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Winners Autumn 2022

Best Actress (Tessa Farrell)
Cinema Rebel

Director/Writer/Producer Tessa Farrell

Key Cast "Daisy Blaine": Tessa Farrell

Country: United States

Project Type: Comedy, Drama, Feature

Overview: Daisy Blaine is an ordinary small town girl who moved to Hollywood to act in movies. After following the normal path of auditions, she realizes the film industry is overloaded with cash grabs, remakes, sequels, knock offs and lacks “original” inspirational movies. Using the power of the smartphone in her hand she quits auditioning to transform herself into a one person film crew and goes on a mission to create groundbreaking hit movies using only herself, her phone and a handful of other actors. Daisy’s journey of self realization unfolds over the course of her making 6 short films. To make ends meet along the way she works as a webcam girl and quickly realizes the consequences of sacrificing spiritual values to sharpen filmmaking skills. Subsequently through out her journey she is guided by God, her best friend, Trent, and Dr. Silk, her inexperienced psychiatrist. They tell her everything she does not want to hear but needs to hear… not only to become an extraordinary filmmaker but to become an extraordinary human being.

Director Statement: In order to make this movie I had to put myself far beyond my comfort zone every single day for over 3 years and discovered when you truly love something... you’re willing to go through hell for it. Making this movie was incredibly challenging and painful… but at the same time… thrilling, enlightening and the most rewarding experience of my life.

Best Short

Director/Writer: Rafael de Andrade

Producers: Raphael de Oliveira Dorsa, Tauã Franco

Country: Brazil

Project Type: Short

Overview: Famous superheroes take care of adult problems, but children also have their superheroes, always ready to help solve their dilemmas. Anonymous heroes may be closer than we think, and in this fun movie, they will be taken back.

Best Feature Screenplay
No Address

Writers: Julia Verdin, James Papa

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature Screenplay

Overview: A group of homeless people bond together as a family, struggling to survive the streets while fending off a harassing gang, an unforgiving community and the local authorities in hopes of finding their humanity again.

Writer Statement: I want to produce and direct movies that will help change the world into a better place to live.

Best Long Short
Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry

Director/Writer: Alfie Court

Producer: Eve Burns

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Drama, Short

Overview: Three young lads venture into the woods and don't come out the same. Aaron, the ringleader, believes he has found something out there, something that belonged to his girlfriend who's been missing for a year. His two friends think he's become obsessed chasing her ghost, but they are reluctantly dragged along all the same despite losing hope she'll ever be found.

Director Biography: Initially training to be an actor, Alfie transitioned to a role behind the camera after finding his love for filmmaking at university. Editing much of his own work, often writing his own material yet also finding equal joy directing films written by others. Alfie puts heart, soul, and humour into every project he directs.

Best Drama Short
Little Happy
Little Happy

Director: Peter Ney

Writer: Angela Mac

Producers: Cynthia Sanders, Parker Clark

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: Follow your passion, they say. But Cowboy Billy’s passion is robbing banks. Getting older certainly doesn’t make the hobby easier. Having an RV for a getaway vehicle is a whole other obstacle. One more duffle bag full of cash is all that stands between Billy and retirement. Is there enough in the tank for one last ride?

Director Biography: Peter Ney has been in the entertainment business for nearly 30 years. his credits include directing and producing various productions and projects. Peter was nominated for the DGA director’s guild award for FACE OFF in 2013.

Best Feature
Morris Men

Director: Gregg Masuak

Producers: DB Morgan, Peter Mahoney, Jamie B Chambers

Writer: DB Morgan

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Action, Urban Vengeance, Martial Arts

Overview: When a seaside town is gripped in a vice of drug fuelled corruption, sometimes the only solution is to book a dance with the Morris Men.

Director Biography: A multiple graduate with a Certificate in Cinematography (NSTC) and a BA in Communications (University of Technology, Sydney), Masuak initially gained the attention of music executives with his earliest, avant-garde shorts, launching a career that found him directing such iconic stars as Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue and Take That. His expertise in bringing out the best in people earned him a Juno and two MTV Awards and subsequently led the ad industry to his doorstep. Masuak moved to putting his acclaimed emotional and visual stamp on such diverse brands as Emporio Armani, Barclays, NEC, Olay and NSPCC, all the while honing his passion for his own special brand of unusual storytelling. He gained a reputation for extracting great performances from both novices and celebrities, working with actors like Penelope Cruz, Courtney Cox and Salma Hayek. His film "Born With Glasses" won Best Comedy/Satire in the Chicago International Film Festival, while more recently The Independent and The Huffington Post dubbed his Aids Alliance "Come Together" spot as "one of the most provocative ads to be screened on British television."

Best Animation Short

Director/Writer: Sam Gill

Country: New Zealand

Project Type: Animation, Short

Overview: Fetch is a heart-on-its-sleeve animated dramedy about a dog and his human, working together as the only maintenance crew aboard a colossal space station. They fill their days cleaning vents, rewiring fuses, and throwing well-worn tennis balls down dimly lit-corridors in games of fetch. Overwhelmed by the scale of scope of the job, the man slides into depression, causing the station to malfunction catastrophically! When the human realizes he can’t reach the last escape pod in time, he throws his tennis ball towards it… His dog, following instinct, chases the ball into the pod and is propelled to safety, inadvertently leaving the human behind! But the dog’s devotion is too much, so he resolved to journey back across the universe to either save his human… or die along aside him.

Director Statement: Fetch is born from my own experiences with mental health, and is very much an ode to – and love letter to! – faithful hounds everywhere.

Best Art/Experimental Short

Director: Darshan Singh Bhuller

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: Inspired by the Director’s daughter’s experience with loss, Nala is a film about processing grief. Shot by Cinematographer, Justin Ervin, set to an original score by Andrew Ryan, and danced by revered dancer, PeiJu Chien-Pott, the film unfolds from the public to the private and expresses, through movement, the depths of trauma, and the tension between despair and strength. What is at first overwhelming and all encompassing, becomes tempered, and absorbed into the natural landscape. 

Best Comedy Short, Best Student Director
Monkey or Man

Director: Oscar Hewitt

Writer: Jude Crook

Producer: Olivér Csanádi

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Student, Short

Overview: When a circus trio have a particularly disastrous show, Mandy the Acrobat must decide whether to run away from the circus, or to stay and help her friends.

Director Statement: When I first read 'Monkey or Man', I knew I had to make it. Not only did Jude's script have hilarious comedic dialogue, but I saw great potential for a heartwarming, truthful story between these larger-than-life characters. They're a quirky, dysfunctional family that goes through a lot of struggles as a unit, but ultimately pulls through together as a team. Creating this film was a joyfully exhilarating experience.

Best Sound Design
All through the hall
All through the hall

Director/Writer/Producer: Falko Jakobs

Country: Germany

Project Type: Feature

Overview: The whole film takes place in one night: A security guard working the night shift at a warehouse is caught up in his past. Three strangers break into the warehouse in the same night. But for what reason and what do they have to do with the security guard? In the end, they all have to go through the hall!

Director Statement: I wanted to create a film noir heist thriller that ends up being a western. The characters are classically created with the exception that there is no good one. Furthermore, I tried to tell the story not linearly, but to use the means of the episodic film.

Best Short Screenplay
Kamren's Haven
Kamren's Haven

Writers: Derek G Bailey, Stephanie M Byrd

Country: United States

Overview: Kamren is overjoyed when she is adopted nine years after being abandoned by her addicted birth mother. However, she soon discovers that her new family may have an agenda that's not in her best interests.

Writer Statement: This script is BASED ON the birth of the co-writer Stephanie Byrd, who was left in the care of hospital nurses with drugs running thru her body. Born Addicted and abandoned, her life isn't just a life of foster homes and failed adoptions.

Best Documentary Short

Director: Guillaume Couche

Producer: Guillaume Couche, Léonard Heuse

Country: United Kingdom

Genres: Documentary, Short

Overview: Every year, Loggerhead sea turtles come to nest on a small island of the Atlantic Ocean under the eye of scientists and local NGOs engaged in a race against time to protect this endangered species. Their original collaboration reveals a unique combination of high-level research, field work and creativity to design new tools that allow for gaining a better understanding of the turtles’ behaviour and engaging with the younger generation of islanders.