Spring 2016 – Nominations and Winners

Spring 2016 – Official Selection

Festival Laurels (all categories + nomination laurel + special mention laurel)


Main Categories:

  • Jury Prize

Feature Film Winner: This Little Piggy by Tristan Barr (facebook)

Jury Member, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou says:

With ‘This Little Piggy’, Tristan Barr shows himself to have a voice. Which is always the most impressive, and hardest, thing to achieve. You can tell he’s got something to say, and even more impressively, everyone involved is along for the ride.

The performances as a whole are very strong, (even down to the supporting cast), and all come together to bring a level of authenticity to the film. Which is saying something for what ends up being an incredibly dramatic finale. It’s shot in that indie-docu style in an aim to bring realism and credibility to the story – but honestly the cast ends up doing most of that heavy lifting, which is for the great benefit of the film.

An easy watch for something so often dark and brutal, ‘This Little Piggy’ shows a filmmaker to follow.

Runner up: Exit Thread by Paul Andrew Kimball (website, facebook)

Short Film Winner: All the Other Things by Egor Chichkanov (website)

Jury Member, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou says:

I have a lot of time for films that are ‘simple’. This isn’t a derogatory thing, it’s a huge compliment. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve and the simplest, smartest way of getting there is often one of the hardest things to do in film-making. With ‘All The Other Things’, Egor Chichkanov achieves that.

The only two moments of real ‘look-at-me’ flash that can often overtake shorts come from the opening and ending long-take shots; the rest is controlled and steady. The characters are the focus here and their relationships, and the film allows those elements to be at the forefront, and keeping the half-hour narrative tied to a handful of rooms never feels confined, because the characters bring it all to life.

Come for the opening shot, stay for the people.

Runners up: The Order by Matthew Browne (facebook), The Dead Bird by Damien Overton (facebook)

— please note: Our jury votes independently to the selection committee.


  • Best Feature Film made for less than $5,000

Winner: The Last Kill by Tony Oldham (website, facebook)

Selection Committee Member says:

Back in 2009, the British indie film ‘Harry Brown’, starring Michael Caine, burst onto our screens. It was brash, it was loud, and it was arrogant when it came to pin pointing a social unrest within the British class structure.

‘The Last Kill’ feels similar – it attempts to talk about the anxieties urbanisation has given us, the ‘rougher’ way of life certain folks have to face when they have been forced into proximity with one another, and the repercussions of people’s actions might have when they’re poorly thought out.

With its complex overlaying of characters and plots, and carefully paced scenes, ‘The Last Kill’ goes for a more stylised social message – this is the horror of ‘what if’ the angered revenge seeking neighbour goes out of control completely. It is a classier effort than ‘Harry Brown’, and carries a particular Hannibal Lecter / Dexter flavour. All in all, with its carefully focussed cinematography, and calm performances, often spoken rather than shouted, ‘The Last Kill’ is a fine first feature effort.

Nominees:   Zeitgeist Protest by Christophe Karabache (no links provided)

  • Best Feature Film made for between $5,000-$10,000

Winner:  DisAssociatationVille by James Christopher (Website, Facebook)

Festival Director says:

DisAssociationVille by James Christopher is a flashback heavy drama about love and loss. What makes this film both so enjoyable and interesting is its particular pace of various careful intimate moments. The script, above all, seems to be one of the most noteworthy of efforts I have ever seen in micro budget arena. Its both original, and yet reminiscent of all the things we expect from a good Hollywood film… even though it isn’t by any means a Hollywood film.

The surprising turn of the film is its beautiful balancing act of multiple characters which simply appear fully formed. We don’t need much time to feel forever at home with these beings, and they all feel real and welcoming to us. Perhaps this is thanks to our prospective – pinned with Chris, that we get to follow Derek Babb and his cool naturalism steady all the tones of the film.

Unlike the mumblings of the teacher telling off our lead, this isn’t a film which isn’t working to its ‘potential’, but rather quite the opposite. It is full of potential which is utilised and pushed to its fullest. Perhaps the only criticism I hold is that the film felt perhaps too polished – its sound felt dubbed, its photography rather overly smooth… perhaps a bit more of a rough palette would have made the film even more realistic and nostalgic for the viewer. It is though, regardless of that rough texture I crave, a beautiful story told with much heart, love and care for attention. High recommended.

Nominees: Never Wait Again by Domino Rey (no link provided), The Descendants by Yaser Talebi (no links provided), Revenge Fantasies Inc by Richard Faymonville (Website, Facebook), Trippin’ to the Alter by David N. Reyes (website, facebook)

  • Best Feature Film made for more than $10,000

Winner: Road to Perdition by Yaser Talebi (no links provided)

Selection Committee member says:

Here we’ve got a ‘No Country for Old Men’ in black and white. Time moves as if it is on a quick dial, spinning up and down like a Wong Kar Wai film. Underneath the style though, beneath the overworked story devices, we have a clear plot full of tension, high octane stakes, and two very steady leads who perform under pressure.

Much like ‘The Third Man’, the heavy chiaroscuro lighting makes for an elegant form from which the film is able to springboard its production values. As the scenario gets further heightened by the mid point of the film, the boiling over style erodes, and spills into the film’s narration. Its quite a great independent film from a region of the world we rarely get to see in this tone, and most importantly – its rather memorable as a viewing experience.

Nominees:  Blockbuster – A Life in Moving Pictures  by Vlado Priborsky (Facebook, website)

  • Best Short Film made for less than $5,000

Winner:  Soul Cry by Margrét Asta (Facebook)

Festival Director says:

I’m not quite sure if SoulCry was meant to be upsetting or funny. I found many of its characters to be riddled with faults – and by this I don’t mean that they didn’t work, but rather that their ethical behaviour was muddled – they didn’t seem to know what they were doing was right or wrong. Even the lead, who I completely sympathised with, seemed to dabble in a bizarre variety of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behavioural traits. Further yet, the performance delivery of this part, provided by the writer/director herself, Margrét Asta, was in a class of its own.

It’s hard judging a film for our festival when a project like SoulCry comes along, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes it so great. The framing here is concise, the look is coherent, the grading is almost fantastical – a shimmering of cinematic tones and colours, the story is compelling, the music elevates… and it is all ‘cinematic’ in its delivery.

Perhaps its just easy for me to conclude with a clear statement that I am rather biased entirely towards this film – I just thought it was great. I watched it a few times even, I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Margrét Asta might just be the overdue female answer to Xavier Dolan – a bold young voice, a performer, and a skilled storytelling artist.

I just have one question – when is the debut feature due?

Nominees: The Dead Bird by Damian Overton (facebook), Corpse Remover by Alessandro Farrattini Pojani (facebook), Applause by Kayser A. Foyz (no links provided), Angelito in Your Eyes by Judy Sandra (website), Pages 321 Part 1 by Anugat Raj (no links provided)

  • Best Short Film made for between $5,000-$10,000

Winner: Final Cassett by Lianghong Deng (facebook)

Festival Director says:

Listen closely – you’re about to be told a story, or two, or three… it’s somewhat unclear how many stories we are told in Lianghong Deng’s Final Cassette. The obvious one is the taught love story between a boy and a girl, and their tapes of a ‘secret’ storeroom.

But there’s more here than meets the eye: there’s a story about youth, the one being told to a youngster by someone older; there’s the story of someone trying to grasp the idea of the ‘past’, and how it shapes our future. And then there are stories about various spaces: the New York bookstore full of past lives and the books which filled them, the dark buildings hiding something from our sight, and the rooftop overlooking the city full of people, all of which tied together by lost memories and broken dialogue sequences shaped by edit jumps. It’s basically like the film Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry would have made had they met when they were younger.

Basically – this film is a wonderfully complex intertwining of incomplete lives, incomplete friendships, incomplete cinematic plots, and those intimate cinematic moments we all love.

My only complaint is perhaps its length: Deng’s skill is that of a feature director, and whilst this short is wonderful for what it is, I couldn’t help but wish for this to be of a longer length. I’d love to settle to it seated on my couch under a blanket, snuggle up and enjoy 90 minutes of this slick cinema-cool day dream style. Final Cassette is full of class, story and wonderful performances; and the final note is a wonderful audience tease.

Nominees:  The Order by Matthew Browne (facebook)

  • Best Short Film made for more than $10,000

Winner: The Monster by Bob Pipe (Facebook)

Festival Director says:

Like with John Malkovich’s performance of a dangerous ‘vampired’ Max Shreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Richard Glover dips his toes into the parody of playing a bygone era ‘monster’. Both tones of his performance are quite great – he’s both the lead romantic interest of a blonde bimbo, and then the so-called ‘real’ monster of The Monster’s world – a has-been actor starring in a dreadful chase B-movie in order to pay his rent.

The highlight of this set up is the party they all attend, a quick stab and a flirtatious chat keep the tones of the film at ease, constantly teasing the viewer.

Quite late into the short the film though it all reverts to a very much expected turn of all romantic films featuring these so-called ‘Phantom of the Opera’ creatures: the monster, who thought he had a chance with the female lead, finds out he could never be loved because he is a monster, and it all goes wrong.

The film’s strengths though is quite obvious: there’s a sure strong style here, the film is easy to watch, and not too convoluted plot wise, and most importantly its handled and delivered with care.

It goes without saying that Bob Pipe’s parody-style short is a classy stab at a character lead piece, breathing a well overdue breath of life back into the by-gone ‘monster mash’ comedy genre.

Nominees:  Lifeless by Sylvain Razemon (website, facebook)



Other categories:

  • Best Cinematography of the season

Winners: Fraser Stephen’s cinematography in Ava (no links provided)

Nominees: Lluis Martí’s cinematography in Unstable (Facebook), Nathan Frost’s cinematography in The Dead Bird (facebook), Crista Castellanos and Christian Olivares’ cinematography in Alba (facebook)

  • Best Actor of the season

Winner: Ryan Lights in The Dead Bird (facebook)

Nominees: Adam Woollard in Silent Country (Facebook), Michael Kelly in Artie Says Goodbye (no links provided), Cameron Moir in Angelito in Your Eyes (website), Wolfgang Rauh in Blockbuster – A Life in Pictures (Facebook, website), Chris Foran in That Day Comes (no links provided)

  • Best Actress of the season

Winner: Afton Eve Moran in Ava (no link provided)

Nominees: Erin Wasmund in Itch (no link provided), Gigi Quaine in Before the Sun Sets (Facebook, IMDb), Helen George in The Monster (Facebook)

  • Best Score of the season

Winner: Hank Lee’s score in Final Cassett (facebook)

Nominees: The Holy Goats’s score in Silent Country (Facebook), Benjamin Roberts in Shades of Darkness (website, facebook)

  • Best Genre Piece of the season

Winner:  Scams Incoperated by Matt Mirams (no links provided)

Nominees:  Angelito in Your Eyes by Judy Sandra (website), Final Cassett by Lianghong Deng (facebook), Georgian Dance: Tthe Nation’s Soul 4 Century BC to Modern Day by Salome Tkebuchava (website), Once Upon a Dream by Anthony Nion (no links provided)

  • Best Direction of the season

Winner: Ava by Salome Pinto (no links provided)

Nominees: The Dead Bird by Damian Overton (facebook), Final Cassett by Lianghong Deng (facebook),

  • Best Writing of the season

Winner: Final Cassett by Lianghong Deng (facebook)

Nominees: Before the Sun Sets by Sam Leach (Facebook, IMDb), Itch by Mehdi Akbar (no link provided) Ava by Salome Pinto, Max Barth (no link provided)

  • Best Editing of the season

Winner: Roy Kolberg’s editing of The Dead Bird (facebook)

Nominees: Rui Pinto’s editing of Early Release (no link provided), Kevin Speight’s editing in Unstable (Facebook), Mehdi Akbar’s editing of Itch (no link provided), Regimantas Puida’s editing of Ava (no link provided), Jamie Dixon’s editing of Carthage (Facebook)

  • Special Mention

Amoo Nowruz By Farkhondeh Torabi (website), Look Out, Kid by Oliver Benezra (Filmmaker’s homepage), Tetras by Axel Zeltser (no link provided), Brenda by Juan José Llamas Macías (no links provided), Through the Mist by Maksim Schastnev (no link provided)


* Please note: some categories vary in number of nominations based on the quality and quantity of submissions. There is a maximum of five nominations and one win per category.