Summer 2021


SUMMER 2021 | Festival Laurels (all categories + nomination laurel + special mention laurel)

Jury Prize

Winner: Blót – Torn Between Worlds by Alexander Flatau

“A breath-taking epic. One has to just adore it. Equal to those grand majestic period piece/fantasy productions we see on the big screen. Impressively made!”

Nominees: Hand Drawn by David James Holloway and Samuel Lawrence, The Wind and the Whimpering by Laurence McManus, 1945 by Andrea Umberto Origlia, There’s No Hell Like Home by Russell Southam, Servus Karl by Thomas Bischof, Mancala by Abraham Dein


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

Too Damn Long by Ian Lettire – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Screenplay – “Few short films execute a community vision, or the texture of a particular locale, so well as this short film. It is rich, and almost like a feature film with its depth (in terms of tone, pace and engagement. Very rich.”

Last Call by Rick Shepherd and Sarang Sharma – Nominated: Best Actor (Sarang Sharma) – “The film carries a great sense of realism, this is largely down to its use of location and its lead’s well-paced performance.” 

Not Quite Human by Andrew Kadikian – Nominated: Best Genre Film, Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “A great fun short film that shows off some impressive production values despite its strict resources.” 

There’s No Hell Like Home by Russell Southam – Nominated: Best Actress (Amber Louise), Nominated: Best Director – “This short film is only slightly hindered by its isolation… it is all over though a great tone piece, and a very dark take on the whole lockdown situation.”

Servus Karl by Thomas Bischof – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Actress (Isabella Jeschke), Winner: Best Cinematography – “This moody piece is a work of art. WE LOVE IT.” 

Medusa by Katie Graubart – Nominated: Best Director – “Graubart’s vision is unadulterated and a wild digital glitch that grabs, shakes and taunts you.” 

Red Room by Liping Yang – Nominated: Best Actor (Liping Yang), Nominated: Best Cinematography – “This short film has a great tone to it – an enigmatic surreal drive that pulls… It is beautifully executed and well-delivered thanks to its two handler cast, one of whom (Yang) embodies a great feeling of physicality in his performance.” 

Hand Drawn by David James Holloway and Samuel Lawrence – Nominated: Best Actor (Samuel Lawrence) – “Lawrence helps ground the film greatly thanks to his very intimate and natural performance.”

The Break by Eben Skilleter – Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Screenplay – “The road movie rarely looks or feels this good as a short film. And the ending is a hoot.”

Okay, Bear With Me by Liam MacDonald – Nominated: Best Genre Film – “The film really delivers a great sense of comedy in its 90’s hangout vibe setting.”

Cavalleria Musical by Lazaro Alierta Joe Luis and Didier Blandin – Winner: Best Screenplay – “It’s a large story and theme to undertake in a short film, and the script really delivers it – the story is grand and important…” 

Dao Hides, No Name – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Winner: Best Actress (Ning Lu), Nominated: Best Genre Film – “Lu throws her heart into this very impressive micro-budget short film. Gilmour delivers an impressive world within this short runtime. Very impressive stuff.” 

Mancala by Abraham Dein – Nominated: Best Actor (Christian Leith), Nominated: Best Actress (Otilia Royer), Winner: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “Intimate, delicate and beautifully directed, this piece really grasps some fantastic tones, a great pace and a really natural sense of performance. BRAVO!”

A Hand by Bob Pipe – Winner: Best Genre Film – “A handy, barking madhouse of a hoot!”

  • Best Short Film made for over $5,000

The Wind and the Whimpering by Laurence McManus – Winner: Best Short Film made for over $5,000, Winner: Best Director – “An impressive fairytale lives in the heart of this film – one produced with a great sense of style, tone and texture.”

The Candidate by Erkut Altındağ – Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Director – “One of the boldest tonal pieces we’ve had in a while – it walks a thin line between the Gothic tone, the comedic and the dramatic.”  

This Too Shall Pass by Rubendra Ravi – Nominated: Best Actor (Anwaar Beg Moghal) – “A moving and meditative piece by Ravi here… one which is greatly elevated by Moghal’s intimate performance. Lovely stuff.”

Blót – Torn Between Worlds by Alexander Flatau – Nominated: Best Short Film made for over $5,000, Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated: Best Cinematography – “Epic, engaging, enthralling.” 

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

PANDEMANIA by Judson Vaughan – Nominated: Best Feature Film made for less than $5,000 – “I think it is safe to say we have reached the saturation point of covid tales… but Pandemania does an impressive job of showing production scale on a small scale… one largely shot within people’s homes during a trying time. It’s great indie spirit.”

Alone by Peter Molnar – Winner: Best Feature Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Actress (Jazmin Christina Kozmits) – “Kozmits leads what is one of the most impressive single handler films I’ve ever seen made at this budget level. Impressive survival stuff!”

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

Interlaced by José Livino Pinheiro Lopes – Nominated: Best Screenplay – “The greatest impact of Interlaced is it’s attention to truma. The slight use of editing to imply the gravity of this turmoil is impressive, but the greatest asset is its script and the general handling of the story.”

  • Feature Film made for more than $10,000

My King by Kenya Cagle – Nominated: Best Actress (AzJahlee Presswood) – “The film’s consistent dramatic turns are impressively handled for an indie film – and above all, the performance of Presswood is impressively bold – she throws many punches as she captures the many scenes she is in.”

  • Web series

Eight Ball – Winner: Best Webseries – “This is one impressive web series effort, one which relishes the humor of its drama, and the performances that carry it along through its many plot beats. Great fun.”


Best Music Video 

Winner: Seasidey – “Bonkers. Gotta love it.”

Nominees: Becoming the Nightmare – “The locale, the style of the videos woodland run and the lone guitarman all together feel tone perfect.”, I Am The Candidate – “Fantastically comical.”

Best Music Video Editing

Winner: Rabbit Hole – “Feels like something from the 2000’s – ironic, fun and massively self-aware creatively.”

Nominated: Withering of Light – “The architecture of this music video is a surreal and beautiful thing.”, Becoming the Nightmare – “Beautifully assembled, this video cuts and uses digital effects to the best of its ability for impact.”, Moving Forward – “Beautifully shot, this video captures a great mood and setting.”

Best Music Video Cinematography 

Winner: Droplets II – “An epic design elevates the simplest of things here.”

Nominated: The Escape – “Beautifully shot, with some careful edits built into the design. Impressively made.”, Seasidey – “The way with which the photography captures the inner glow of the seasidey-felt vibes is super cool.”

Winner: Special Mention: Best Music Video Narrative – Moving Forward – “A fantastic music video that is both aware of its narrative tools and the importance of tone.”


  • Best Character Arc

Winner: D.O.C: Welcome To Angeltree – “The strong blend of genre and themes makes this one exciting character experience – sit back and enjoy the ride!”

Nominees: The Passage of Sun – “The rich characters and strong bold understanding of the situations featured in this script helps form an interesting character arc that keeps us excited and moved.”, Genesis – “An epic and almost insane journey.”, They Took The Pigs! – “Taylor knows the art of character-based dialogue. It’s exciting and wonderful.”, Saint Shari – “I love the texture of this script. So detailed, so rich!”

  • Best Genre Script

Winner: They Took The Pigs! – “Comedy slash sci-fi slash romance? – who the hell cares… the blending of different genre cues in a short wicked run time is a real page-turning explosion.”

Nominees: Weird Witches and Fall – “This script really pushes out the boat when it comes to weird, wonderful and fun material.”, The Old Mill Pub – “A delight of content humor, but a bit of a mess script syntax wise.”, 

  • Best Micro-Budget Script

Winner: What is Grief? – “Script formatting is off… but the script is on point to be a very attainable micro-budget effort!”

Nominees: They Took The Pigs! – “If one has access to these locations, this goofy script is an easy straight-to-shoot product.”, Nick The Hat – “As TV pilots go, this is a nicely written effort that really shows off what minimalist locations can allow.”, 

  • Best Technique

Winner: The Parliament Of Ebrill Roberts – “Concise and very clear with its use and understanding of script formatting.” 

Nominees: A Package of Dreams – “Carefully constructed and well-executed script.”, Face Painters – “A nicely executed mega page script… definitely needs an edit, but overall very concisely written.” 

  • Special Mention
Winner: Best Style Script – Legends: “The script has an immediate style that grabs its reader and helps define our desires and hunger for this project. Bravo!”