Co-producers of “Up in the Air” were two Burbank residents, Wes Llewellyn and Chris Roberts, and Utah resident Doug Folsom, who stars in the film.
“It’s very exciting,” said Llewellyn, who also wrote and directed it.
After seeing the competition, Llewellyn said he wasn’t counting on winning.
“I was shocked, I really was,” Llewellyn said. “There were so many good films this year. I was sitting there putting it out of my mind that we would win. You are excited and you don’t want to be let down. I was sitting there psyching myself up to hear someone else’s name called out.”
But the only word presenter and film producer Ralph Winter got out was “Up.”
“And everybody started to applaud,” Llewellyn said.
The film is based on the Bible verse Hosea 3:1. The story is about a Naval aviator raising two daughters whose wife returns after six years.
It was shot on location just outside of Park City, Utah.
The cinematography impressed John David Ware, founder and director of the 168 Film Festival.
“I think the visuals with the mountain range in Utah and the beautiful cinematography really struck me,” Ware said. “Brandon Lippard won the award for Best Cinematography. He is an up-and-coming cinematographer, and I’m really happy for him. And Wes is the consummate filmmaker.”
Llewellyn has directed films in four 168 festivals. He won Best Film awards in 2003 and 2007, and in 2008 received a first-runner-up award, he said.
The team was made up of people Llewellyn has known for many years, and they had a great time making the film, he said.
“I was content that I’d made a good film, but the fact that it won made it sweeter,” he said.