Luna the wayward orca sought contact with people, and people obliged.

The votes are in for this year’s winners of the 2008 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Independent Audience Choice Awards. The Indy-sponsored prize is awarded annually and is based on votes cast by viewers of any of the fest’s films. Paper ballots were distributed throughout the ten-day-long event as patrons entered each film screening, and were tabulated over the course of the past three days. Saving Luna, Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit’s documentary about the couple’s fight to protect a wayward young orca whale from being placed in captivity, took home top honors. Other top contenders included A Walk to Beautiful, which placed second, Water Flowing Together which took third place, and Stranded: I’ve Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains, and Autism the Musical, which rounded out the top five.


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