Ang Lee’s sweeping spiritual epic won the audience award and Ang Lee has won the International Filmmaker of the Year Award. From the press release:

The California Film Institute wrapped its 35th Mill Valley Film Festival (October 4–14, 2012) after another successful 11-day run, once again solidifying its place as a world-class event, as top-notch industry participants joined an impressive roster of international stars whose newest works premiered alongside talented newcomers. Honoring actors John Hawkes, Billy Bob Thornton as well as directors Mira Nair, and Dustin Hoffman – making his directorial debut – the festival cemented its place as the West Coast’s premier launching pad for the awards season, celebrating great work by major film artists. The festival kicked off Opening Night with two exceptional films and a Gala reception for both. Silver Linings Playbook, making its US premier, with the director David O. Russell along with star Bradley Cooper appeared in Mill Valley to discuss the origins of this film, played alongside On The RoadOn The Road’s producer Rebecca Yeldham was in attendance in San Rafael talking about bringing the beloved American novel to the big screen. The festival concluded with the Closing Night film, Life of Pi with the Director Ang Lee who was presented with Variety’s inaugural International Filmmaker of the Year Award. Ang Lee was joined at the festival by Elizabeth Gabler, President of Fox 2000 Pictures, and Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film. Once again, festival attendees delighted in the discovery of local and independent features, while also getting early looks at the front runners, and prominent high-profile, Oscar®-track films.

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  • steve50

    Surprised there are no comments here yet.

    I’m going to go against the flow and suggest that Pi might be the one to watch in the game this year. Great reviews, better metacritic score than SLP – we know it connects with the audience, so if they can get asses in seats, we’ll have a critical hit/crowd-pleaser that the academy won’t ignore.

    God, I don’t know how I’m going to see everything on time this year. Too much (and that’s not a complaint)

  • What I’d like to see …

    Life of Pi vs. Cloud Atlas for Best Picture

  • steve50

    I was thinking the exact same thing earlier. Of course, not based on anything other than word of mouth and the original material. If these movies get to the core of the viewers like the books did their readers, they both have the potential to surprise. And I’d love a race like that for a change.

  • Jerry

    Have loved Ang Lee as a directing marvel for years. Hope he gets a nomination.

  • charlotte

    If I’m not mistaken, Silver Linings Playbook also picked up an Audience Award at MVFF….I just read an article by Anne Thompson/Playlist….sorry that I have no link but Thompson wrote that SLP “picked up yet another Audience Award at MVFF”.

  • Steve50 > Great minds!

    I just want to see an Oscar showdown that’s inspiring and unpredictable, and based on the advanced word of these two films, they fit the bill. My instinct is that Cloud Atlas might be kind of a mess, but I’m going to love it anyway (well, that’s how the trailer made me feel). I just wish there was more originality and these two films seem like they might be bringing it.

    I’ve already jumped on the Tom O’Neil Les Miserables bandwagon, but I’d prefer to be wrong about Best Picture, if it means something like the aforementioned dream matchup.

  • G.Woods

    We have just come home from the 3D film showing of “The Life of Pi” released by 20th Century Fox. It was unbelievably good. Having read the book in 2003, twice, for good measure,as the twist at the end caught me out…..( I was totally unprepared it,).could hardly believe how well the film captured the charm of the story.

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