CAMBRIDGE — The Jury Prize for the best film in the 2019 Chesapeake Film Festival goes to “The Cold Blue,” which open the festival at Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Avalon Theatre in Easton.
The festival chose to announce its award-winners early this year, so audience members may have more of a chance to see these films.
“The Cold Blue,” presented by executive producer Catherine Wyler, is a story of World War II constructed from footage captured by Wyler’s father, William Wyler, for his 1943 film, “The Memphis Belle.”
All the raw footage the director and his team shot was unearthed recently at the National Archives: 34 reels with 15 hours of material
“Cold Blue” drector Erik Nelson painstakingly restored and enhanced all the footage, frame by frame, using cutting-edge technology.
If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, William Wyler’s work was recorded without sound. Nelson solved that with a new soundtrack that includes conversations. The film also includes interviews with surviving veterans of the 8th Air Force. Their memories create an emotional and revealing story of young men who risk their lives in war, then and now.
At a reception immediately following “The Cold Blue,” you can meet Catherine Wyler, along with the recipient of the festival’s Best Biographical Feature, Aviva Kempner. Her film, “The Spy Beyond Home Plate” will screen at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Avalon.
“The Spy Beyond Home Plate” is the story of Moe Berg, Major League Baseball player turned Spy in World War II. Berg’s improbable story is told with rare historic footage and revealing interviews with family and an all-star roster from the world of history, sports and spy craft.
The festival will run through Thursday, Oct. 10, with screenings of features, shorts and documentaries at the Avalon Theatre, Easton Premier Cinemas, Talbot County Free Library, Oxford Community Center, Cambridge Premier Cinemas and Gallery 447 in Cambridge.
Individual tickets, or opening day passes that cover both films and the reception, are available at chesapeakefilmfestival.com or at the door.
Other festival award-winners are:
Best Environmental Short: “Nassawango Legacy,” Dave Harp, director. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Tickets include a pre-show reception at 5 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center and panel discussion after the films.
Best Documentary Feature: “The Pollinators,” Peter Nelson, director. 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Easton Premium Cinemas. Question-and-answer session led by Dr. Jeff Pettis, world-renowned bee expert, follows the screening.
Best Short Film: “Appy Days,” Eric Dyson, director. 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at Easton Premium Cinemas. Q&A with the director.
Best Animated Film: “Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall. See this Oscar-nominated short on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Oxford Community Center as part of “Arts to Remember,” a day of films and educational resources focusing on aging and dementia.
Best Emerging Filmmaker: Lehr Jackson for “The Endless War” about his days in the Vietnam War. 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct 9, at Easton Premium Cinemas. Q&A with Jackson.
Best Emerging Performance: Herman J. Johansen (actor) in “The Land.” 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at Easton Premium Cinemas.
Best Emerging Director: Paul Harrill for “Light from Light.” 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Easton Premium Cinemas.
Best Editing: “Sea of Shadows,” Richard Ladkani, director. 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, Avalon Theatre.
Best Sound Editing: “The Bonobo Connection,” Irene Magafan, director. 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, Easton Premium Cinemas. Q&A with Magafan.
Best International Short Film: “Reflections,” Vincent De Paul, producer. Noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, as part of Shorts Program 4 at Easton Premium Cinemas.
Best Student Short: “Bishop,” Joshua Ziggy Popkin, director. 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, as part of Shorts Program 3 at Easton Premium Cinemas.