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Winners Winter 2021

Best Drone Short

Director: Kiril Shmidov

Editor, Sound Design: Alexandre Richard

Colorist: Charles Boileau

Country: Canada

Project Type:Short

Overview: Les Orphelins & 5S Content present a glimpse of a world at the dawn of a pandemic: from the somber desolation of Chernobyl's ruins to Tibet's untouched majestic mountains, Siberia's glacial grounds and Mongolia's snowy desert dunes.

Director Statement: “We Above III” is a thrilling flight over a world at the brink of a deadly virus which paints our pale blue dot as both elegant and derelict, grand and bleak, and one worth fighting for and preserving.

Best Documentary Short
Tremors: Making Perfection

Director/Writer: Matthew Snead

Producers: Juan Leon

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Documentary, Short

Overview: In 1989, Universal Pictures greenlit a low budget monster movie. With a tiny budget, an untested director and rubber monsters. And shot outdoors in the freezing winds and baking sun of the desert. IT TANKED. That movie was called Tremors. 30 years later Universal have released the 7th movie in its franchise. WHY? TREMORS: MAKING PERFECTION explores the production, reception and enduring cult appeal of Tremors. We revisit the breath-taking locations for Tremors at the foot of Mount Whitney, California and lift the lid on the torturous production process, it’s dismal success at the box office and how through changing technology, and with a killer script at its core, it miraculously found its devoted and obsessive audience. With new and exclusive interviews with Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross and all the key creators technicians and execs involved in its production we uncover what the film ultimately means to the ‘Tremors family’, some 30 years later.

Best Long Short
The Chernobyl Saga - Irish Butter Case of India

Director: Ajitesh Sharma

Writers: Ajitesh Sharma, Shashank Saxena, Gurjot Singh

Producer: Shilpa Sharma

Country: India

Project Type: Long Short

Overview: The Chernobyl Saga - Irish Butter Case of India is a documentary about a legal case filed in India. Being one of the very few films shot in Chernobyl, the interesting aspect of the film is that this Case was connected to Nuclear Incident at Chernobyl miles away from India. This is a documentary which breaks all genre stereotypes, by using various techniques of travelogue, narration, reconstruction and personal interaction. It tells us something not many people knew before watching it.

Director Statement: What connects Chernobyl and India? Why was Irish Butter banned in India? How Indian Scientists managed to prove everyone wrong? Answers to these and more in this unheard story from 90s

Best Short
Outside The Box
Outside The Box

Director: Ross Mackenzie

Writers: Ross Mackenzie, Amelia Mackenzie

Producer: Billy Rees

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Drama, Comedy, Short

Overview: An office worker has an unforgettable day after discovering an intriguing box in the store cupboard.

Director Statement: Outside The Box was shot in the summer of 2019 with a small crew doing our absolute best to avoid people and traffic in order to get the perfect feel for the film. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Best Drama Short

Director/Writer: Isaac Harrison

Producers: Isaac Harrison, Abigail Harrison

Country: United States

Project Type: Thriller, Noir, Drama, Short

Overview: A detective follows a lead on a missing girl but begins to suspect that there is more to the case than what's on the surface.

Director Statement: 'Dunn' is a film about how truth will always find us, no matter what we tell ourselves.

Best Microfilm
The Game
The Game

Director/Writer: Tim Moldenhauer

Producer: Kristall Tam

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: A mysterious SMS reveals that the boy waiting for the bus might not alone as he thought. Set in the 90s, this micro short film is featuring a ‘System G’ backpack and plays Hommage to various 90s movies.

Director Statement: There was a lot of hands on work for this project, which was fun though. We had to modify an entire bus stop, including build-in custom lighting, building our own ad light box and aging down our own bench. Then weeks of sourcing actual 90s items, ranging from a walkmen with the original orange headphones, matching snacks to a nokia mobile phone. But all of these tiny details makes this micro film work, including some indirect references to some popular 90s movies :)

Best Student Director
Little Gestures
Little Gestures

Director: Richard O'Hanlon , Daniel Brand-Sinyinza

Producers: Nickoel Izharudin, Dominic Strachan

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: An elderly master artist finds his powers waning - and receives help from an unlikely source.

Director Statement: I wanted to create a short film about an artist whose work comes to life in an unexpected way. It is a story about life, and talent, and the imagination.

Best Feature

Director/Writers: Ignacio Maiso

Producer: David Stock

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Sci-fi, Thriller, Feature

Overview: Humans cannot see them anymore. They control the world and everything that happens in it. Humans live in a comfortable dream that repeats itself. They control the dream. They were humans once too. Now they are something else. Some humans wake up, most never do. Once you wake up you are supposed to forget. Daniel is awoken to be told that things could be different. Daniel believes it. For a while at least.

Best Feature Screenplay / TV Script
SOS United States

Writer: Mark Lund

Country: United States

Project Type: Drama, Political Thriller, Action, Screenplay

Overview: A state visit by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom turns into a political crisis when the President of the United States learns that a nuclear bomb is on an ocean liner heading to Boston.

Writer Statement: I have always loved political thrillers, particularly those from the 1960s. When I started writing screenplays, I soon realized that no matter the genre or subject, they live in the world of political thrillers. In SOS United States my aim was to introduce two world leaders into a sea of personal and political conflict. What battles do they need to fight? What must they lose in order to prevail? My inspiration on setting and tone was drawn from Fail Safe (1964) and Seven Days in May (1964). In SOS I wanted to bring the audience directly into the rooms of power with our characters. How are two leaders of the free world dealing with the possible end of that world? Who are their supporters and detractors? I believe character motivations in political thrillers should be as complicated and involved as it is in real life. In this story, my goal was to to keep the audience guessing until the last pages when loyalty and character comes into question for all. I think that’s what makes for a solid political thriller—you don’t know who the enemy is until it’s almost too late.

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
The Creator
The Creator

Director/Writer/Producer: Sergiy Pudich

Director of Photography : Rouman Kang

Country: Ukraine

Project Type: Experimental, Short

Overview: The scientist creating and training androids to be perfect in different skills: fighting, athletics, dancing, and. - painting. All droids improving themselves day by day, but an artistic one is standing where she was - Will Creator erase his work or leave her a chance?

Director Statement: This movie was done within 48 hours Project in China. We wanted to show how artists are suffering before they can do an Art. The Creator is a society that waits for quick results from the artist, but recognition can come only after it's already too late...

Best Short Screenplay

Writer: Peter Hardy

Country: United States

Project Type: Short Script

Overview: Two people, longing for each other, never connecting.

Writer Statement: It's all in how we see ourselves and see others.

Best Animation Short
Fowl Crossing

Director/Writer: Nancy Snipper

Animator: Eduardo Rivas

Country: Canada

Project Type: Animation, Short

Overview: When colorful birds from all over the world land at the border crossing of a fictitious country, they get hit with a slew of insults by the two nasty vulture guards, and are denied entry. Prejudice is in the air. A comedic parody on a serious subject.

Director Statement: TAPPING TANGO was my first venture into animation film. Typical to my personality, it's funny. I hope it brings laughter to all who watch it. Following ©Tapping Tango's success, my second animation short ©Fowl Crossing will soon be screening at a festival near you. This clever film merges characters of birds from different countries to a message about racism. Poignant yet funny, it's sure to be controversial yet entertaining. “I was determined to make a short about prejudice. The film is entertaining and funny, yet it deals with a very serious subject. I feel my film is very relevant to what the world is experiencing now. It’s not only anti-Trump but it’s anti all who rule with hatred in their hearts and power on their minds. Prejudice is systemic.”

Best Director
Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Director/Producer: Keith Williams

Writers: Chevelle Hallback, Stephanie D. Sanders

Executive Producer: Chevelle Hallback

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: Tonyella father did not spend the time with her the way she feels a father should spend with his daugther. Now that Tonyella is a grown woman, she struggles mentally with a lot of unanswered question. Because of the unforgiveness in her heart towards her deceased father, it prevents her from getting ahead and moving forward in life.

Director Statement: Working with Chevelle Hallback has been an amazing journey and working with her on other projects, I knew she was a phenomenal actor. But I did not know she was gifted with hidden talent as a writer. "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" is her first film but definitely not her last. Working with Chevelle on her first film was a pleasure and I must say this is just the beginning. I will definitely be working with her again in the near future so please stay tuned.

Best Art/Experimental Short
Slow Dive

Director: Andrei Zaitcev

Writer/Composer: Juha Mäki-Patola

Country: Finland

Project Type: Experimental, Short

Overview: Existential video poem.

Best Feature Documentary
Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet

Directors: Torsten Hoffmann, Michael Watchulonis

Writer/Producer: Torsten Hoffmann

Country: Australia

Project Type: Documentary, Feature

Overview: Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralized currency system. Its “blockchain” could provide a blueprint for a better Internet - challenging the dominating technology giants. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is undergoing severe price volatility and the community is facing a bitter internal ‘civil war’. Moreover, much of the media coverage is often misinformed or misleading and the general public is still confused about the technology and its larger implications. Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative? Can it and the people behind it be trusted to secure elections, prevent financial meltdowns and keep our private information safe? Or are cryptocurrencies just as unfairly distributed, easily manipulated and dangerous as our current systems? Join award-winning filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann four years after his first Bitcoin documentary on his journey to find the answers to these important questions that may redefine the future of the Internet (web3.0). He meets with the big brains and big egos of this new industry. Some of the hackers, hipsters and hustlers that Torsten met 5 years ago have broken their promises; can we trust them to build a trustless new cyber utopia?

Director Statement: “#CryptopiaFilm: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet” explores this story in-depth. We benefited from the relationships we built with the thought leaders, hustlers, billionaires and journalists in this young industry since 2014. For example, as only film crew we were given unprecedented access to a decommissioned military bunker in a secret location in Switzerland, where allegedly 10% of all Bitcoins worth billions of dollars are secured. We were also able to get access to the co-inventor of the Internet who draws parallels and set the historical context for this new technology.

Best Thriller/Horror Short
Chateau Sauvignon: terroir
Chateau Sauvignon: terroir

Director/Writer: D.M. Night Maire

Producers: D.M. Night Maire, Rob Eletto, Jayesh Hariharan, Carlos Valdivia

Country: United States

Project Type: Horror, Short

Overview: 'Chateau Sauvignon: terroir' follows the isolated adolescent son of a storied vintner family who finds himself torn between obeying his father’s callous restrictions and preventing his ailing mother from deteriorating further. When a doting woman and her indifferent son arrive seeking a tasting and tour of the winery, Nicolas sees an opportunity to help care for his mother, as well as prove his worth to his choleric father. However, his wayward plan quickly takes a turn for the worse, and his missteps puts his family’s secretive murderous ways in peril of being unearthed.

Director Statement: This short doubles as both a directorial calling card and a proof of concept in terms of plot, character and visual aesthetic for a larger feature project. Rather than follow a group of victims into a winery from hell, the hook of this slasher story is in keeping the lens on the executioners, Nicolas and his family. Think “Frontier(s)” (2007) meets “We Are What We Are” (2013). Similarly to Haneke’s psychological thrillers, this story seeks to explore the unease of human monsters, but adds a heavy dose of visceral Cronenbergian body horror.

Best Comedy, Best Actor/Actress

Director/Writer: Will Masheter


Producer: Colette Brown

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: When 7 quirky characters get arrested and interviewed on suspicion of murder, who do you think is likely to have done it?

Director Biography: 7 SUSPECTS was written and initially intended to be a one-man showreel piece. The idea was to shoot it at home over an extended period of time, but that soon changed... It ended up being shot over an 18 hour night shoot, with a 6 person team powering through the night.

Best Mobile Short

Director: Polina Ami Kosele

Writers: Polina Ami Kosele, Polina Viljun

Producer: Alyona Kosele

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Short

Overview: 'MOM' is a compelling short drama, following Denis, a 26-year-old graduate student at Moscow Medical University. He is a diligent and benevolent man, a volunteer at a local hospital during a pandemic. In a long-awaited call with his mother, who lives in Riga (Latvia), Denis assures her that the working conditions are safe and the staff is under control, but he knows that there is still cause for concern. After the chat, he receives results from the laboratory, informing that he has tested positive for the virus. Denis is broken, for a few seconds he turns into a helpless little boy, powerless against a pandemic, experiencing strong mental torment, despair and fear. A monologue in his head cries out for help to his mother, as he realizes that this may have been their last conversation.

Director Statement: As the director, this film carries personal importance and connection to me. My brother is in the epicenter of the pandemic, New York City. A few years back, he used to work as a receptionist at a hospital, and call my mother every week reassuring her he was doing well. In reality, he was struggling financially, but didn’t want us to worry. This had a big impact on me when I found out the truth, and in todays circumstances, it made me wonder how medics cope with all the horrors they endure at work. Unfortunately, not all stories have happy endings, I discovered that many doctors went as far as to commit suicide upon testing positive for COVID-19, because they became helpless in their one and only purpose in life, to save people.