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Winners Autumn 2020

Best Feature Documentary
Kiss the Ground

Director/Writer/Producer: Josh Tickell

Director/Writer/Producer: Rebecca Tickell

Writer: Johnny O'Hara

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature, Documentary

Overview: Kiss the Ground reveals that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Using compelling graphics and visuals, along with striking NASA and NOAA footage, the film artfully illustrates how, by drawing down atmospheric carbon, soil is the missing piece of the climate puzzle. This movie is positioned to catalyze a movement to accomplish the impossible – to solve humanity’s greatest challenge, to balance the climate and secure our species future.

Director Statement: After 7 years of hard work, we believe this film is an urgent call to action in addressing the world’s climate crisis. Finally, there is an accessible, relatively simple solution to humanity’s greatest challenge. It is our dream that it will be viewed by audiences in every part of the world for years to come and we would be honored if you and your festival would join us on this mission.

Best Director, Best Edit

Director/Writer: Deepak Reddy

Producers: Shilpa Gajjala, Harikanth Gunamagari

Country: India

Project Type: Short

Overview:A young man muses on the nature of love, recounting three relationships from his past. The girls in his life resemble three different seasons, namely Chaitra (Spring), Varsha (Monsoon) & Seeta (Winter).

Director Statement: "Manasanamaha" roughly translates to 'Salutations to the mind' in Sanskrit. The film is an ode to the process of making memories and how they define our perspective. In order to communicate this to the audience, I chose to narrate this story in the first person perspective over the usual third person perspective. Of course it would be biased, but I felt it would also make it more human, full of errors and emotions. When I started visualizing the film, I wanted it to have its own language, be it the structure, compositions, colours, cinematography, editing or even the narrative. A lot of work went into the cinematographic and sound editing techniques to evoke the sense of nostalgia the character feels while reminiscing. Use of a custom-made helmet rig for the POV shots helped set the tone, as did the fluid watercolour shots to bookend the different chapters of the story.The idea at the heart of this film is that the endings of love stories can be happy or sad but the beginnings are always happy. With this in mind, I decided to literally narrate a story in backwards to end it on a happy note.

Best Long Short
No Internet

Director/Writer/Producer: Kyle Lawrence

Director of Photography: Dave McClung

Country: Canada

Project Type: Long Short

Overview: A group of teens have to go an entire year without the internet. They discover there's a clandestine organization pulling the strings and it's up to them to save their town.

Director Statement: This short was such a fun project to work on! Despite working through the nightmare of being the first production of any notable size in Vancouver to begin filming in a "covid world" after the film industry shutdown, we stayed healthy and safe, we made the best of it and had a great time doing so! We filmed three days at the beginning of June, followed by three days in mid-July. We had so many experienced and talented crew volunteer their time to help out with this project! Thank you for considering it!

Best Thriller/Horror Short

Director/Writer/Producer: Ilya Polyakov

Producer: Sebastian Mathews

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: A young man working the graveyard shift at an old video store soon discovers something very sinister about the place.

Director Statement: This film was an exercise in using the resources you've got available. I knew I had an amazing location at my disposal (courtesy of my good friend and producer Sebastian), so I quickly set to work writing a story based around it. Then something just clicked, and so Cassette was born!

Best Student Director

The Pubic Hair

Director/Writer/Producer: Carolin Glomp

Country: Germany

Project Type: Short

Overview: A business man suspects his girlfriend of having an affair, after returning from a trip and finding a stranger's pubic hair on their sofa. A discussion between the couple starts to get more and more intense until they find themselves in a situation, none of them has seen coming.

Director Statement: "Love is blind, but jealousy sees too much." - old Jewish saying

Best Director, Best Editing, Best Sound Design
Behind the Name SHAKESPEARE: Power, Lust, Scorn & Scandal

Director: Robin Phillips

Writer/Producer: Christina di Marlo (aka Robin Phillips)

Country: United States

Project Type: Documentary, Experimental, Feature

Overview: WHO CREATED THE GREATEST WORK OF IAMBIC THUNDER IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? “Behind the Name SHAKESPEARE: Power, Lust, Scorn & Scandal” answers that question in this fun yet important film. It is a costume-filled journey into literary history’s greatest mystery: Who really wrote the works of Shakespeare? This charming documentary is clearly a labor of love, which one can feel in every scene. "BEHIND THE NAME SHAKESPEARE is an extraordinary one-woman show/documentary. The exceptional Robin Phillips guides us through the exciting investigation about who is really behind the most important plays in the whole world and therefore behind the name of William Shakespeare…

Best Environmentally Conscious Documentary Short
Voice of the glaciers

Director/Writer/Producer: Sindre Kolbjørnsgard

Country: Norway

Project Type: Short

Overview: In the summer of 2019, four young adventurers, embark on a dangerous scientific expedition into the Arctic, with the intent of documenting the true story of the effects of the changing climate. Through Eric’s scientific degree in glaciology, and Kris' crucial knowledge of navigating the local terrain, working as an Arctic guide, the team approach the endeavor with open minds, seeking evidence, to determine fact from hysteria, about the rate of glacial melting. The journey proves to be an eye-opening revelation, sparking a sense of imperative, that they must do something before it’s too late.

Director Statement: “Re-photography is the easiest way to understand how big climate change is. I think the challenge is that we ordinary people are introduced to climate problems in such a scientific way that we are unable to relate to them.”

Best Art/Experimental Short


Director/Producer: Ed Picard

Producers: JM Seneca, Einat Dan

Country: France

Project Type: Short

Overview: Film Me’ a fashion film where fashion and cinema meet one another, a homage to different times of cinema through the spectrum of beauty. There are 4 scenes which all match to a time and a mood, and each are filmed in a special format (Super 8, 16mm, VHS, Digital).

Best Feature Screenplay / TV Script

Writers: Joseph Bronzi, Lindsay Gelfand, Buddy Fitzpatrick

Genres: Comedy Horror

Country: United States

Project Type: Television Script

Overview: Homicide Detective Harry Frye has a gift for infuriating women. His new partner Millie (who had rage issues before Harry) is pregnant, so working with her is like playing Twister in a minefield. His daughter is working off 'Daddy Issues' in a Strip club, and his AA Sponsor is so in love with Harry that she’s ready to strangle him. This ‘talent’ runs deep in Harry’s genes. A hundred years ago, his ancestor Augustus ruined the scheme of a Hellion named Lilith. Now the same Witch has found Harry, and is plotting her revenge.

Best Microfilm

Directors/Writer: David Barros

Producer: Comité Paralímpico de Portugal

Country: Portugal

Project Type: Short

Overview: A paralympic athlete that tries to beat a record ends up stuck in a time loop.

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Those Beautiful Moments

Director/Writer/Producer: Vasily Chuprina

Writer: Andreas Illmer

Producer: Svetlana Samarina

Country: Russian Federation

Project Type: Short

Overview: "Those beautiful moments" tells the story of a scientist on the search for eternal beauty and life.

Director Statement: "Those beautiful moments" tells the story of a scientist on the search for eternal beauty and life.

Best Comedy Short
The Ball of Light

Director/Writer: Nick von Schlippe

Writer/Producer: Zuzana von Schlippe

Producers: Grace Low, Vicki Kok, Chong Boon Yee

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Short

Overview: When an old school bloke goes to his first ever yoga class the results are anything but enlightening.

Director Biography: Nick von Schlippe trained as a director at ARTTS International. On graduating, he worked as an Assistant Director on several films and TV shows, before going on to make over thirty short films. Many of these have been highly acclaimed, with screenings at the Curzon Soho and the Cannes Short Film Corner. As an actor, Nick’s credits include 6 Underground, French and Saunders and Spaced. Working with Zuzana von Schlippe at Caesar Pictures, Nick is currently developing his feature film directing debut.

Best Documentary Short

Director/Writer/Producer: Jay Martin

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Short, Political, Drama, Historical

Overview:Redt'Blue is a documentary short, focusing on how, and why, the ex-mining town constituency of Mansfield swung from the Labour party, which had held it for a consecutive 94-years, to the Conservative party in the 2017 snap-election. A party which had not claimed the seat since its creation in 1885.

Director Statement: Redt'Blue is a documentary short, focusing on how, and why, the ex-mining town constituency of Mansfield swung from the Labour party, which had held it for a consecutive 94-years, to the Conservative party in the 2017 snap-election. A party which had not claimed the seat since its creation in 1885.

Best Animation Short
The Last Step
The Last Step

Director: Stanislav Matveev

Producer: Rafael Toro Cortes

Animation: Rafael Toro Cortes, Stanislav Matveev, Lena Zyadeh

Country: Austria

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: A young soldier is walking through his memories, before the moment of death

Best Feature

Director/Writer: Hisashi Kikuchi

Producers: Shin Okada

Country: Japan

Project Type: Feature

Overview: The story begins at a hangout spot of four skateboarders. A random conversation leads them to create a team called “Crasher.” Together, they show up at skate parks and events where their skateboard tricks attract a growing flock of admirers. As their reputation gains momentum - fueled through the power of social media - their fame spreads. However, when Crasher members Ryo and K are sponsored by skateboard company ELEMENT, it puts undue pressure on their friendship. Both Ryo and K are thrilled to be sponsored by such a well-known brand. However, while Ryo uses the opportunity to improve his skateboard prowess, K turns to the allure of the nightlife. From an abusive household and now relentlessly flamed on social media for his public behavior, K reacts by distancing himself from his teammates. As he falls over the edge, will he recover his skateboard spirit before the big competition?

Director Statement: To create STAND STRONG, I spent many long hours working with skateboarders. They're always fun and free, but they can also be high-maintenance. Still, as people, they are incredibly brave and never give up no matter how many times they fail. I believe that STAND STRONG and its universal message can cross the ocean and reach the entire world.

Best Short
Yard Kings
Yard Kings

Director/Writer: Vasco Alexandre

Writer/Producer:Karen T. Bolt, Sylvester Warren

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Short

Overview: The film follows the story of Ellie, a young girl from a violent home. The 9-year-old seems to escape from her harsh reality by spending her days in the woods of a nearby scrapyard with her friend, Pete. There, the pair have built a new home for themselves. One night, after witnessing the horrifying abuse of her mother, Ellie decides to come back home and confront her stepfather.

Director Statement: With families in lockdown worldwide, hotlines are lighting up with abuse reports. The violence is more frequent, more severe and more dangerous. Since cases have increased by 20%, I cannot imagine a better time to tell this story. Told through the eyes of one of the biggest losers in a violent relationship -children- 'Yard Kings' observes a 9-year-old girl's reality as a fly on the wall. It is a personal topic for me, and it was challenging to portray a social issue outside of my cultural zone. However, London is a complicated city, filled with all kinds of truths and contradictions, and I wanted to find my own emotional connection to it since my time there was such a significant chapter of my life.

Best Short Screenplay
Evening of the Evil Eye
Evening of the Evil Eye

Writer: Angel Connell

Country: United States

Project Type: Short Screenplay

Overview: Two white thugs attempting to rob a black businesswoman get more than what they bargained for when they seize and attempt to destroy her Donald Trump fetish doll.

Best Drama Short

Director/Writer/Producer: Fabrizio Daniele

Writer: Autumn Ivy Hobsson

Producers: Oliver Boon, Charlotte Hendrickx

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview:When enough is enough, you realize you are enough!

Director Statement: Fabrizio is a truly unique and unapologetic artist that wants to bring roaring comedy and heart-wrenching drama to life. Whether it’s on a stage, in front of the camera or behind it, his dedication to telling inspiring stories in the United States fuels his determination and devotion to the art of acting.

Best Drone Short
Budapest Day 'N' Nite
Budapest Day 'N' Nite

Director/Producer: Attila Szamosvári

Drone operator: Attila Szamosvári

Country: Hungary

Project Type: Short, Drone

Overview: ...glitch in time on a drone flight...

Best Original Score

Director: Glory Zhai

Director/Producer: Herong Cube

Music/Sound: JOJO, Junkie Jangerr

Country: Canada

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: An illustration student sitting front of her unfinished darwing but struggle to finished it, memory flash back when she staring at the drawing and take her back to the beginning of everything.

Director Statement: My artwork focuses on strong visual with the core of storytelling. Often referencing ACG (Animation, Cartoon, and Game) culture, my work explores the connection between visual media and tales. While I practice my art as diverse as animation, illustration, motion graphics and design, my belief about “ visual is the best way to tell stories” is consistent. My intention is to invite viewers to specifically use their eye to receiving messages. Therefore, my work relies on visual composition and layout management. I hope viewers will take time to experience what they see, therefore, bring their own meaning out of my work.

Best Trailer/Teaser
Street Ratz
Street Ratz

Director/Writer: Austin Hill

Producer: Jack Wright

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: Young Street Rat Tal and the head of their Robot friend Hermie must escape the criminal underworld of a dystopian mega city to find their mother on the top level.

Director Statement: I wanted to create an adventure set in a futuristic world, about a young girl who faces many obstacles in her struggle for freedom.

Best Mobile Short

Director/Writer/Producer: John Druzba

Country: United States

Project Type: Short, Student

Overview: A lonely New Yorker struggles to connect with a neighbor during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Walls" is a topical story shot on a mobile phone.

Director Statement: Making "Walls" during the COVID-19 pandemic was a refreshing challenge. Through it, I've learned how to work with simplicity. I trust that the message of this film's story connects with audiences on a deeper level.

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