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Winners Autumn 2021

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short

But Happy
But Happy

Writer/Director: Anatolii Umanets

Producer: Valeria Marienko

Country: Ukraine

Project Type: Short

Overview: A young woman in a big nice house creates the design of the apartment while a very gloomy delivery man delivers the pizza at night. What do they have in common and how does she affect him...

Director Statement: After a long searching of the story for the first film, I decide to keep it simple as possible. The main goal was not to create something deep and smart, but just to try the whole process of creating a movie and see how it works. After getting the same experience I decide to take it as a base for the story and later improve it by passing time. It was very tricky without any knowledge, manipulate a script. But in the visual part, I was sure how it should look like. As being an artist I did a lot of concept art, sketches, and even animation to understand how scenes are working. VFX I decide to do by myself to control the whole visual aspect. The story and main character are based on my observation of my friends . The main question for me is disapproval of somebody. Here the main character is the only one who looks happy and bright but why she is happy, gives us dissonance and everybody decides on their own.

Best Comedy Short, Best Actor and Actress
It's Not Me, It's YOU!

Director/Writer/Producer: Jeff Schubert

Key Cast "Vanessa": Roni Davis

Key Cast "Charlie": Jeff Schubert

Country: United States

Project Type: Short, Drama

Overview: Jeff Schubert was born and raised in New York City and now resides in Los Angeles CA. He believes in the sentiment of the late college basketball coach, Jim Valvano, in that you should aspire to think a little, laugh a little and cry a little everyday. In the projects Schubert creates and works on he figures if he can help the audience accomplish two out of those three, that is not bad.

Director Statement: I was inspired to make It's Not Me, It's YOU! to snap people out of this. If we can see and laugh at this dynamic in the film, my hope is that it helps in a small way with starting a dialogue about how to communicate about differences. Because the current paradigm of everyone canceling those they disagree with is not working.

Best Actor/Actress (Feature Film)

GEORGE M. COHAN TONIGHT!

Director/Key Cast "George M. Cohan": Jon J Peterson

Writer: Chip Deffaa

Producer: Peter J Sellers

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature, Drama, Musical, Period

Overview: The spirit of George M. Cohan periodically revisits the stages of his triumphs of over 100 years ago - whether those stages still exist or not - to tell his story.

Director Statement: Early on in the pre-production, I found myself landed with the roles, not only of the actor in the piece, but of the film’s director and producer. I took it all onboard gamely and learned so much from this experience. Hoping to direct more and perhaps produce more for others in the future, if the projects excite me.

Best Trailer/Teaser

Pet Shop
Pet Shop

Director/Writer: Shauna Ludgate

Producer: Emmanouil Zervoudakis

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: A ragtag gang of pets in a pet shop dream of adoption.

Director Statement: Pet Shop is a story about a group of pets who live in a pet shop, and long to be adopted.




Best Feature
THE UGLY TRUTH

Director: Krishna Ashu Bhati

Writers: Krisha Ashu Bhati, Eva Habermann

Producers: Eva Habermann, Alexander König

Country: Germany

Project Type: Feature

Overview: Mona, her husband Theo and daughter Hanna live in an idyllic villa on the outskirts of Berlin. When the attractive 18 years old daughter of a friend comes to visit, the profound problems and fragility of the small family reveal, as a tragic downward spiral takes its inevitable course.

Director Biography: Krishna Ashu Bhati was born in 1980 in Berlin. Being partly Indian, partly German, his movies are inspired by two very different cultural backgrounds. He started writing and directing at the age of 24. His first feature film BITTER SÜSS has won several awards and the script has been sold to the US for a remake. DIE WAHRE SCHÖNHEIT/THE UGLY TRUTH is his second feature film and his first script in cooperation with Eva Habermann.

Best Cinematography
Planet Mars

Director: Sebastian Kuder

Writer: Nichole Gonzalez

Producer: Katerina Zacharakis

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Short, Student

Overview: On planet Mars, the last survivor of a dying alien life-form must find a mate to continue the survival of the species.

Director Statement: "Planet Mars" is Sebastian's first film.

Best Art/Experimental Short
What the Flock!?

Director/Writer: J. Large

Producer: Kirsten Mercier

Country: United States

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: A sketch show providing a glance into the daily life of a bird.

Best Thriller/Horror Short
Ofuda

Writer/Director/Producer: Yoshinobu Nakamura

Country: Japan

Project Type: Short

Overview: Horror with the motif of "a ofuda that should not be peeled off". Don't peel it off... Unless you solve it, it's obsessed with where it's pasted. A group of horrors that began when people who visited an abandoned village and tried their luck brought back "ofuda that should not be peeled off."

Director Statement: What we wanted to create was a simple horror. Horror movies have curse rules, key items, and horrifying ghosts. And the ghost visuals also have her history and meaning. This movie is only a part of the story of the world we made. I want to draw a story that I couldn't draw again. And I'm interested in how people outside of Japan will receive it.




Best Student Director
Worldbuilding

Director: Shauna C. Murphy

Country: United States

Project Type: Documentary, Student,Short

Overview: Worldbuilding is the creative practice of constructing a new paradigm and place. Walk through the process of worldbuilding from the perspective of a child’s imaginary world, as well as from a writer’s craft perspective - and the overlap between. Learn the best practices for worldbuilding from the specialists pioneering this area of study; psychologists Dr. Marjorie Taylor and Dr. Keith Oatley, as well as editor Jeni Chapelle, and award-winning authors Linda Sue Park, Eliot Treichel, and Jordan Ifueko.

Overview: When I first began research for Worldbuilding in the fall of 2020, I looked into various authors and specialists who had already studied the craft of worldbuilding for young audiences. I quickly realized that any introduction to this art would be incomplete without the perspective of a child's own imaginary world. The more I studied the worlds and characters that children created for themselves; some strange and mysterious - and others delightful and kind, I found that these imaginary places and people allowed for the children to step into who they truly were. Seeing a young person's perspective made me realize I had only scratched the surface to unlocking the potential of worldbuilding - the true potential lies in the unique imagination of the reader. I've realized the best worlds paint a larger perspective - and that perspective allows us to become who we truly are.

Best Drone Short
"MONUMENTAL"

Director: Aleksa Ristovic

Writers: Aleksa Ristovic, Giovann Attard

Producers: Aleksa Ristovic, Tania Ristovic

Country: Malta

Project Type: Short

Overview: A deep spiritual journey starts in pursuit of the right place to leave a mark in the world we live in.

Best Microfilm
Kiwi's Dream

Director/Writer: Paloma Zhu

Producer: Daniel Rowe

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: When an origami kiwi dreams of flying in the clouds, his friends decide to help him.

Best Drama Short
The Promenade
The Promenade

Director/Writer: Nico Falcone Georgiadis

Producers: Nico Falcone Georgiadis, Kimmo Salmela

Country: Sweden

Project Type: Short

Overview: We take a walk to find a way, to find the answers or just a cigarett to calm us down. Are we connected without knowing it... captured in a mixed of realities in the promenade of life? Some stories can not fade away while we are moving close to one onother but in the same times close can be far away in a crossroads of realities.

Director Statement: The Promenade about life captured in a promenade and in a crossroad of realities. A mixing way of objectivity when life chalange us and remind us that there is many realities walking close to us and we all have a personal story when the blues hit us stright from life it self. We can be close but so far away in the same time in "The Promenade"




Best TV Script
LEGENDS
LEGENDS

Writer: DANNY ALEX

Country: United States

Genres: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama

Overview: In Scandinavia, before the birth of the Christ God, the last of Odin's human bloodline must fight to save his people from those that seek to extinguish his lineage.

Writer Statement: If you measure people by their mind, you will rarely go wrong.

Best Editing, Best Sound Design
Below A Dark Wood

Director/Writer/Producer: Bill Slovick

Cinematographer/Editor/Sound Designer: Bill Slovick

Country: United States

Project Type: Short, Student

Overview: A missing woman. A troubled man. A dark wood full of mystery. What moves among the trees? What secrets lie buried? And what comes creeping in the dead of night?

Director Statement: With this film, I aim to create a purely cinematic experience. Without dialogue or camera movement, I tried to strip away all pretensions of entertainment and focus entirely on composition, editing, and sound design to tell a story. The film was shot with natural lighting, MOS, and its sound effects and score were patched together using a combination of field recordings and Creative Commons 0 sound clips available for free on freesound.org. I attempted to show what’s possible for a film production team of one to accomplish utilizing the benefits of modern digital technology on a minuscule budget. The budget expanded six-fold when the film was awarded a post-production grant, and I was able to collaborate with color and sound professionals to fully realize my vision.

Best Animation Short
Earlybird

Director: Daniel Fitzgerald

Composer: James Rogers

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Animation, Short

Overview: Get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, have a great day! Right?

Director Biography: I was born and raised in Australia, living in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, then moved to the UK to start a freelance career in motion graphics in London. I've now started a small independent animation studio in my new home town of Rochester, UK, and Earlybird is our first animated short.

Best Long Short
Zaara

Director/Writer: Hassan Raza

Producer: Hassan Raza, Yusuf Bhaimia

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Long Short

Overview: Zaara Aslam has lived a sheltered life. Having retreated into her fantasy life has helped her become a talented young filmmaker, but has left her real world skills somewhat underdeveloped. This inadequacy leaves Zaara in many tight spots in life and things are only further complicated by the tricky and thorny relationship she shares with her family members. None of these human matters matter one little bit to the greedy, unscrupulous bailiff that is Harvey Caress, who pays Zaara’s family a visit.

Director Statement: My inspiration for making Zaara comes from having watched two films - Amelie and Ida. Their stories, characters, cinematography, music or lack thereof, just stuck with me. I simply had to make Zaara in order to stop thinking about them. Although I loved all aspects of these films, what ultimately stayed with me was the thing that was common between both films. And that was the fact that both protagonists were dreamers. Zaara is no different.




Best Feature Documentary
Film-Wen

Directors: Lee, Chien-Cheng , Yang, Chi-Sheng

Country: Taiwan

Project Type: Documentary, Feature

Overview: Mr. Chang Ling-Wen, a film collector nicknamed "Film-Wen". Anything related to films is his goal of collecting, especially all kinds of film relics and old projectors. He has metalworking skills, so even if the old antique in disrepair lacks parts that will never be produced, he can create new parts with his skills and make an old antique reborn. He has collected from young age to present, even building a projector by himself. He has become a professional collector. He is very grateful to the teacher who encouraged him to keep working in this interest, and the shooting of this documentary also presents the process of looking for his teacher. He has a dream. He hopes that there will be a place where he can take good care of these film relics collected from all over the world, so that these objects will have a home and never wander outside.

Director Statement: Five years ago, due to the problem of projector, I met Mr. Chang Ling-Wen through a friend's introduction, and knew that he is so passionate about films. I’m also an enthusiast of collecting film-related objects, so I’m really happy to find a pal. I have benefited a lot from the mutual exchanges in the collections. After visiting many treasures of Mr. Chang, I began to wonder how he started to collect film cultural relics with perseverance, what the difficulties and processes were, and what plans and ideas he has in the future. Thus, the “Film-Wen” shooting project was launched.

Best Short
Backseat Driver
Backseat Driver

Director: Jake Balfour-Lynn

Writers: Jake Balfour-Lynn, David Wayman

Producer: David Wayman

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Short

Overview: A cabbie navigates his way through another night of picking up kinky couples and small talk serpents.

Best Short Screenplay
Thingamajigs
Thingamajigs

Writer: A. S. Templeton

Country: United States

Project Type: Short Script

Overview: As an act of proxy revenge, a little girl is given a book filled with unexpectedly vivid illustrations.

Best Feature Screenplay
Contraband

Writer: Thomas Behe

Country: United Kingdom

Genres: Thriller, Noir, comedy

Overview: Mainstream social is DEAD! Content censorship, sponsored spam, cancel culture and inciter-banning means everyone who's anyone is on the dark web. And no one knows it better than Tucker Scott. Rampant cyberbullying. Fake news trolling. Spying, voyeurism and privacy invasion. This is Contraband, the ruthless entrepreneurs’ digital underground - where profit-hungry mobs prowl city streets filming violent events to satisfy society’s demand for sensational content. But when activists hack Contraband giving control to any influencer with the most followers, it's complete chaos as everybody chases the money and fame of being number one!

Writer Statement: Imagine activists hacked FACEBOOK, and their computer virus STRIPPED ownership from Mark Zuckerberg - shifting the app’s complete control to Kim Kardashian, Ronaldo, Justin Bieber or to whoever else is the most-followed influencer, in real time? Then imagine this all happened on the DARK WEB version - where financial rewards and unpoliced power is even higher. What do think people could do to get to #1?




Best Environmentally Conscious Narrative Short
Birds Connect Our World
Birds Connect Our World

Director/Writer/Producer: Lilian Fu

Country: United Kingdom

Genres: Animation, Short

Overview: Migratory birds are under threat - how can we help?

Director Statement: Every year millions of migratory birds are killed traveling to and from their mating and feeding grounds. We need to act now in order to save this precious natural resource before it vanishes for good. "Birds Connect Our World" was made entirely during the Corona lockdown.

Nominated: Best Mobile Short

The Beetle Survey

Director/Writer/Producer: Will Oates

Music: Connor Askin

Country: Isle of Man

Project Type: Short

Nominated: Best Short
Letter from Bobeyan

Director/Writer/Producer: Stephen Paul Cooke

Country: Australia

Type: Short

Overview: Letter from Bobeyan is a fictional story, based on historical events that occurred on 24 June 1850 in the Bobeyan Valley, now Namadgi National Park, to the south of Canberra. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the incident, and there is very little information about the details of what occurred on that day. Our film takes those events from 1850 and introduces Gracie, a modern day explorer who comes across a letter, and embarks on a journey to find the truth.

Director Statement: So much of our local history remains unknown. Even when it is known, there is usually so few details, that it leaves you wondering, why? We delve into the events that are not widely known, researching, establishing what facts there are, and weaving those historical aspects into a storyline that involves fictional input enabling the telling of a compelling story. I love the rich and broad history of this region, dating back many thousands of years. The more recent stories that we look to bring to the audience through film, establish a link to the past, a look back in time. For a local Canberran, these stories take me back in time, and through our fabulous cast and crew, enable the viewer to experience the hardships, challenges, and the odd good time of those early pioneer settlers to the region. As an avid bushwalker, I hope these stories will inspire people to go out into our local national park, explore, and experience history, but also nature at its best.