Spring 2023

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


Jury Prize

Winner: Vanja is vacuum packed with Kurt

“Vanja is one of the best short films we have ever had. It is intriguing, original and very unique. It lingers long after a first viewing, and invites multiple visits out of enjoyment.”

Nominees: Road Home, V.I.S. – Very Important Student, Witch, In A Box, Tom, Dick and Harry, 


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

Willow Crown – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “An impressive delivery for such a small budget. Will be interesting to see this director grasp with drama in the future.” 

TRANNY FAGGOT – Winner: Best Genre Film – “Horror is best when it is blended with social issues and personal narraitves… look at the first zombie film ever made, and you’ll find why it is still so impactful. Tranny, on a similuar low budget, does a same gut punch revenge.” 

In A Box – Winner: Best Editing (joint) – “The edit keeps the conversation flow rather quick and punchy. The content is also always fresh thanks to this presentation.” 

Enter the Room – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Actor (Rich Holton) – “Conflicts rises when people face each other. It is the base of really good drama, and Holton and his co-star do a great job and fighting it off.” 

Settle the Score – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “A nice little film that really shows off a few comical moments between actors in a room can be plenty of emotion!” 

Self-portrait with Lev – Nominated: Best Director – “This intimate portrait is blunt, personal and impactful. Recalls the cinema of Ulrich Seidl.”

Episode – Winner: Best Ensemble Cast (joint) – “Rarely are performances this good in little indie films like this. Bravo!”

Samudra Theram Lo – Nominated: Best Cinematography – “Delightful and fresh, this film looks clean and often very beautiful as it moves through many sub-set genres of romance.” 

Vestige – Nominated: Best Genre Film – “The French New Wave in the form of Eric Rohmer lives again!” 

The One That Got Away – Winner: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “With a tight budget, this short looks and feels like it cost so much more! The sense of locales is really impactful, and the performances are well delivered, and aptly captured.” 

Erica’s Game – Winner: Best Director – “It is unsettling, and uncomfortable to see the final turn. The direction doesn’t hold your hand, but it does lead you down a dark path with great understanding of nuance.”

Voler – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “This film looks stunning for its budget.” 

Tom, Dick and Harry – Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Editing – “Frankly, I wanted this to be a feature film. It doesn’t deserve such a small scale. This director is feature ready… this could be distributed if it was a feature film. Everyone should be very proud because it is a heap tonne of fun!” 

Are We Doing This? – Winner: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Actor (Owen Frost) – “A home run offering of comedy and solid casting.” 

 Believe in Yourself – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “With a tight budget, a feeling of texture and authenticity occurred. It is worn-in, almost like a good jumper.” 

What a Match – Nominated: Best Genre – “Fantastic comedic animation!”

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

Vanja is vacuum packed with Kurt – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Actor (Björn Sällqvist), Nominated: Best Actress (Joséphine Wistedt) – “This showstopper is challenging, entertaining and really memorable.” 

Izzy – Winner: Best Short Film made for between $5,000-$10,000, Nominated: Best Actor (Aaron Latta-Morisette) – “Charming and very well narrated, this little gem of a short feels like a Roman Coppola film.” 

Follow The White Rabbit – Nominated: Best Genre Film, Nominated: Best Short Film made for between $5,000-$10,000 – “There’s loads of tone and tension in this one. It is a lot of fun!” 

Witch – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Winner: Best Actor (Nicholas Pople) – “With a snappy script, the performances are top notch… with Pople really pulling many tricks.” 

Spare Room – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Winner: Best Actress (Georgina Ambrey) – “The performances are spot on, and the photography really heightens the claustraphoibic feeling around an individual living through lockdown.”

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

The Unaccused – Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Actress (Anurita Jha), Winner: Best Ensemble Cast (joint) – “With a taught script, the actors bring a lot of energy to these roles, making the uncomfortable very uncomfortable to watch… this is very smart.” 

V.I.S. – Very Important Student – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Winner: Best Editing (joint) – “A realistic a gut-wrenching experience to watch. It hits you, and keeps going. Very bold.”

Road Home – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast – “Shot with great style and a loving cast, this is a lot of fun and very stylish!” 

Just 14 – Winner: Best Short Film made for more than $10,000 – “Shot with a lot of elegance, this project has a really strong feeling of being well rounded, and very well produced. The budget is on the screen!” 

Mekong Apocalypse – Nominated: Best Genre Film – “This documentary captures its subject, and the framing of genre with it, with a great sense of awareness and enjoyment.”

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

LIMˈBAː.TʊS – Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Feature Film made for less than $5,000 – “Much like La Jete, this film carries a ghost of a planet that we once knew as Earth. It is a great example of indie filmmaking, especially the Camera Stylo tradition!”

Drawing in the sky – Winner: Best Feature Film made for less than $5,000 – “Carrying a great sense of character and scope, on a very low budget, this film is a hearty offering from a community in Japan that has a lot to say on a personal level. It is very touching and fun.”

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

None Competing.

  • Feature Film made for more than $10,000

The Alliance 2 – Winner: Feature Film made for more than $10,000 – “At almost 3 hours runtime, The Alliance proves that even on a small budget you can go big and large scale. This film is full of standoffs and emotional moments of conflict, and this is often highlighted by zangy dialogue and some great character actors.” 

The Last Word – Nominated: Feature Film made for more than $10,000 – “A theatre production is rarely put on the screen with such a wide scope. The frankness of the layout is very interesting, as it becomes a study of time instead of space. Almost like the cinema of Abbas Kiarostami, The Last Word recalls still cinema in an era which has forgotten it.” 


Planalto Building – Winner: Special Mention: Best Documentary – “Recalling a certain style of the numerous documentaries of The Chelsea Hotel residents, this little documentary is a gem of people and ideas.”

GreenDreams – Winner: Special Mention: Freedom of Speech – “Indie films rarely provide insight so intimately to such a hot topic.”

HORRORS4YOU – Special Edition

Winner: Best Scare: The Effect of Shadows on your Eyes

Nominated: The Strange Case of the Face at the Casement, Mezcala, Switch and Don’t Break The Rules


  • Best Character Arc

Winner: Social Graces – “With some strong character distinctions, Social Graces is a great ensemble which is characters front and centre. An actor’s director, and the cast themselves, will have great fun with this!”


MA/RI/NA – “This douppleganger is a great many layers of fun, which to an actor is a real treat. This also has a great potential to be a solid indie film, with a psychological sci fi twist.” 

SCOTCH KINGS – “As potential TV shows go, this has the makings of Weeds level success. It is a well designed set up that really captures the community it is set within. It is rich, character filled and intriguing.” 

  • Best Genre Script

Winner: Morituriosis – “Recalling the late Stuart Gordon style of thriller (King of Ants, Stuck), Morituriosis has a great sense of character, circumstance and dark realism. It’s unnerving and fun.” 


The Pickleball Killer – “Alive with a sense of legacy, truama and sequel potentials… Pickleball is a grade-A genre script.” 

Hunt Man’s Land – “At its base, this is a great world building TV show – much like Sliders of 1995 and The Twilight Zone, there’s a lot here to explore. The options are truely endless.” 

Marah From Eilat – “A solid genre heavy project, this is the kind of film that distribution companies are having a lot of fun with at the moment. A director might even want to turn up the creative lighting, and go full-tilt dramatic. It recalls James Wan’s recent film Malignant.” 

ABEETA – “An Art Director’s dream.” 

  • Best Micro Budget Script

Winner: Dream Girl – “A fantasy-filled romance which, touching on some simple existential issues, is the basis of a ‘healing fantasy’ – one of the age-old psychological states which unhappy individuals find themselves in. One could easily expand on this script, and add a narrative around Randy trying to better his life, but overall this is a ‘ready to shoot’ short that has a great understanding of budget limitations and the importance of character.” 


Chemical Messiah – “Though pricy with its locations, this is a well-attuned indie feature that could be produced on a low budget for an indie film of this size. It would be a high production value project, mainly down to how it is constructed and its use of the comic publishing world.” 

  • Best Technique

Winner: The Cuckooo – “Original, but also cleanly written with a style that is cinematic, The Cuckooo is a lot of tensions building, ‘gotcha’ jokes and a whole heap of excitement. The actors will love the characters in this one as well.” 


S V E N – “Written with a lot of care, SVEN is a thrilling script that capitalizes on video formats to hone in its genre style. It recalls Predator in a way, or at the The Predator chapter of the Predator franchise.”

The Pickleball Killer – “Slick with style, Pickleball is well crafted, well executed and something that (with the right budget) will do really well to be produced.” 

ABEETA – “The structure of the script is great considering the complexity of the concept. The presentation is clean.”


The Alliance 2 the Hunt for Breeze Music Video – Nominated: Best Music Video – “Presented with a strong sense of narrative, this film blends drama with music video visuals in a very fun and retro feeling… this could easily be the opening scene of a gritty 1970’s film.” 

Weltschmerzdigest — New Follower – Winner: Best Editing – “Montage and contemporary editing techniques are used her to create tension as well as an atmosphere. It is quite impressively done.” 

LOVESCHEISS – Nominated: Best Music Video, Winner: Best Cinematography – “With a strong sense of locale, space and texture – this video blasts dust off the screen and ignites it with emotion and stunning visuals.” 

Deb Browning – “Think I Found Forever” – Nominated: Best Music Video – “A great feeling of community, comradery and memory are evoked in this story based music video. The opening cinema location is also quite fun.”

POLISFERA – Mother’s Place – Nominated: Best Cinematography – “Locale and icy textures bring a great sense of personality to this video, and the pace of it all accentuates the music… there’s a great heart to this video.”

Juniper Official Music Video/Blueboy Act III Visual – Nominated: Best Editing, Nominated: Best Music Video – “Experimental, stylish and memorable.” 

Us to Stop – Studio Version – Winner: Best Music Video – “This video gets to the heart of the musician, and what the music can evoke emotionally… it looks great, it flows smoothly and feels very special.”