“The Algerian” tops with three wins at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles, including “Best Picture” as star Harry Lennix is honored.
Los Angeles – The Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles wrapped Saturday night at the Angel City Brewery, but not before bestowing “The Algerian” with the award for “Best Picture.” Writer/Director Giovanni Zelko’s sleeper cell thriller took home the top honor of the night along with two other awards and a prestigious recognition for one the film’s stars, Harry Lennix.
“The Algerian,” a political drama about the colliding worlds of the Middle East and America, stars Ben Youcef as an intense and troubled “Ali,” alongside an impressive cast. The films also stars Harry Lennix who appears in “Romeo and Juliet in Harlem,” which was also screened at this year’s festival.
On July 16th, DFFLA honored Lennix with the Independent Film Pioneer Award for his contributions to indie cinema over the years. He, along with Virginia Madsen, is one of the two recipients to receive this year’s honor.
The opening night showcase marked the west coast premiere of “The Algerian” at a sold out screening. With filming locations in Los Angeles, Algeria, Las Vegas, and New York, the film wowed audiences with its fast paced, international scope that feels like a big budget thriller.
“The Algerian” dives deep into social hostilities involving religious and cultural tensions, but ultimately promotes a peaceful message, according to the film’s director. “There are many layers, metaphors and messages within “The Algerian” aside from it being a political thriller. The core message of our film is ultimately one of co-existence and equality amongst all people regardless of religion, ethnicity, skin color, gender or social standing,” said Zelko during a post award show interview.
The cast and crew joined Zelko on stage as he accepted the award on their behalf, while acknowledging all the hard work of the contributors to the film’s success.
Along with the awards for “Best Picture,” the film also picked up honors for “Best Actor,” and “Best Cinematography.”
“The Algerian” continues to screen at various festivals in the US and overseas.
Written by Sade Aremu