Winter 2023

WINTER 2023 | Festival Laurels (all categories + nomination laurel + special mention laurel)


Winner: Trust Me

“With real stakes, strong performances, and a proper punch to the stomach: this film delivers a variety of cinematic shocks. It is great.” 

Nominees: Smile, The Sonneteer, Loose Change: A Memoir of Childhood, The Rabbit Died, Boys Don’t Cry, Tickets, please


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

Aurora – Nominated: Best Genre Film – “The understanding of comedy and the speed with which the whole event unfolds is great fun.” 

The Rabbit Died – Nominated: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Actress (Natalie Shaw) – “Very well produced for its budget, the feeling is greatly enhanced by a constant feeling of dread. This film is sour – in an authentic way.” 

The End – Nominated: Best Actor (Duane Michals) – “A fantastic comedic run of poetry blended with philosophy.”

Fall Down Go Boom – Nominated: Best Genre Film, Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Editing – “This silent short excels with its use of animation and the editing of photographic and animated content. It is a lot of fun.” 

Boys Don’t Cry – Nominated: Best Actor (Lawrence Harp), Nominated: Best Director – “Personal, dark, reactive… It is really great.” 

The country house and its karma – Nominated: Best Editing – “The flow of the project is wild and great.” 

Outsider – Nominated: Best Actress (Bess Blackburn), Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “A nice gem of family drama unfolds here. Consistently made, and bombastically scripted (in a good way).” 

Up All Night – Winner: Best Genre Film – “I mean, has there ever been more fun than this short film?!”

Blank Fugitive – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Actor (Michael Boston), Nominated: Best Screenplay – “Mike Figgis introduced us to the genre, Michael Boston reinvented it. Here’s the indie short that asks the question: can rough video, with rough characters, and a lot of charm, make a comeback?” 

Headtrip in the Boudoir – Nominated: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Director – “Wonderfully envisioned, this short is a dark maze of ideas.” 

Julia – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Score – “Fantastically photographed, this short film has a lot of texture and beauty to it.” 

The Orphanage for Records – Nominated: Best Editing, Nominated: Best Genre film – “This documentary bursts with joy!”

Glub Glub – Winner: Special Mention: Best Surreal Film – “WTF?!”

Frank Maurice Camilleri – Winner: Best Score – “So fantastically scored. There’s a retro dream feeling to this documentary.” 

The Ashes You Leave Behind – Winner: Best Ensemble, Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Director – “This delicate portrait film is really something to relish.” 

Living with double vision, An artist’s journey with diplopia – Winner: Special Mention: Best Documentary – “Explaining the personal journey is one thing, but also using film to tell this story is very very impactful. This is a great portrait.” 

Tarp Girl – love, origami and agoraphobia – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Score – “Energetic, comical and full of whimsical little ideas.” 

Makina – Winner: Best Short Film made for less than $5,000 – “Budget seems to be no restriction here, the film looks and sounds great.” 

The Ghost in The Machine – Winner: Special Mention: Best Experimental Film,  Nominated: Best Editing – “The sensory overload is brilliantly compiled through the editing of the films images and sounds.”

Tickets, please – Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Ensemble – “The retro bombastic and comical style is really rewarding. Audiences are definitely going to love it.” 

Anxieties – Nominated: Best Director, Nominated: Best Actor (Bernd Panzer) – “This film’s presentation and performance is very human and impactful.” 

Going Home – Winner: Best Cinematography – “Delicate and beautiful, this short film shines.” 

Eye of Dio – Nominated: Best Genre Film – “Experimental fun, this project recalls the joys of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s cinema.” 

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

Flipping – Nominated: Best Ensemble, Winner: Best Short Film made for between $5,000-$10,000 – “Comical and full of great characters, this short really enjoys what it is doing – there’s great lighting, and a constant sense of pace.” 

Loose Change: A Memoir of Childhood – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Short Film made for between $5,000-$10,000, Winner: Best Editing – “There’s a great feeling of the film’s tone, which though is enhanced with various elements such as a strong set of performances, and a great consistent image – it is the edit, which really keeps everything snappy, which shines above all.” 

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

Archie’s Last Drive – Winner: Best Director, Nominated: Best Screenplay, Nominated: Best Short Film made for more than $10,000, Winner: Best Actor (Robert Donald) – “Stylish, personable and engaging… Archie’s Last Drive is one hell of a fantastic ride, and it is memorable – something rarely said about any short film.” 

Leroy London – Winner: Best Short Film made for more than $10,000, Nominated: Best Screenplay – “This nicely layered story, which is produced with a strong sense of production value and imagination, Leroy London grasps far beyond its indie reach (because this isn’t Hollywood money after all)… it is full of a lot of charm and enjoyment.” 

Smile – Winner: Best Actress (Sue Vincent), Nominated: Best Cinematography, Nominated: Best Editing – “The pace, coupled with some lovely imagery and a strong leading performance, makes Smile an impactful character study.”

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

The Corona Dialogues – LockDown 2o2o – Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast – “Collecting many faces and voices during a lockdown has been a regular sight… but rarely have they included a certain comedic self awareness… until now – Corona Dialogues knows what it is – and it enjoys its cast of real-ish people.”

The Sonneteer – Winner: Best Feature film made for less than $5,000, Nominated: Best Actor (Brian Coe), Nominated: Best Screenplay, – “Recalling the black and white indie scene of the 90’s, this experimental character presentation nears on the darkest chapters… there’s abuse, people on the edge and an interesting presentation of masculinity.” 

One Man Picture Show or: The Modern Tragedy of Creation – Nominated: Best Actor (Timmy Walczak), Nominated: Best Feature film made for less than $5,000 – “Creatively singular in its creation, this feature enjoys multiple debates of existentialism… it is overall a great piece of ingenuity.” 

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

No submissions in this category.

  • Feature Film made for more than $10,000

Tummyache – Winner: Best Feature Film made for than $10,000, Nominated: Best Actor (Reza Diako), Nominated: Best Cinematography – “Tummyache has a great sense of cinematographic style, and a very strong lead – which helps cement its voice. The use of budget, which is restrictive for its ambitions, is impressive.”

Trust Me – Nominated: Best Feature Film made for than $10,000, Nominated: Best Ensemble Cast, Nominated Best Actress (Niamh Sweeney), Nominated: Best Director: “There are many moments to admire in Trust Me, many uncomfortable and uneasy moments which really speak a lot of truths… the leading actress, who has a great supporting cast, provides us a great foundation of emotions which are elevated by the tight focal choices made by the director. It is a great drama film, emotional and captivating.”


No entires in this category.


Things Are Gonna Be Alright – Nominated: Best Cinematography – “Shot with a great awareness for light and texture, Things is really more than alright.” 

What I Want – Nominated: Best Music Video, Nominated: Best Editing – “There’s a real sense of intimacy within this music video that helps elevate it above average.” 

Smell of Paint-T – Winner: Best Cinematography – “With a consistent smooth presentation of images and dance, this is one of the most carefully shot music videos we’ve seen.” 

All the pretty little horses – Nominated: Best Cinematography, Winner: Best Music Video – “A really stunning portrait.” 

Badwater – Nominated: Best Music Video – “The use of costume and location to build a character are perfectly executed here.” 

FAST FOOD – Winner: Best Editing – “Carefully assembled, this is a wonderful use of montage.”

Wax Tailor – Shaman In your Arms (ft. Jennifer Charles) – Special Mention Winner: Best use of Genre in a Music Video – “From the lighting to the edit, this music video oozes style. (Ben Rider, Festival Director: I’d kill to write a script for this kind of direction. Yummy!)”


Please note: due to an unusual number of scripts, we have altered this category for this season. 

In Ore Mundi – Nominated: Best Character Arc

“Dark, and written with a bold sense of direction and unique characters, In Ore Mundi has a production value that is easily recognisable and will be enjoyed by the actors in it, as well as the audiences it will touch.” 

No Address – Winner: Best Script 

“This handsome script delivers a clear message: family, and community, is sometimes what we make, rather than what we have in our contemporary society. This project is a welcomed drama, and one that would be attractive to distributors, producers and audiences alike.” 

Suzie Q – Winner: Best Character Arc, Nominated: Best Script 

“Suzie Q presents a strong lead with an unusual path, but also some interesting touches of genre motifs which keep it entertaining and light. Very enjoyable!”