LA TIMES: LAFF Winners announced

A fictional detective story and a documentary about a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder took home the top prizes at the closing night of the Los Angeles Film Festival on Thursday.

Dave Boyle's “Man From Reno” was given the narrative award, and Debra Granik's “Stray Dog” was named the festival’s best documentary feature.

The jury, composed of director Destin Daniel Cretton, editor Lynzee Klingman and composer Kathryn Bostic, said in a statement that the film “tells a complicated story in a straightforward confident manner.”

It added: "Its exploration of barriers of age, language and success set against a noir plotline infuses a pop energy into the well-observed portrayal of its unique characters."

“Stray Dog" looks at a 67-year-old, grizzled-looking Vietnam vet as he falls in love with a Mexican woman he met on a trip to that country.

She moves in with him at the trailer park he owns in Southern Missouri and the two begin trying to bridge their cultural differences as he continues to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The documentary is the first film Granik has made since 2010’s best picture nominee “Winter’s Bone,” which was also set in the Ozarks.


Related story: LAFF 2014: A cross-cultural mystery in 'Man From Reno'

Mark Olsen

The documentary is “a beautifully crafted observational portrait that addresses with love, empathy and humor, some of the issues we struggle with as a country today, such as PTSD, immigration and poverty,” the jury said in a statement.

“Los Ángeles” by Damian John Harper won the L.A. Muse Award, which is earmarked for work created about or in Los Angeles. Audience Awards went to “The Young Kieslowski,” “Meet the Patels” and “Someone You Love."

The awards were presented on Thursday afternoon at a cocktail reception hosted by Vincent Piazza of “Jersey Boys" at L.A. Live.

The 20th annual L.A. Film Festival, which is sponsored by The Times, kicked off June 11 and concludes Thursday evening with the premiere of “Jersey Boys."