Spring 2018

FESTIVAL LAURELS (all categories)




WINNER: Snapshots by Melanie Mayron

Festival Director says:

Melanie Mayron’s handling of Jan Miller Corran and Katherine Cortez’s script was beautifully done and consistently balanced. The characters had depth filled presentations of their detailed lives, the troubles they faced and the work they put in to overcome these problems.
Overall, the film had a very strong quality in terms of its production values, the photography was especially crisp, and often provided the film with a polished look which allowed for a close engagement from the audience, as well as a welcoming tone – one which invites the audience into the film, and the cabin’s past.

Perhaps the only remark one can make which jabs at this project is an industrial one – an observation about how the industry seems to be treating independent projects of this quality, and how the large machine continues to grind and churn out blockbusters that lack these kind of real personas.

At the end of the day, what makes Snapshots so great is its heart. There’s a lot of heart here.

Nominees: Totem by Jakub Charon, Goodbye Mondays by Michael Salmon, Lazarus’ Resurrection by Clodoaldo Lino

Main competition:

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

WINNER: Companion by Andrew Greco

Festival Director says:

Considering its budget, Andrew Greco has done a marvelous job in delivering this highly developed micro budget short. Though the story is quite simplistic – a typical post-apocalyptic world with a few survivors meeting in the after-exposure-carnage, to then become companions, and move on, continue to ‘survive’… the film excels on so many levels that the risk of it feeling predictable is disregarded. Ultimately, there isn’t a whiff of repetition here – past films with similar plots are nothing more than references (as best). This is mainly because of the film’s use of silence, and its unexplained rules. It allows for that classical form of filmmaking where we are ‘shown’ and not ‘told’ everything. On that front it reminded me a lot of Luc Besson’s debut feature Le Dernier Combat (The Final Combat, 1983), which inhabited a similar silence… though was focused on a soldier type in a world without women or voice.

One should also note the rare and well executed choice of a female lead for a science fiction film. Even at this level of an online awards platform it is a rare thing, and one can’t help but commend a short like this for its choice to deliver a short film of this nature with a female lead. And on that note – what a great performance from Sarah Mills, who underplays her agony right until the final turn of the film. Kyle Roark should also be commended, not only for providing some of the film’s eye candy (usually left to the female cast members of science fiction films), but also for his matter of fact presentation of the role – which added some realism and calmness to the world these unnamed characters inhabit.

Ultimately, served with some well thought out camera work, a careful edit, and a well underpinned score of emotional music, Companion is memorable, and quite fantastic a viewing experience!


Lapin de la Lune by Paige Von Bank – ‘Full of imaginative edits, and some fantastic black and white photography – this retro styled experimental film is a delightful arty offering for those who enjoy going down the rabbit hole’

Whatever Happened to Nevada? By James Costello – ‘An intriguing story about the woes of a musical duo that nearly made it big… the way with which Costello captures his subjects is intimately done, and engaging.’

The Burial by Patricia Delso Lucas – ‘A comical dish. The Burial starts off as some sort of looming drama with the tones and feelings of a ‘killer thriller’, only then to quickly do a neck turning revelation of grief and a fairly odd burial. Kudos is due to Delso Lucas’ direction, and Marco Joubert’s script and performance – both of which go hand in hand with each other in terms of scope, tone and taste.’

Silent Night by Emmanuel Delabaere – ‘Fairly original in terms of its anti-Christmas offering: I mean, where else will you see Santa getting tied up? It’s also quite comical, which is a welcomed moment to be had. The film overall excels on its usage of its monies – it appears to be a well balanced film, and one which doesn’t find its small budget a limitation.’

Limbo by Valerie Resciniti – ‘The realism which grounds Limbo makes it both endearing, thoughtful and a simple delight. Furthermore, Andrea Grano’s performance is quite moving – in particular her handling of emotional phone calls, the whimpering of her dog’s adoration and the headstrong nature of her persona’s will to continue during the film’s runtime.’

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

WINNER: Far Away by Nicolas Van Ruychevelt

Festival Director says:

There’s something quite unforgiving, and unashamedly ‘to the point’ with Far Away. Nicolas Van Ruychevelt’s directing is quite intimate, and built around a very poignant mechanism – it is both stylized for some fantastically arresting images, and somewhat docu-realist in terms of its ‘lets follow the character’ long takes and breathy dialogue.

Likewise, his two leads – of David and Lea, played by Mickaël Pinelli and Amélie Remacle, provide a steady hand in terms of providing a handful of moments fixed around stylized genre based faux emotions, and then a combination of scenes where they carry layers of some fantastic unadulterated drama in their performances. Its quite fascinating to watch.

The cinematography is robust, and often carefully manipulative of our emotional grip of the locale and the space with which the characters inhabit. All in all the film often reminded me a lot of Sven Nykvist’s work, in particular his collaboration with Louis Malle – providing us with the bizarre battle of the sexes and psyche in Black Moon (1975).

The only real complaint one can serve Far Away is perhaps, like many of the shorts seen this season, it suffers at the hands of the short film scale of being a ‘two hander’ in terms of its narrative size. Though one should note its handling of its budget is quite impressive. In essence, making such a complaint is a back handed compliment – as I’m basically saying it would be nice to see Ruychevelt, and his collective team, work at a larger scale.


Cecil by Alexsa Tolentino – ‘There’s a really fascinating use of cinematic space here, as well as some great production design. Tolentino’s work here is a delight, and a very personal and intimate one to experience. Feature please!’

N’goma – The Work of Our Clan by Frank Gunderson – ‘An interesting documentary, one which gets to the heart of its subject. Very reminiscent of those Werner Herzog documentaries which brought the world of North Africa to the European art house audience. There’s a great sense of anthropological work here.’

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

Winner: Mick by Lea Nöhring-Ullmann

Festival Director says:

Mick is a very moving concept, and one which is executed with a very fine detail. There’s a real sense of ‘coming of age’ in terms of the characters maturing, both the boy and the adult man.

The photography is consistently polished to perfection, and the whole project is just plain beautiful in its delivery. Overall this had a feeling of the Dardenne Brothers’ work – in the sense that it focussed on individuals trapped within a certain social and economic situation which they battle with.

I actually don’t have anything negative to say… perhaps it’s time that everyone involved get on and make a feature film that can be put in one of those big festivals for people to gawk and weep at.


Goodbye Mondays by Michael Salmon – ‘A sure scream of an upper lip British story. Quite charming, yes – indeed. And quite enjoyable – might I add!’

Lazarus’ Resurrection by Clodoaldo Lino – ‘Terry Gilliam eat-your-heart-out! What an extravagant feast of delightful scenes.’

Futureworld by Christopher Angus – ‘If children’s books were as creative as this film then everyone would read them.’

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

Winner: The Goodbye Girl by Aidey Pugh

Festival Director says:

The most impressive factor of The Goodbye Girl is really the sheer size of its cast and locale mounting. For a film produced on such a tight budget its hard to imagine such a realistic looking, as well as large scale, depicting almost an entire world with which the film takes place within.

Though the plot, and often some of the characters, leave a nasty taste in the viewers mouth, and there is of course the odd runtime – 53 minutes, which seems not much like a feature film at times… one can’t help but consider these flaws little, as in a certain context this film would have made for a great TV special, such as Ken Loach’s earlier work, in particular his contributions to The Wednesday Play – such as ‘Cathy Come Home’. However, I should add – The Goodbye Girl isn’t a socialist film really, as it slips in and out of its tonal moments, making it more of an entertaining film than say a sophisticated political one which aims to rouse a parliamentary debate.

All in all a well armed film, one which definitely highlights its teams abilities, and one which will pave the way to more lengthy and satisfying future works.



Little Rose by Charles Stanley – ‘Little Rose is quite a healthy serving of comedy and character traits. Overall the film is quite impressively mounted in an American money tale. Ronald Calzolari, playing Steve, serves an impressively energetic get up especially.’

Upstate Story by Shaun Rose – ‘The strongest of Upstate Story’s elements is its narrative of redemption. There’s plenty to admire here in terms of the artistic framing of the material as well – often reminiscent of Vincent Gallo’s directorial work.’

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

Winner: The Drive by Guillaume Le Vallois

Festival Director says:

I’m not a big fan of documentaries usually, as I often find that they are overworked, over politicized, and can be fairly dull in terms of subject choice, or at least so muddled as to what the true story is that the subject then becomes boring in its delivery.

The Drive though, which is a documentary through and through, finds a great balance between the subject which it is investigating – artists collaborating and connecting from NYC to San Francisco, and the inclination all round filmmaker Guillaume Le Vallois is trying to cement with his film.

The actual film itself has a free form edit, which helps when considering the overall structure of the documentary, and its structure as a whole. Then there’s also the set of character artists we meet, who are often interviewed or introduced in different styles or locales. It’s all quite varied, and at times feels like a strong collage of people, cities, places and the arts in general.

Overall the film is quite impressive, and one that inspires as a strong ideal of what documentary films could be in terms of exciting within their form.


Blue Skies on Mars by Brian Lutes – ‘A great scope of a film, full with some great production value details: locations, cast, decor. And there’s a general energy about the whole event. Quite enjoyable and somewhat memorable. We don’t know why, but it at times made us think of Hal Ashby’s films (a chain of notes were exchanged about this topic). Congrats on making such a nuanced film.’

A Chance of Snow by James Christopher – ‘Great character piece, strongly aligned with the bittersweet pleasures of seasonal films. Its leading couples’ struggle provides the film with a strong central arc from which we are able to enter their world through… all in all, just another great notch in James Christopher’s impressive filmography.’

The March of Hope by Jim Kroft and Bastian Fischer – ‘An investigatory documentary which examines an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Moving, shocking and important in equal measure. At times highlights the banality and insanity of turning the lives of refugees into documentaries, which is a plus for Kroft and Fischer, who acknowledge their own mediums flaws in terms of expression.’

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

Winner: Creepy Crawling by Dillon Garland

Festival Director says:

Dillon Garland’s script of Creepy Crawling is at times a little heavy with its somewhat predictable ‘unhappy teen’ plotting, but it is ultimately the stillness of its content with which his content excels – the script provides a lot of room for the film’s actors to fill in and deliver, rather than say run around and shoot guns. In fact, it is that the repetition of what we have seen before, in terms of plots surrounding split families, that allows for a preconceived need to disregard indie films in general fade away in lieu of a film such as Creepy Crawly – as it is something quite nuanced and enjoyable, which is often only found in this small scale size – effectively, it is the type of film which would be unachievable in larger scaled films.

Chelsea Comeau directs this script to the screen, and it is here, in combination with some solid turn from her cast, in particular her lead – Nick Piovesan (who at times appears too old for the role), that the film finds some solid footing as a drama with a top notch ability to concentrate on the film’s ‘pros rather than cons’ model. In essence, the film captures its Canadian locale, situational sequences and core themes with a light handed approach. All of this ultimately provides the film with a much needed consistency, delicacy and a real sense of matureness in terms of the team’s collective abilities as filmmakers, crew and actors respectively.


Polterheist by David Gilbank – ‘There’s a great punch within Polterheist, and it is really honed within its understanding and handling of pace and genre, which go hand in hand here. Gilbank has done a great job in delivering a consistent film as well, one loaded with bold images and fun scenarios.’

My Saviour by Steven Murphy – ‘Steven Murphy’s film punches a real top tier pain in the stomach with its attitude, finish and emotional depth. There’s a real sense of perspective when the film portrays either of its leads, and both actors (Steven Murphy himself, and Bayley Freer) deliver in every scene like the champions they are!’

Snapshots by Melanie Mayron – ‘Produced with such confidence and care for the film’s subjects that one can’t help but feel Snapshots is one of those immediate close-nit classics, such as On Golden Pond.’

  • Best Webseries

WINNER: Marked by John Krissilas and Lena Burmenko

Festival Director says:

‘There’s a real sense of dread in Marked, and though I have only seen the opening chapter, there’s this great  depth-full pace about it. The performances are fresh and energetic, and the direction, though at times a little wobbly in terms of the handling of the grading, seems to be quite great in terms of the camera angles which are used to emphasis a character’s situational psychology. All in all it was quite great and enjoyable.’

Runner up:

Deaffest 2017 by Bim Ajidi – ‘Not entirely convinced that this is a webseries… nonetheless, the editing is impressive, and despite it appearing as a never ending computer glitch, it was enjoyable.’

Other Categories:

  • Best Cinematography

WINNER: Jelani A. Sanchez’s cinematography of Cecile

Festival Director says:

Scrumptiously served, Cecile is a textured delight full of fantastically colored, beautifully arranged and tactile shots. There’s a real sense of tension and realism through the film’s photography. It feels swamp like – hot, humid, murky, dreamy… some really memorable work here!


Piotr Pawlus’ cinematography of Totem – ‘With a wonderfully textured image, intimate shots and great consistent movements, Pawlus delivers Totem’s world as a moving and meaningful crimeopera.’

Andrew Greco’s cinematography of Companion – ‘A consistently creative, and very beautiful image, reigns over Companion. Not only does the film use the photographic frame (ie its image ratio) to help tell the story, but its change between its grading allows for a real depth in terms of the film’s representation of time, space and its lead character’s headspace. It’s quite brilliantly executed.’

  • Best Black and White Cinematography

WINNER: Bud Roth’s black and white photography in The Longneck Goodbye

Festival Director says:

This silent retro fable is heightened mostly thanks to its fantastically celluloid look. The black and white flicker, the ephemeral speed changes and fuzzy focus elevate the film’s simplistic locales and domestic love affairs to something really loveable.’


Paige Von Bank’s black and white photography in Lapin de la Lune – ‘Von Bank’s short provides a delightful retro of the curved edged screen, stark light bursts and imaginative handling of its rural and urban film spaces.’

Sean Pearson’s black and white photography in Deadwall: Alto Flocc – ‘Pearson’s music video feels like a spiritual relic of a film – a kind of throwback to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s iconography.

  • Best Actor

WINNER: Steven Murphy in My Saviour

Festival Director says:

Though the film suffers many obvious connections with Rust and Bones and The Fighter, its reliance on Murphy’s performance as the film’s punching bag is a smart one – he delivers thoroughly in every scene.


Ian Adema in Red Roses Painted Black – ‘Adema’s film has many touching moments of emotional depth, and some not so great moments of production values slipping by the wayside – most of which are to do with the staging and framing of the scenes. However, it is Adema’s performance as the lead which grabs our attention – and it helps to make the film a meaty, realistic and eye-grabbing story.’

Tom Ward-Thomas in Sarah – ‘Ward-Thomas gives a grounded performance in Sarah, though sadly the film’s over indulgent long take often distracts from its quality writing, opportunity for filmic space and a more even tone. The cast survive this however, providing what often feels like a theatre production… Ward-Thomas is especially convincing, despite the camera dance.’

Tim Duthrane in Journeyman – ‘Duthrane provides a compelling presence to Journeyman. His use of pitch, pace (in terms of his delivery) and his physicality is quite unique.’

  • Best Actress

WINNER: Emily Baldoni in Snapshots

Festival Director says:

Baldoni brings a lot of soul to her performance as Allison. Paired with Melanie Mayron’s careful direction and coverage of Baldoni’s face, a sense of a moving and realistic drama performance is in full hold here.


Bayley Freer in My Saviour – ‘Freer’s performance carries many shades to it – she’s the loving, compassionate and frightened partner of someone who seems to slide into the sadistic side of his obsessions. Kudos is due to Freer for finding the right balance between these tones, and the control with which she delivered her dialogue.’

Evie Fotou in The Kiss – ‘Fotou has much to work with the persona of Despina thanks to George Leontakianakos and Alexandra Dyranis Maounis’ script. She’s a character with a compromised existence, and one that seems unable to understand other people’s emotional needs… or even better, her own. Fotou rises to the challenge, and provides a stillness to the character that hones in on the film’s harsh claustrophobic existence. Furthermore, her scene partner – Savvas Petridis, works up quite a strong counter performance off of Despina’s moody exterior.’

Gillian Saker in Goodbye Mondays – ‘Well, I wouldn’t want Saker as a maid, or actually any sort of domestic worker. She’s quite terrible at that particular vocation clearly.. but on the flip side, she gives one hell of a performance in Goodbye Mondays, and is a very skilled actress.’

Lauren McCann in Cecile – ‘An unflinching performance is present here. McCann does a great job. Her ability to breath on set is special – she’s alive in the character, and very much living moment to moment here.’

  • Best Supporting Performance

WINNER: Brooke Adams in Snapshots

Festival Director says:

Adams effortlessly brings Patty to life in Snapshots. She listens to her on-screen scene partners with much attention and care, appearing to be fully engaged with the moment to moment drama – making for a constantly believable and affectionate performance.


Ronald Calzolari in Little Rose – ‘Calzolari provides a constant, and effort filled performance in Little Rose.’

Bryan Lennard Smith in Triple Sifted & Self-Raising – ‘Lennard Smith provides a bit of grit to this comical short. It’s his threatening demeanor and deep voice which helps to ground the film’s ‘threat factor’.’

Max C. Klein in The Bunny – ‘Despite the dreadful dubbing completed imposed to this short film, Klein provides a few moments of distinction in his ‘being’ as a student wishing to transfer from biology studies to documentary filmmaker. His presence almost allures to the likeness of silent film stars – who provided great depth in their expressions and physicality.

  • Best Ensemble Cast

WINNER: The cast of Aliens With Knives

Festival Director says:

Aliens With Knives feels like a roll back to those midnight films that used to fizz, bang and pop! The greatest weapon in this film’s particular arsenal is the pure pleasure with which the cast exudes during the film’s entirety. It appears as if everyone was game for anything, and were just having a blast throwing and hitting those funny suited alien suited actors.


The cast of The Goodbye Girl by Aidey Pugh – ‘A gritty gang assemble for The Goodbye Girl – and they deliver their all in this shortish feature!’

The cast of Goodbye Mondays by Michael Salmon – ‘Though it might be a small unit of just three actors, Goodbye Mondays’ cast are all perfectly tuned and hyped up to dark comedy perfection. ’

The cast of Polterheist by David Gilbank – ‘Loaded to the brim with wincing and grinning faces, Polterheist’s best hit is its entertaining cast.’

The cast of Bea Before Me by Olivia Maiden – ‘Though the film’s camera work is a bit of a nightmare, the rest of the film is quite well delivered – in particular the performances of the overall ensemble. There is a real sense of dread in these people. Adam J Morgan and Olivia Maiden (the writer/director herself) really pull some great performances here – providing the film with an extra umph.’

  • Best Score

WINNNER: Herdís Stefánsdóttir’s score of Donor

Festival Director says:

Consistently bumpy, and wonderfully paced – the patient’s world in Donor comes alive with Stefánsdóttir’s score.


The score of Afrit – ‘A collection of retro sounding soundscapes which help heighten the film’s homemade horror factor. Tiresome smoking and credits aside, Afrit is a fun campy horror, highlighted best by its kitsch soundtrack.’

The score of Rumi With A View – ‘I really enjoyed the premise of Rumi With a View, and thought the performances and script were a great combination… but the greatest part of it all was the score, which consisted of these great musical improvisations.’

  • Best Genre Piece

WINNER: Companion by Andrew Greco

Guest judge, Ryan Bennett says:

Companion tells a familiar post-apocalyptic tale with innovative flare and impressive filmmaking technique. The integrated cinematic stylings of the film create the atmosphere of a bleak world without hope or salvation (but for the arrival of a stranger) and deliver top notch quality on a skinny budget. A gripping display of craft and adept reflection of genre.


Polterheist by David Gilbank – ‘Hefty with motifs, Polterheist is a buffet of grand gangster design with fantastically comical and thriller elements.’

Deliverance by Philippe Boissier – ‘Though at times cliche, particularly reminiscent of ‘As Above, So Below’, the film almost reaches an original note and then becomes confusing. All the same though – Boissier’s handling of strong production values and horror tension is impressive.’

Destiny by Vikkramm Chandirramani – ‘The bolstering of the rom-com genre with a bit of a red herring ending here is quite fantastic. It is the script and performance of the leads though that shines mostly, not so much the handling of fairly blaséproduction values.’

  • Best Direction


WINNER: Alexsa Tolentino’s direction of Cecil

Festival Director says:

If one was to measure a director’s skill by the clash of realism, aesthetics and tone, then Cecil is proof of Tolentino’s ability to craft meaningful scenes with a real pace about them. It’s a rare thing in short films, and makes for a voice which deserves attention.


Dale John Allen’s direction of Hugo, XO – ‘Had the film entirely relied on the one sided monologue running over domestic chores it would have fallen completely flat. However, with the film’s second half – where a context is given to the confession, John Allen’s choices as a director become a little more specific, alluring to a filmic space, the onlookers and the act of listening within which the plot points have occured.  And it is with this added frame of someone listening to Hugo Harris’ fantastic deliverance of this speech that the film becomes an intimate, fresh and uncomfortably communal experience.’

Andrea Umberto Origlia’s direction of Tracce Sulla Cenere – ‘There is a grand paintbrush at work here, and one which is quite impressive with the film’s restrictive budget. Umberto Origlia’s work is impressive, and very atmospheric.’

Brian Lutes’s direction of Blue Skies on Mars – ‘Judging is all so very subjective – but one can safely say that Brian Lute’s film has a very personable feeling to it. One he has clearly placed on the film. It felt as if we were in those rooms – eating, shouting and living.’

  • Best Writing

WINNER: Jan Miller Corran and Katherine Cortez’s writing of Snapshots

Festival Director says:

There’s much chatter and moments of revelation in Snapshots, providing ample quantity to the cast to explore their personas and space. The only reason it all holds together so well is thanks to the solid foundation of its writing, and its authentic character driven plot.’


Jakub Charon’ writing of Totem – ‘A world refined with inner turmoil and ‘real life’ risks, Charon’s screenplay provides a space for characters to exist in the most cruelest of ways. Its riveting stuff.’

Janine Koppe’s writing of Farewells – ‘Koppe’s script pops with some fantastic scenic dialogue. Her characters live and breath within these spaces, providing the actor’s with plenty of space to make it all their won, and most importantly – believable.’

Zachary August’s writing of Mystic Realm Online – ‘The short is concise and to the point, and often feels like a bit of a divisive piece about childhood, globalization and the online world we are all plugged into all the time… but it is its treatment of character that serves the film mostly, where our lead actors are given just enough to provide a wealth of realism in the film, as well as that eventual ‘aha’ moment when the internet world comes crashing down.’

James Christopher’s writing of A Chance of Snow – ‘As per usual with Christopher’s outings there’s a tonne to like here, mostly it is the characters though, who all feel quite real in their sketching, which is entirely his fantastic work as a real people’s writer – does that make sense? Also, one must add a note about the photography of this film, which has taken a step up here in comparison with the previous films we’ve seen from Twitchy Dolphin… not to say that it wasn’t good before, but rather that it has gotten a little more slick with this particular outing.’

  • Best Editing

WINNER: Lenny Dutch’s editing of The Longneck Goodbye

Festival Director says:

Editing a silent film isn’t easy. And Dutch does a fantastic job here – compiling some fantastic moments and giving them just the right amount of emphasis in terms of time. One must also commend the film’s director – Creighton Satterfield, whose work across the project allows for such a smooth transition of information and story through the film’s pictures.


Ian Roberts’ editing of Meat Juice – ‘Meat Juice finds horror in the surreal, and its mainly successful thanks to Roberts’ order of assembly and construction of his film’s sounds and images.’

Matthias Fuchez’s editing of Viaje – ‘Boldy intertwining past, present and future – Fuchez’s edit brings about an intimate sense of nostalgia, as well as a cinematic understanding of time and space.’

  • Best Period Piece

WINNER: Love in the Age of Steam by Karen McCarthy

Festival Director says:

If one can get past the heavy handed dose of cliche dialogue and flat performances, Love in the Age of Steam provides a keen eye for detail in its depiction of a retro future which includes jet flying, mechanized reality skipping and strange neighbor chattering.

Runner up:

Goodbye Mondays by Michael Salmon – ‘A fun hoot of a throwback to the upstairs downstairs tension of the bygone era of English households (or so one hopes). Hannah Davis’ art direction is clean, and often provides a lot of room in terms of the film’s period piece look. The sense of a retro design though is best delivered through the cinematography, which is steeped in a lush anamorphic scope.’

  • Special Mention

WINNER: Josiah Cuneo and Duane Michals’ work on Interruptus

Festival Director says:

Though compactly made – with little more than a simple ‘caught in the act’ plot, Cuneo and Michals find a way with which to elevate the simplistic point of discovery and provide it with a very unique and heightened state – the double exposed image, the mechanical zoom and the relayed footage recall the works of Michael Snow, in particular his domestic argument ‘Power of Two’.

What Cuneo and Michals are commendable on here though is providing this form of experimental film as a narrative piece, rather than say just another installation by the likes of Snow.

What would be even more exciting is if the duo now took a step further and created something with dialogue – a film which was produced with the same level of experimental filming methodology and a narrative that extended beyond a simple plot point.


The ensemble score of Restarting by Jo Lyons and Mark Newton – ‘A carefully compiled selection of tracks help keep Restarting’s pace alive and tonally nuanced.

Nature by Richard Schertzer – ‘A compiled experimental exploration of nature spaces. It’s all a bit of a calming sense of moments that aspire to be filmic. Almost as if someone had simply compiled the inserts of other films and created a montage of peaceful moments.’

Special Mention Prize: Social Conscious Filmmaking

WINNER: Upstate Story by Shaun Rose

Festival Director says:

Despite its outdated, murky and quite stark photography – Rose’s film provides a unique presentation which highlights a particular socio-economic character in a harsh situation. It is this narrative, the deptful vision of this being, and the acute awareness for the film’s locale, which cements Upstate Story as a film with an important story to tell, and a bold way in which it is displayed to us. Somewhat reminiscent of Kelly Reichardt’s early films, in particular Old Joy.

Script competition:

  • Best genre piece

WINNER: Legends of Conquest by Irene Herbruger: ‘Oh hello New World! Its Gothic vibes ring like American Horror Story Roanoke, which was kick ass… so, you know, this is kick ass too!’


Jane: The Ulster Soldier’s Daughter by Carmel Joyce: ‘A fairly well balanced genre piece, loaded with some interesting character arcs.’

The Convenient Prayer by Alan Harrington: ‘A bit of a messy script in terms of its organisation, but a great genre belter all the same.’

Graffiti Boy by Tara Arkle: ‘There’s a great world in this script, and it should be filmed!’

  • Best technique

WINNER: The Hanging of Max Dunn by Martha Shaw: ‘Slick and detailed. Some solid writing.’


The Novelty Act by Tom Eastwood: ‘A well oiled machine is presented here. Eastwood’s script is well organised and perfectly designed.’

Family Way by Shiva Rodriguez and D. Duckie Rodriguez: ‘One fantastically organised and constantly maintained script!’

  • Best micro budget script


My Week with Maisy by Mark Oxtoby: ‘Though set in a fairly complex locale, the film’s tight compact makes it a solid micro budget effort, and one which is ‘production ready’.’

Please Note: Not enough scripts nominated for this category to announce a winner.

  • Best character arc

WINNER: My Week with Maisy by Mark Oxtoby: ‘One has to love the voice of The Nurse. It’s very personalized, and textured.’


Jane: The Ulster Soldier’s Daughter by Carmel Joyce: ‘The overall arc presented within Joyce’s script is quite carefully conceived, and endearing.’

The Stelian Prophecy by Irene Herbruger: ‘A great bouquet of personas inhabit The Stelian Prophecy, and they all have some great dialogues.’

At the Mercy of Faith by Samuel Lee Taylor: ‘A wild journey of a script, quite vividly done with its ensemble.’

Music Video

  • Best music video

WINNER: I Believe – Yolanda Adams by Bim Ajadi

Festival Director says:

‘It’s not so much the heartwarming message of I Believe which makes it a winner – which, by the way, it is soaked in… but rather the confidence and consistency Ajadi delivers throughout the music video’s production is what catches one eye, and keeps the music lingering.’


Reach You by Ric Poulin – ‘Though the sense of time is completely lost here thanks to an uneven grade, there’s no denying that this rooftop jam music video is a fresh of breath air!’

The Letting Go by Tyler McElrath – ‘The photography ain’t all that consistent here, but the actual music video is charming and well delivered. The setting of a school is done quite fabulously as well. Also – the music ain’t bad… not that this is a music competition. Quite fantastic really.’

  • Best cinematography

WINNER: Christian Edgar Scholz’s cinematography in Attic – The Hound of Heaven

Festival Director says:

‘Grainy and visceral, Attic’s The Hound of Heaven is a great example of what some smart location scouting, stylized lighting and tone can do to elevate a music video.’


Sean Pearson’s cinematography in Death Drive – ‘Tony Scott’s The Hunger strikes again – this time as an adoring gritty, flashy and bloody re-imagining of that famous hunting nightclub scene is present here. Or at least a version of it… after all, it’s been done to death. Even the likes of rocker/model Sky Ferreira and American Horror Story: Hotel hit this film reference a while back.’

Daniele De Muro’s cinematography in The Heart and The Void: A House by the Sea – ‘Some sunny seaside amore. You know how they say ‘less is more’, well De Muro does just that here – its simple, its clean and enjoyable.’

Carolina Nunes’ cinematography in Every Winter – ‘There’s a real sense of texture here, mostly thanks to the cinematography and its way of highlighting the character and scenery of the music video.’

  •  Best editing

WINNER: Paul Crossland’s editing of Charlie Loves You

Festival Director says:

‘Hey Sue, nice edit… OK. Sorry – I’m just teasing. About the ‘Hey Sue’ bit… The music video itself could do with a bit more refinement in terms of its images: ie grading and composition of shot. Otherwise though, Crossland’s edit is consistent, and makes for an enjoyable, and often fresh, sequence of scenes. One should also note the performance of whomever plays Charlie – it’s quite an enjoyable dapper and cheery performance.’

Runner up:

Andreas Guzman’s editing of Guiri Gringo – ‘If one can excuse the endless bad cliches of gringos on holiday in Spain, then there’s something to enjoy here in terms of the music video’s editing – in particular the horizontal split screen, which is a rare treat.’