The Fifth Annual Lower East Side Film Festival wrapped up their 11-night run in typically wacky and wonderful fashion on Sunday night. After the screening of the documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzy Velazquez Story at Village East Cinemas, filmmakers and guests headed to Drom, on Avenue A, for the closing night party and awards. Guests were treated to live music from hip hop duo Quincy Vidal, electronic pop duo Chaos Chaos and some gorgeously risque acrobatics by Lady Circus.
This year’s panel of judges included actress Laverne Cox, Parker Posey, producer Rachel Horovitz and the Beach Boy’s Mike Love, among others. They awarded Best of Fest – “The L.E.S. Prix D’Or” – to Katharine Emmer’s Life in Color. Best Feature Film went to William Cusick’s Pop Meets the Void and best Live Action Short Film to P.S. 432, directed and written by Elizabeth Nichols.
A Brave Heart took home the Audience Award. The film follows 26 year old, 58 pound Lizzie Velazquez, who was born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, as she goes from cyber-bullying victim to international anti-bullying activist and inspirational speaker. Velasquez and her director, Sara Hirsh Bordo, were in attendance.
A dancer in chain mail and huge feathered wings took the stage for a burlesque-like performance, along with a sexy head-dressed acrobat on a chain hanging from the ceiling and a horned, bejeweled “beast” on stilts. Velasquez noted in her acceptance speech, “this is definitely the most unique and interesting awards party we’ve been to!”
Go here for a full list of festival winners.