BEST OF THE FEST

The Girl in the Chair, by M. Louis Gordon

Still from The Girl In The Chair by M. Louis Gordon

Still from The Girl In The Chair by M. Louis Gordon

"Shot beautifully on film, with the use of some stop motion animation, the film shows the complex mindset of a young woman in an unthinkable situation. The stop motion was disturbing and elegant. The main performance was subtle and compelling. the sound design was lovely and the pacing really worked for me." _Dan Schechter,  Narratives juror

BEST DIRECTOR, Kristin Verbitsky

for Mother of Sorrows

Screen Still from Mother of Sorrows by Kristin Verbitsky

Screen Still from Mother of Sorrows by Kristin Verbitsky

We were especially impressed with the use of period details in a low budget indie film. The film is authentic and beautifully styled and lit. _RIFF Staff

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man, by Josh Hope

Film Still from The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man

Film Still from The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man

"The film really surprised me. Whenever I felt I knew what this film was or where it was going, it deepened with another unexpected layer of honesty, originality and authenticity. It sort of melds the standard indie genres of road trip and homecoming without every really succumbing to the traps of either. And the main performance sneaks up on you and before you realize it, his charm has really got you rooting for him and caring about him. And the standard "best friend" role really shines due to the performance of Kurt Conroyd, which just felt incredibly lived and likable despite his actions. This movie felt brave to me, deeply honest and based on personal experience and observations rather than indie film tropes." _Dan Schechter, Narratives juror

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Epiphany, by Michael Maes

Film Still from Epiphany by Michael Maes

Film Still from Epiphany by Michael Maes

"It came from a place of deep, personal struggle; reached for the profound; and opened a world that I hadn't known.  The underwater cinematography was impressive." _Billy Shebar, Documentaries juror

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Lima, by Afshin Roshanbakht

Film Still from Lima, by Afshin Roshanbakht

Film Still from Lima, by Afshin Roshanbakht

"The animation craft and design was outstanding. I was delighted by the unique character design and richness of the world in texture and color. The overall production, from the well crafted cinematography to music and sound design that supported the emotion of the story, allowed to me be transported into the world of the film completely. The story was touching and nicely handled through pantomime which I found engaging. The stop motion animation craft was superb, which is what made this film really stand out from the rest." _Steve Martino, Animated Films juror

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

The Beating, by Paul Stroili

Film Still from The Beating

Film Still from The Beating

"What could have been a simple tale of strange revenge ended with a poignant, and disturbing, twist. A confident short film well-told." _Michael Ian Black, Narrative Shorts juror

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

R.I.P. Big E's, by Joseph Lipstein

Film Still from R.I.P. Big E's by Joseph Lipstein

Film Still from R.I.P. Big E's by Joseph Lipstein

"An interesting and spirited indy film!" _ Billy Shebar, Documentaries juror

BEST WEB/NEW MEDIA

Beat & After Beat, by Greg Condon

Film Still from Beat & Afterbeat by Greg Condon

Film Still from Beat & Afterbeat by Greg Condon

"Fun and well made. Clever camera usage and editing." _RIFF Staff 

STUDENT FILM AWARDS

Best Student Film

When a Flame Stands Still, by Michael Canon

 

Best Director

Jeffy Nachapim for ICU

 

Best Actor 

Morgan Vasquez for Never Been Sicker

 

Most Creative

Hi, by Ye-eun Son

 

Best Writing

Girls Don't cry Wolf, by Madison Douglas

 

Best Cinematography

Into the Abyss, by Marcus Evans

 

Best Student Film Sound & Production

iNTERFACE, by Mel Hsieh

 

Best Student Film Editing

You and Me and S&G, by Christina Hunt