 12th-century monk:
“I Wanted To Change The World”
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t
change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I
realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my
family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could
have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

He followed by saying, “Responsibility has to be much more than just writing a check….I think I can make a difference in Big Bear, as we all can…..but it starts with us. It starts with you; it starts with me. If we change us, we can make a difference in our families, our families can make a difference in our town, then we can make a difference in the world.”

The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival thanks Tim Wood for helping Big Bear be an exemplary community making a difference in the world.