BEVERLY HILLS — On Friday, July 3, the Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival released the list of winners of this year’s festival.

The event was originally scheduled for the first week of April, and supposed to last the entire week. 

Festival president and founder, Nino Simone, commented on the decision to not move forward with the festival:

While it has saddened us all, we know canceling is the right thing to do because the health and safety of our filmmakers and thousands of attendees comes first. We also considered virtual options, but at this point, our Board agrees that it makes the most sense to now honor our BHFF20 Official Selections, while we set our sights towards hosting our next installment of the fest in April of 2021.”

However, the Festival decided to have a jury judge the films and release the winners without physical or online events for the public. The Beverly Hills Film Fest Jury president this year is award-winning producer Frederico Lapenda.

The Festival’s highest honor is the Golden Palm Award. This year’s recipient is Director Cam Cowan’s “Opeka”. The documentary tells the story of Argentine soccer player turned priest, Pedro Opeka. Over 30 years, he built a city on a landfill in Madagascar “to bring its poverty-stricken residents both dignity and hope.”

Director Derek Wayne Johnson, a two time winner, was awarded with Best Documentary for “Stallone, Frank That Is”. It tells the story of Frank Stallone, featuring interviews with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A full list of recipients can be found on the festival’s website.

The Festival will also be announcing its 2021 Call For Entry in July.