Director Kate Miles Melville's debut film, Picture Day, won the audience award for best narrative feature in its U.S. premiere at the RiverRun International Film Festival, which concluded Sunday in Winston-Salem, N.C. Melville drew much-buzzed performances from Tatiana Maslany as a promiscuous high schooler and Spencer Van Wyck as the nerdy protege she used to babysit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the festival's narrative film jury awarded both the best narrative feature and best screenplay awards to Francois Ozon's In the House, about a brilliant, sinister French high school student and his writing teacher. The Peter Brunette Award for best director, named after The Hollywood Reporter’s late film reviewer, went to William Vega for La Sirga, which also won for Sofia Oggioni's lyrical cinematography. Suzanne Clement won best actress as a transsexual's wife in Xavier Dolan's for Laurence Anyways. Alain Gomis' Tey won a special jury prize.
Aniello Arena won best actor as an obsessive would-be reality TV contestant in Matteo Garrone's Reality, which won the 2012 Grand Prix at Cannes. When RiverRun executive director Andrew Rodgers announced the award, he added, "He can't be here, because he's in prison for life in Italy for...something or other." Arena, a former gangster, was convicted after three rival Naples gangsters were gunned down in 1991.