Autumn 2020

AUTUMN 2020 | Festival Laurels (all categories + nomination laurel + special mention laurel)

Jury Competition:

  • Jury Prize

Winner: Rainbow in the Dark by Ben Mosca – “Barking madness. We love this! Everyone go watch this short film now!!!”

Nominees: In Memoriam by Dimitrios Karas – “The darkness of this film is great.”, Family by Asena Cakir – “A rich epic family adventure. There’s something very community-oriented in this film.”, Bodies in the Road by Kevin Rainey – “This film comes with a great feeling of emotional development. It also sounds and looks great.”

Special Jury Prize: Best Actor and Director pairing – Jamie Muscato (Actor) and Paul Andrew Kimball (Director) – “There is a certain class in this project which indie films rarely have. The duo here are fully invested in the project, and it translates very well to the screen. This film is also beautifully shot, and well lead by Muscato’s performance and Kimball’s directorial delivery (ie cinematic language). All in all a very satisfying indie film.” 

Special Jury Prize: Best Production Quality – In Love With Alley Barker by Chris and Robert Smellin “The film’s overall quality is simply undeniable. This film is well shot, well-acted and simply put – an ace delivery.”

Special Jury Prize: Best Art Direction – Deus Otiosus by Mat Braddy – “The film’s setting, the detail to how it is shot, and the grand period piece elements are nothing shy of a godly treat!”

Main Categories:

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

Winner: Papugi by Piers Culpan

Festival Director says: 

 “Culpan’s film makes use of every penny spent on it. It is clear that the whole endeavor is greatly loved and well-polished… despite some shaky camera work, the entire project is quite loveable and highly recommended to all.”

Seduction by Bowen Li – “The film’s scale and style is quite amazing for its budget size.”, A Logical Sale by Omar Salhi – “The mechanisms of cinema find some solid routes in this film’s own architectural design. It is a large and strong building.”, Voices by Frank Zotter, Shaz Mohsin – “The philosophical throwback to time jumping affairs is a wild ride here… the robust nature of the production goes a long way to help ensure it carries an ‘enhanced’ cinematic feeling.”

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

Winner: Waves by Gary Centrone

Festival Director says:

“Moving and delicate, and beautifully mounted… this film understands its characters’ needs (the actors are top draw quality here), and its cinematic power… the locale, often blue and sandy, is a moving backdrop to the melodrama… reminiscent of Douglas Sirk.”

Nominees:  The Wolf Delivers by Thomas Crouser Jr – “This is a tight, slick, teeth gnawing feast of a short!”, Outlander by ZHU Weijie – “Zhu should just make a feature film. Her work is a cinematic pure delight.”, Bureaucardiocracy by Antonio Candalice – “The sense of scale and world-building elements is just great.”

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

Winner: Uncle Mike by Neil Ahwan

Festival Director says:

“David Omordia and Kevin Golding give incredible performances in this beautifully shot delicate picture. Just perfection really.”

Nominees: Kesi by Daniel Maggio – “Such a fun adventure.”, Mary Jane and the Marvelous Menacing Tabs by Jasmine Siddall – “Comedic, timely, even a little romantic (dare I say)… this short offers more than your average.”, The Sleepless by Kami Sadraei – “Oh what a delightful take on a particular genre archetype. Eric Roberts helps cement the classy vibe already well established by the black and white style. So great. Thank-you-more-please!”

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

Winner: Shoestring Spectacle by Jonathan Gill

Festival Director says:

“Though laboured at times, mainly as it feels like a string of random chapters… this mini-documentary really captures the heart and soul of independent film production – and perhaps the potential all of these activities have in forming communities…”

Nominees: The Star of Light Cone by Mengxin He – “This experimental effort goes to great lengths to find a variety of digital media with which to tell its story. It is, thanks to this mode of operation, an interesting exercise in the ‘new’ digital cinematic language.”

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

Winner: Place and Time by Ben Myers

Festival Director says:

“Kudus is due to the entire team here: cast and crew – the coming together of this plot, in a particular time and place (pun not intended, sorry guys) is really quite special. It is proof that, with the right planning, cinema still has a frontier which remains largely unexplored: it is the ‘live’ cinema format Francis Ford Coppola has been trying to make… it is the live-esque film that simply flows out, captured and encapsulated in the moving image format. Needless to say this is a film worth any indie film viewers attention, and Myers is a filmmaker we should all be excited about.” 

Nominees: Am Rande der Zeiten by Jörg Reichlin – “For some particular reason this reminds me of the provincial films of france, in particular the ones from the 90’s…. These period piece films, or films set in the countryside, often focussed on a sort of vagabond traveller who encountered his environment in various scenarios… all in all – it is charming.”, Paracide by Paul Heron – “Joe Davis is wonderfully funny. This is a wacky fun film – like something 1990’s Greg Araki could have come up with.”,

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

Not enough entries for this category to go ahead.

  • Best Web series

No entrants to this category.

  • Best Quarantine Short Film

Winner: Minor Provocations by Joshua Shi – “A sense of isolation and freedom is brilliantly presented here. It’s grand and intimate.”

Nominees:  The Last Oak by Annabel Vine – “Has a strong sense of genre, bold cinematography and solid performances. Quite great for its super-short form.”, Boxes by Klara Kaliger – “A sense of genre flavours this project, something most lockdown projects lack.”, Welcome to University by – “The message is loud and clear – and the delivery is pitch-perfect.”

Other categories:

  • Best Actor of the season

Winner: Danylo Myron in Papugi – “Myron really pushes himself in every direction the role requires. It is refreshing to see such a bold performance in what is (for the most part) a simple short film.”

Nominees: Kostas Theodosiadis in – “Moving, and grand… This film is greatly grounded by its lead performer. Bravo!”, actor in The Playdate, Will Goodwin in Welcome to University – “Goodwin does a great job here… but let’s not forget the real observation: he’d make a great lead in a feature film.”, Jean-Baptiste Desban in Inside My Mind – “In this supporting role, Desban finds space to claim as his own – and it adds to the film, rather than acts as a filler.”, Daniel Plumb in Frank – “Plumb’s delivery is great. He’s got a great screen presence, both for his intense anger and his sexual frustration. What’s on offer here is a rare depth that short films practically never have.”

  • Best Actress of the season

Winner: Laura Jane Turner in In Love With Ally Barker – “With its bold actor delivery – a performance which dominates most of the film’s runtime and is subtle and collected, Turner delivers what this feature needs: a character at the centre and in control of our emotional buy-in to the film’s world and scenario.”

Nominees: Anita Wittenberg in Breathing Easy – “Wittenberg delivers a moving and delicate performance.”, Rebecca Giacopazzi in Hooked – “Giacopazzi carries the film with a rather ‘intense’ phone crazed performance. It is, however, her strong energy, and the very immediate nature of her character, that allows for her skills as an actress to shine.”, Sakntala Ramanee in Jakinta – “Ramanee is comedic and knows how to string the audience along with her own sense of timing.”,

  • Best Ensemble Cast of the season

Winner: The Cast of Dead Or Die – “The cast of Dead or Die are all well-rounded performers. It is a really brilliant project thanks to its players – they all seem to be delivering pitch-perfect moments for the camera.”

Nominees: The Cast of  Family – “The entire team here seems to be on point and trying their best to bring the ‘family’ to life. It is a great effort from all of the cast/family members.”, The Duo of Stuck – “The film’s greatest strength is the couple featured in this short.”, The Cast of Upheaval – “The trio at hand here are all having a great amount of fun… and they play their parts in the best way possible.”, The Cast of Bodies – “”, The cast of This Time Next Week – “Though the video conference genre is over-saturated at this point, this cast is all on point and quite great. ”

  • Best Score of the season

Winner: Paul Richards’ score of Voices – “Richards goes to great lengths to ensure that the film sounds as if it is a million bucks.”

Nominees: The score of Mary Jane and the Marvelous Menacing Tabs by Eliya Gwetta – “Complimentary, soothing… the sonic elements of Mary Jane are just perfectly on point.”, The score of The Eve by Sandro Di Stefano – “Robust and cinematic, Stefano’s score elevates and accommodates the film in many great ways… think of it as the cherry on top of a lovely desert.”

  • Best Cinematography of the season

Winner: Konstantinos Athanasopoulos and Tassos Papadiotis’s photography of To Kill a Lie – “Shot with a stunning sense of style and bold understanding of light. Quite great.”

Nominees: Burak Oguz Saguner’s photography of A Strange Season- “Stunningly shot” and Oscar Axel Thorborg’s photography of Self Isolation – “Very well shot. Some great awareness for the power of light and focus.”

  • Best Editing of the season

Winner: Thomas Crouser Jr’s editing of The Wolf Delivers – “Dark, moody, atmospheric… all of these things are heightened by the skillful edit of Wof.”

Nominees: Scott Johnson’s editing of Follow Leader – “This endless montage finds some resonance through its careful use of colour and sound.”, Andrea Nagy’s editing of Katalinka 16 – “Nagy’s editing allows the pacing and colliding narratives and images to impact the audience in the perfect way.”

  • Best Genre Piece of the season

Winner: Make No Sound by Chris Miller – “The film understands its genre, and knows how to kick it into 6th gear when it needs to.”

Nominees:  Learning Optimism by Umberto Sala – “The documentary genre is used in the most intimate and character way possible… there’s a real sense of place, narrator and subject. It’s great!”, Loner (Eigenbrötler) by Antonio Universi – “The individual and the locale come into full light here thanks to the documentary genre and its well-handled approach.”, Upheaval by Cameron Bowyer – “The film’s dip into horror is a great delight.”, The Winter by – “A stunning animation.”,

  • Special Mention

Winner: Best Art Direction – Super Roommates by Ivy Miller – “The delicate world presented in this film has been built with a great sense of style and purpose.”

Winner: VFX and Animation – The Choice by Aneek Ray – “Impressive visuals presented in a poetic way are present here.” 

Winner: Historical Subject – CHAMP 5 by Paul Gatto, David Jester and Kathleen Strouse – “In this unusual tale of the past, one finds a fascinating individual, interesting use of archive footage and a great understand for a historical subject which is otherwise unheard of outside of the film’s main locale.”

Winner: Best Documentary: The Truth About the Use of Relaxers in Nigeria by Seun Okimi – “A unique documentary with a bold sense of perspective.”

Winner: Special Mention: Best Animation: “Stunning from start to end.”

Music Video Competition:

  • Best Music Video 

Winner: Modern Day Cathedral by Philos Maurice Klein – “This music video’s scenes, which are built in a dream world, are just nothing shy of beautiful.”

Nominees: New Youth by Junseok Eom – “There is a great atmospheric sense of place in this music video – the lighting, the locale… the textures of these different elements are very specific and memorable.”, Listen to this If by Will Hearle – “Intoxicating it is… the mixture of its retro VHS buzz look, bold performance and a strong understanding of camp comedy is just utter gold.”, Holiday by Deric Gochenauer – “The sense of a character, setting and the social mixture is greatly enhancing for this video.”, Something New by Yuchi Tian – “This fable is perfectly framed within the sandy destination video.”

  • Best Editing

Winner: Listen to this If by Will Hearle – “Through digital effects, Hearle’s video encapsulates video genius, skips a beat and keeps the rush going.”

Nominee: Insomniac by Cristian Balint – “The images are compelling… but it is really the edit that makes this music video top notch. There’s a sense that each cut is precise and deliberate.”, 

  • Best Cinematography

Winner: At the Limit of Feelings by Liudmila Komrakova – “Nothing shy of stunning.”

Nominees: Ghosted by Michelle Rose – “The video has a great use of colour, which greatly elevates the video’s unique look.”, Gothic Blues by Cody Myers and Chris Smucker – “Though the actual image itself could be better… the unique of each image, and the care in its creation (which includes some strange editing visual effects) makes this video memorable and unique.”, Something New by Yuchi Tian – “Beautifully shot, Something New has a tale to tell with the right canvas.”

Script Competition:

One Way Out by Alyxandrya Prynce – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “A dark animal hides in these pages. Very nicely presented.”

The Miracle of Isabella Herrera by Jomo Merritt – Nominated: Best Technique: “The writing is crisp and bold in its tone.”

Ringside by Eileen Wilson – Nominated: Best Micro-Budget Script: “Just go and get this shot!”

Frankenstein’s Monsters by Kenny Colliver – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “Such a blast of fun.”

We’re Fine by Alicia Ocana – Nominated: Best Micro-Budget Short, Nominated: Best Character Arc: “This short has a great feeling of being camera ready. There’s a solid character flavouring too.”

Torrey Canyon by Graeme Keeton – Nominated: Best Technique: “The script has a solid polish to its delivery.”
Murder by Daniel Catfish Russ – Winner: Best Genre Script: “Just the concept alone is barking mad and funny and creepy.”
Whiteface by Karen Gamba – Winner: Best Character Arc: “Bold. Impressively done.”
Refractions by Paula Rossman – Nominated: Best Character Arc: “There’s a sense of doom here that is unique to this character’s perspective and endurance.”
Fatal Ambition by Angel Connell – Nominated: Best Technique: “Shy of the copy signatures on this draft, this is a solid and enjoyable presentation of script and script syntax.”
Something Like That by AJ Maryn – Nominated: Best Character Arc, Special Mention: Best New Writer: “This script feels like a concept we’ve seen before, but it finds a way of becoming fresh thanks to its unique take on the familiar content. Long story short – it’s great.”
So Much I by AJ Maryn – Nominated: Best Character Arc: “The main order of business is a human being in a particular mental space that we must endure with them. It’s solid writing – and the type that will definitely make for great feature scriptwriting.”
Permission by Joe Capucini – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “The concept has a unique way of pushing genre and genre filmmaking to the front of our minds.”

Wrongfully Convicted by John Wolfe – Nominated: Best Micro-Budget Script: “In the world of web series, this is a smart and efficient delivery on the page.”

Finding Your True Self by Gabriel Brown – Nominated: Best Technique: “The only issue here really is the choice of subject, it feels very ‘coming of age’, but in a kind of outdated way… but regardless of that concept level, the script is very appetising with its writing style. There’s a solid writer here who understands the screen.”
Psyched! by Anca Vaida – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “Comical and on point.”
The Strange Affair of the Elevator by Katy Regnery – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “It has a solid potential for one of those Hallmark scripts. Quite fun.”
The Fallout by Dominic Flanagan – Winner: Best Micro-Budget Script: “It knows where the cost-saving skills are to be had. It’s a solid Zombie chewable film!”
Stuck by Vanessa Bailey – Nominated: Best Technique: “The concept is well used by now… heck, we’ve even had M. Night do a whole stuck in the life with the devil delivery… but there’s no denying the charm that Bailey brings to each of her projects, so – stuck in a lift or not… this is still one of those ‘must-see’ scripts that just should get shot asap.”
Crispr Divide by Jarett Leger – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “Punchy concept. Solid stuff. Reminds us of Martin Amis’ one short story collection.”
Solus by Vedansh Bharadwaj – Nominated: Best Technique: “The sense of the digital finds a way of communicating the story in a modern way.”
Speaking of Girls by Dominic Flewitt – Winner: Best Technique: “This is a unique take and a solid exploration of a rather topical subject, but done so in a less than topical way – it is cinematic, and engaging… it would, long story short, make for a great short film… and we hope we can see it one day!”
Stronger When She’s Broken by SherLann D. Moore – Nominated: Best Technique: “This is a lengthy endeavour, and it has a consisted quality to its writing that keeps it fresh.”
New Moon 5280 by Dean Harakas – Nominated: Best Genre Script: “The concept and the ‘world’ building elements of this script are well… out of this world? – in the best of ways.”
Noxious Propensity by Leandro Oliveira – Nominated: Best Character Arc: “The craft is where it’s lacking – there’s text slang (ie Yh etc) at times… and perhaps the concept is a little simple, a hard one to avoid becoming cliche with its design… but overall, the characters and dialogue is where this script shines.”