|Jay and Victor greet the crowd|
Our first guest judge of the new year was comedy producer Sam Varela.
|Victor and Jay chat with Sam|
Sam talked about judging each work of comedy on its own terms and to determine if it successfully achieves what it tries to do. Of course with a "best of" her job of judging a favorite film was going to be extra hard, since all of the films in the lineup were quite successful.
There were many international submissions in 2014 with a quite few from Australia, two of which made to the top ten list. The first one of the evening was Craig Melville's THE POLYGAMIST, a funny story about a woman's life juggling three men. Next up was David Foster and Donald Russell's YOU GOOD!, a humorous twist of drug dealers working as doctors on the streets. Comedian Perry Strong also features in the film and co-produced. He was there to talk about the film, his work, and how to successfully get away with using the "n-word" in comedy.
|Perry Strong explains it all to Victor and Jay|
We went back to Australia with Nick Hunter and Seaton Kay-Smith's FLOAT, a long-standing favorite about a man disturbed by meeting his ex-girlfriend's new beau at a party. Director Pamela Wess presented her film, ON WOMEN WHO VALIDATE THEMSELVES THROUGH SEX, about one woman's angst in not getting enough attention from men as her friend lays spread-eagle on the ground, casually drawing in every guy walking by.
|Pamela Wess talks to the crowd. You can't see it in this picture but she was wearing green galoshes!|
Next up, from the West Coast, was Jeremy Ungar's I'M 23 AND THERE'S A FUCKING MONSTER UNDER MY BED about, well, a 23-year-old still plagued by a monster under his bed, and his last-ditch attempt to get rid of it. Then came SPOONERS, in which writer/director Bryan Horch playfully exposes how a man struggles to buy a mattress for him and his husband without having to make a big deal out of it. Co-star Ben Lerman was there to represent the film.
|Ben Lerman talks about SPOONERS - now a webseries!|
We closed with one final live action film, and three animated ones. First, Chris Capel's LIVING WITH JIGSAW starred a scary but very funny puppet playing twisted games. Last month's judge's award winner, HIGHWAY OF HELL by Andy and Carolyn London, returned for an encore performance of this unique charcoal on paper animation about the "beauty" of Clam Cove, Long Island. Next was Natalie Labarre's PAPA, a sweet father/daughter story where dad tries his best at being a good dad, despite the obstacles. Finally, Jason Coates' creative DICTIONARY MODELS, about a dictionary-model duo, capped the "Best of" list for 2014.
|Animators unite! From left: Carolyn and Andy London, Jason Coates|
Then votes were tallied and Pamela Wess brought home the Audience Award for ON WOMEN… and in one of our toughest votes ever, Chris Capel's LIVING WITH JIGSAW squeaked to the top to win the Judges' Prize.
Thanks to all of you who came out, and to all the filmmakers who made 2014 so memorable.
Join usfor the next Iron Mule screening at Symphony Space!
Photos by Angela Manzolillo