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Any Day Now wins audience award at LA's Outfest and leading man Alan Cumming takes best actor prize

Keep on the Lights wins jury prize for outstanding US drama and screenplay
Isaac_Leyva and Alan_Cumming
Photo by Greg Hernandez

The drama Any Day Now received a prolonged standing ovation after it screened at LA's Outfest film festival on Saturday so it was little surprise that the film about a gay couple trying to adopt a teenager with Downs Syndrome won the Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Feature Film on Sunday (22 July).

Star Alan Cumming won the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film. Judges praised the star for 'bringing depth, humor, fierce wit, and emotional integrity to a moving portrait of a man who unexpectedly finds a family and the strength to fight for it.'

Cumming was present for both the screening and the awards ceremony.

'I just really immediately responded to the story,' said the 
Tony winning actor who currently stars on CBS's The Good Wife. 'It was a great character and it's about something I really believe in.'

Director Travis Fine said it was much easier to get the film made once Cumming was aboard.

'He said yes to this little, tiny film,' Fine said.

Also in the cast is are Garret Dillahunt as Cumming's partner, Kelly Williams as a teacher, Frances Fisher as a judge and as the child at the center of the film, Isaac Leyva, an actor with Downs Syndrome who was cast after a nationwide search.

The drama Keep the Lights On impressed two different grand juries at the festival who rewarded the film with the awards for Outstanding US Dramatic Feature Film and Outstanding Screenwriting.

'This film resonated with us for its confidence, complexity, and emotional intelligence,' the feature film jury stated.

The film, directed by Ira Sachs and written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, chronicles one couples emotionally and sexually charged journey through love and addiction.

'Keep the Lights on is a very personal film but it's also a call to arms to our community to talk openly about how we live our lives,' Sachs said in a a statement read at the awards ceremony. 'The relationship in the center of the film is one that is torn apart by secrets. Many of us discovered our sexuality in darkness and we trained ourselves vigilantly to be silent about our most personal behavior. When drugs become a part of the equation, the hiding becomes only that much more intense.'

Other Outfest Award winners: The Special Programming Award for Freedom went to I Am a Woman Now directed by Michiel van Erp; the Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement was presented to She Male Snails directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark; and writer-director Marialy Rivas received a the Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent for her film Young & Film.

Other Audience Awards: Outstanding Documentary Short Film was A Force of Nature directed by Barbara Kopple; Outstanding Dramatic Short Film was The First Date directed by Janella Lacson; Outstanding Documentary Feature Film was I Stand Corrected directed by Andrea Meyerson; and First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film was Mosquita Y Mari directed by Aurora Guerrero.

Other Grand Jury Awards: Outstanding Documentary Short Film was The Devotion Project: More Than Ever directed by Antony Osso; Outstanding Dramatic Short Film was DOL (First Birthday) director by Andrew Ahn; Outstanding Documentary Feature Film was Wildness directed by Wu Tsang; Outstanding International Dramatic Feature Film was My Brother The Devil directed by Sally El Hosaini; and Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film was Fenessa Pineda of Mosquita Y Mari.

 

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