2011 Winners

Best of the Fest

FINDING JENUA - Narrative Feature | USA 2010

Run-time 1 hour 10 minutes | Director(s): Alison Mason

Finding Jenua is about love, loss and finding your place in the world. A drama with mystery that's told in an unconventional way, unraveling like a memory and tying us back together with the simple beauty of human connection.

Best Foreign Short

ATROZ - Narrative Short | Spain 2009

Run-time  9 minutes 50 seconds | Director(s): Francisco Alvarez

Awful is a singular teddy bear, a worn and curmudgeon one, whose owner is Luna, a little girl who has taken him as her best friend. She doesn't stop harassing him with hugs, kisses and cuddles. Awful itself will tell us in first person all the misfortunes that he will have to live to flee from Luna's ceaseless petting, endearments and games. This short film treats, in a reality and animation blending, classic issues present in children's tales.

Best Foreign Feature

MEHERJAAN - Narrative Feature | Bangladesh 2011

Run-time 1 hour 59 minutes |  Director(s): Rubaiyat Hossain

Meherjaan is a film about loving the Other. Meherjaan gives away with the unitary masculine narrative in order to usher in emotional multiplicity of feminine emotion and sensibility. This film critiques certain pitfalls of nationalism that create conditions to justify war, killing and violence. Finally, Meherjaan attempts to offer an aesthetic solution to war and violence by taking refuge in love and spiritual submission.

Best Narrative Feature

FULLY LOADED - Narrative Feature | USA 2011

Run-time 1 hour 16 minutes | Director(s): Shira Piven

A dark comedy that follows Lisa and Paula, cool single moms out for a night on the town. When Paula's sexy hook up with a total stranger turns out to be a sketchy confrontation with reality, the women hit the road a little drunk, but very high on love/lust and what could have been. This 'vancentric' indy comedy offers a rare opportunity to spy on susceptible people in absurd circumstance. The banter is quick, the sound track is killer and the women are real.

Viewer’s Choice

STITCHED, THE FILM - Documentary Feature | USA 2011

Run-time 1 hour 12 minutes |  Director(s): Jenalia Moreno

Stitched is a fun-filled documentary that follows three controversial art quilters as they compete for the coveted Best of Show prize in the annual Houston quilt show, an event that attracts more than 50,000 people. Tiara-wearing women and crooning quilters attend these zany festivals. With its quilts depicting male nudes and painted quilts, Stitched isn't your grandmother's quilting film. One quilter wants to make social changes with her artwork. A male quilter wants to compete in a female-dominated industry. And the grand dame of quilting runs a major quilting tourist business out of her home while trying to find time to quilt. Can these artists win in a prize in the traditional quilting world?

Best Narrative Short (1-15 minutes)

BIZARNIVAL: TUXEDOS IN THE ATTIC - Narrative Short | USA 2011

Run-time 11 minutes 34 seconds |  Director(s): Scott Stafford

A brainstorming session for three indie filmmakers turns into a trip down the rabbit hole. Their journey starts in the attic with a magical suitcase full of tuxedos and it only gets weirder from there. An encounter with a confusing puppet and a mysterious mime are some of the obstacles the trio will have to clear if they want to make it home to a notebook full of new ideas.

Best Narrative Short (16-30 minutes)

STAN VERSUS SQUIRREL - Narrative Short | USA 2010

Run-time 21 minutes 30 seconds |  Director(s): Lilly Boruszkowski

What’s a man to do when he wants to feed the birds but the squirrels keep stealing their food? Watch as Stan engineers a variety of devices to foil his furry opponents. Who will prevail in the battle of man versus squirrel?

Best Documentary Short (1-15 minutes)

NECKING - Documentary Short | USA 2011

Run-time 9 minutes 44 seconds |  Director(s): Lindsay Lindenbaum

“Necking” is a meditation on love, dating, and the longevity of relationships from the perspective of those who know the subject better than anyone else—our elders. In this film, we’ll hear from three couples (all of whom have been married for over fifty years) and one widow as they muse over their relationships and offer some wise words about how to make a marriage work. These vignettes remind us that despite all the odds, true love really is still alive and kicking.

Best Documentary Short (16-30 minutes)

MARION STODDART: THE WORK OF 1000 - Documentary Short | USA 2010

Run-time 30 minutes |  Director(s): Susan Edwards

Marion Stoddart lived next to one of America's most polluted rivers and transformed herself from a 1960s housewife to a citizen leader and environmental hero honored by the United Nations. The Work of 1000 is the documentary film chronicling her life, achievements, setbacks, and unwavering belief that one person can make a difference in the world.

Best Documentary Short (31-60 minutes)

BEATBOXING: THE FIFTH ELEMENT OF HIP HOP - Documentary Short | USA 2011

Run-time 55 minutes |  Director(s): Klaus Schneyder

It was in the late 70s that a youth culture evolved in the poorer parts of New York which combined several disciplines under the name of Hip Hop. Apart from the four classic elements of Graffiti writing, DJing, Breakdancing, and Rapping, the musical side of this culture was enhanced by a fifth element called 'Beatboxing'. From the hardship of poverty and the lack of instruments, a pioneer was inspired to imitate drum rhythms with his mouth - his brilliance creating the term 'Human Beatbox'. The documentary integrally covers a variety of musical technical abilities. Beatboxing has become a multilingual and diverse instrument applied in all genres of music. The documentary shows how this modern style of music has spread and how it continues to enrich the entertainment world.

Best Animation

SPIRIT OF THE BLUEBIRD - Animation | Canada 2011

Run-time 5 minutes 45 seconds |  Director(s): Jesse Gouchey, Xstine Cook

Using spray paint on a garage where Aboriginal mother and grandmother Gloria Black Plume was brutally murdered in 1999, Cree artist Jesse Gouchey paints a large scale animation of a bluebird in flight. The beauty and freedom of the bluebird's motion is contrasted with remembrances of Gloria's surviving family members, who give an emotional glimpse of a woman lost to violence and the injustice of the legal system.

Best Documentary Feature

7 YEARS UNDERGROUND: A 60’S TALE - Documentary Feature | USA 2011

Run-time 1 hour 27 minutes |  Director(s): Jason M. Solomon

In 1964, after spending a one year protracted legal battle, co-club owners, Howard and Elly Solomon were finally granted a 'unique' cabaret license and the Cafe Au Go Go opened its doors on February 7. Six weeks later with mounting legal bills and depleting funds the couple were quickly going out of business. With few options, Howard and Elly made a desperate, late minute attempt to keep the club open and reached out to popular comedian, Lenny Bruce. Two days into Lenny's performance he was arrested and booked for obscenity charges, along with Howard and Elly. THat historic arrest, and the international press it garnered would put the Cafe Au Go Go on the entertainment world map.

Best Experimental Film

Beine Brechen (Breaking Legs) - Experimental | Germany 2010

Run-time 14 minutes 50 seconds |  Director(s): Florian Krautkramer

Everything seemed to go wrong from within and without. The never-ending official arbitrariness was oppressing, the examining glance outside. But lately, resistance has formed here. With excuses and blinders, the protagonist achieved in building his own world without reacting to the events taking place. But when fate tried to force him into making a decision, he chooses again a facade constructed of lies and spectacle. Breaking legs is a silent movie. It makes room for the linguistic incapability of the protagonist, but the inter-titles try to explore this format.