The Dallas Film Society Announces Jury and Audience Award Winners of the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival Presented by AutoNation
The Dallas Film Society has announced the winners of the 9th Annual Dallas International Film Festival’s competition series. This year’s Festival, presented by AutoNation, features 169 films representing 32 countries, with a total of 18 premieres including 11 World Premieres, three North American Premieres and four US Premieres.
Grand Jury Awards and Special Jury Prizes were presented for the Narrative Feature Competition, Short Film Competition and Texas Feature Competition during Dallas Film Society Honors, co-presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Sheri Deterling, Geoff Hawkes and the Highland Dallas, at The Highland Dallas. Grand Jury Awards were also given for the Documentary Feature Competition, Animated Short Competition and Student Short Competition.
The winner of the Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature Competition is RADIATOR directed by Tom Browne. The Special Jury Prize winner for Cinematography in a Narrative Feature is SOME BEASTS, directed by Cameron Nelson. Receiving the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting in a Narrative Feature is ECHOES OF WAR, directed by Kane Senes.
Taking home the Grand Jury Award in the Documentary Feature Competition is BARGE, directed by Ben Powell.
The recipient of the Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award is THE CHICKEN, directed by Una Gunjak. Special Jury Awards went to THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL, directed by Kitty Green, and ONE HITTA QUITTA, directed by Ya’Ke Smith.
The Animated Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award, presented by Reel FX, went to WORLD OF TOMORROW, directed by Don Hertzfeldt.
The Student Short Film Competition Award winner is CAST IN INDIA, directed by NYU student Natasha Raheja.
The winner of the Texas Film Competition and a camera package rental valued at $30,000, presented by Panavision, is SACRIFICE, directed by Michael Cohn. A Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance was awarded to THE LOVE INSIDE, directed by Andy Irvine and Mark Smoot.
Receiving the Silver Heart Award and a $10,000 cash prize was FRAME BY FRAME, directed by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. The Silver Heart Award was selected by the Embrey Family Foundation and presented to Bombach and Scarpelli in honor of their dedication to fighting injustices and creating social change for the improvement of humanity through their film.
“We are honored to have featured so many talented filmmakers throughout our festival,” said DIFF Artistic Director James Faust. “I am grateful for our highly esteemed jurors who had the difficult task of choosing a winner of each competition series.”
The Festival also presented Audience Awards, sponsored by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Sheri Deterling and Geoff Hawkes, for Best Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Short Film. The winners for Best Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature each received a cash prize of $3,500. The winner for Best Short Film received a cash prize of $3,000.
The Audience Award winner for Narrative Feature is THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS by Tim Skousen. The Documentary Feature Audience Award winner is BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD, directed by Dana Nachman. Receiving the Audience Award for Best Short Film is MELVILLE, directed by James M. Johnston.
Award winners from each category in both the Grand Jury and Audience Award competitions received MOVIE MAGIC Budgeting and Scheduling software bundles from Entertainment Partners, which allows filmmakers to create and view production scheduling.
Narrative Feature Competition Grand Jury Award
RADIATOR (United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Browne
Cast: Richard Johnson; Gemma Jones; Daniel Cerqueira
A dark, difficult comedy concerning the middle aged Daniel who returns home to help his elderly parents, Leonard and Maria who live in squalor, eccentrically.
Narrative Feature Competition Special Jury Prize, Ensemble Acting
ECHOES OF WAR (USA) – World premiere
Director: Kane Senes
Cast: James Badge Dale; Ethan Embry; William Forsythe; Maika Monroe
A Civil War veteran returns home to the quiet countryside, only to find himself embroiled in a conflict between his family and the brutish cattle rancher harassing them.
Narrative Feature Competition Special Jury Prize, Cinematography
SOME BEASTS (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Cameron Nelson
Cast: Frank Mosley; Lindsay Burdge; Heather Kafka
Living in an insular farming community, Sal Damon, a modern-day Thoreau, seeks solace from a past relationship in Appalachia. After his neighbor dies and he discovers a feral child living on the lam, he must reconcile his place in a world that lives outside of the law.
Documentary Feature Competition Grand Jury Award
Director: Ben Powell
Dry land’s misfits find purpose and direction twenty-eight days at a time as the steady hands of a towboat due for the port of New Orleans. From a green deckhand following his father and grandmother into the family business, to a former convict working his way to First Mate, job by job; as long as the boat’s moving they’re making money.
Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award
THE CHICKEN (Germany/Croatia)
Director: Una Gunjak
The day-to-day life of a six-year-old girl growing up during unstable times in Sarajevo is shaken up when a chicken joins her family.
Short Film Competition Special Jury Prizes
THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL (Australia)
Director: Kitty Green
Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of gold medal-winning figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.
ONE HITTA QUITTA (USA)
Director: Ya’Ke Smith
A boy, who has never had to suffer the consequences for his actions, becomes severely addicted to internet violence, leading him to act out in violent ways himself.
Student Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award
CAST IN INDIA (India/USA)
Director: Natasha Raheja
Iconic and ubiquitous, thousands of manhole covers dot the streets of New York City. Enlivening the everyday objects around us, this short film is a glimpse of the working lives of the men behind the manhole covers in New York City.
Animated Short Film Competition Award
WORLD OF TOMORROW (USA)
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.
Texas Film Competition Grand Jury Award
Director: Michael Cohn
Cast: Luke Kleintank; Dermot Mulroney; Melora Walters; Austin Abrams; Brandon Smith; Lewis Tan
HANK (Luke Kleintank) is a handsome, multi-talented high school student who has just led his football team to a stunning victory during the biggest game of the season. Eager scouts are circling and Hank’s blue-collar parents, (played by Dermot Mulroney and Melora Walters), are counting on their golden boy to win a scholarship to a good college so he can enjoy a brighter future, far away from their hardscrabble life in Texas. Their younger son, TIM (Austin Abrams) more of a loser than a winner, idolizes his older brother and persuades Hank and his friends, KAZ (Brandon Smith) and BENNY (Lewis Tan), to let him tag along on their celebratory hunting trip. It is a decision they soon regret. Tim’s immature behavior after an accidental shooting leads to a series of bad decisions, a second wave of tragedy, and a hasty cover-up. Hank finds himself at the center of a desperate and rapidly deteriorating situation that tests his moral compass and threatens to destroy his family…and his dream.
Texas Film Competition Special Jury Prize
THE LOVE INSIDE (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Andy Irvine; Mark Smoot
Cast: Zachary Knighton; Joey Kern; Kat Foster; Betsy Phillips; Bryon Brown; Ashley Spillers; Indigo Rael
When Vaughn invites his closest friends to a cabin in rural Texas to meet his fiancée, he expects a relaxing weekend reminiscing about the old days. But when a friend arrives with his ex-girlfriend, long repressed feelings are reawakened and his engagement is suddenly thrown into doubt in this subversive romantic comedy.
Silver Heart Award
FRAME BY FRAME (USA)
Director: Alexandria Bombach; Mo Scarpelli
After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves.
Narrative Feature Audience Award
THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS (USA) – World Premiere
Director: Tim Skousen
Cast: Alex Peters; Gavin Howe; Tanner Beard; Tom Nowicki; Hadley Eure
In a Hansel and Gretel-esque modern fairy tale, siblings Samantha (13) and William Paul (6) must survive on their own after a tragedy kills their family. They are placed in an abusive foster home, but when Samantha overhears that they are to be split up, they escape to live in a crumbling shack in the woods. Life is hard, but they receive help from a mysterious source. When supplies run out and William Paul falls ill, Samantha must find a way for them to survive – before it’s too late.
Documentary Feature Audience Award
BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD (USA)
Director: Dana Nachman
On one day, in one city, the world comes together to grant one 5 year old cancer patient his wish. BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD looks at the ‘why’ of this flash phenomenon. Why did the intense outpouring of spontaneous support for a child reverberate around the world and become one of the biggest ‘good news stories’ ever?
Short Film Audience Award
Director: James Johnston
Marcus is dealing with some serious shit but he can’t seem to talk to anyone about it.