JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND – The Golden Door International Film Festival wrapped up in Jersey City Sunday night after bringing four days celebrity-studded glamor and screenings of 40 independent movies for the inaugural event. Between 1,200 and 1,500 people attended the four-day festival, which began Oct. 13.
Sunday night the festival board presented awards in 18 categories at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Director Sam Borowski’s "Night Club" was the big winner of the night, picking up awards for best feature, best director of a feature, best male lead in a feature (Ernest Borgnine), best female lead in a feature (Natasha Lyonne), and best acting by a supporting actor/actress (Sally Kellerman).
In an acceptance speech Borowski remembered his mother who died earlier this year after suffering from Alzheimer’s.
“About two years ago I brought my mother here to the Loew’s to see ‘Casablanca,’ which was her favorite movie. One of the last really good days she had in her life she had in this theater. So, it’s no coincidence that we are here tonight for the Golden Door Film Festival and my movie Night Club has won these awards,” Borowski said, gazing upwards.
The movies “Another Day, Another Life” and “Lily of the Feast,” both filmed in Jersey City, also picked up awards. Director Rohit Gupta’s “Another Day, Another Life” won for best concept for a short film. Actor/director Federico Castelluccio won best director for a short film and best actor in a short film for "Lily of the Feast."
Academy Award Winner and Jersey City native Leon Gast and veteran filmmaker Paul Sorvino each received lifetime achievement awards Sunday night for teir body of work. Earlier in the night Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy presented Gast and Sorvino with keys to the city.
Festival founder and organizer Bill Sorvino said Golden Door will return to Jersey City in fall 2012. – E. Assata Wright