Reporting from Slamdance – The Winners Are…

Now that the 2021 version of the Slamdance Film Festival is over, it is time to look back at some of the best films that played at the festival. The festival included 25 feature films and 107 shorts. Of course, the festival this year was almost completely virtual (the opening night and closing night films played at drive-ins), but the festival provided excellent Q&As with filmmakers to go along with the screenings. My thanks for the organizers and sponsors, and especially the filmmakers, for the wonderful experience of this year?s Slamdance.

Slamdance has several juries that gave out awards. There are also audience awards based on ratings made after viewing the films. And I?ll include my on top films as well. This year?s winners:

Jury Awards | Narrative Features

  • Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize: Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF (Taiwan)
  •  Honorable Mention: ?A Family directed by Jayden Stevens (Australia)

Jury Awards | Documentary Features

  • Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize: CODE NAME: Nagasaki directed by Fredrik S. Hana (Austria)

Jury Awards | Breakout Features

  • Breakout Grand Jury Prize: No Trace directed by Simon Lavoie (Canada)
  • Honorable Mention: A Black Rift Begins to Yawn directed by Matthew Wade (USA)

Jury Awards | Documentary Shorts

  • Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize: Unforgivable directed by Marl?n Vi?ayo (El Salvador)
  •  Honorable Mention: ?Ain?t No Time for Women directed by Sarra El Abed (Canada)

Jury Awards | Unstoppable Shorts presented by Hulu

  • Unstoppable Grand Jury Prize: The Bin directed by Jocelyn Tamayao (Philippines)
  • Honorable Mention: Feeling Through directed by Doug Roland (USA)
  • Honorable Mention: Full Picture directed by Jacob Reed (USA)

Jury Awards – Narrative Shorts

  • Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize: ?In France Michelle is a Man?s Name directed by Em Weinstein (USA)
  • Honorable Mention: ?MADA (Mother) directed by Joseph Douglas Elmhirst (USA)
  • Honorable Mention: Delimitation directed by Tereza Vejvodova (Czech Republic)

Jury Awards – Experimental Shorts

  • Grand Jury Prize: ?Passage directed by Ann Oren (Germany)
  • Honorable Mention: Mountain Lodge directed by Jordan Wong (USA)

Jury Awards – Animated Shorts

  • Grand Jury Prize: ?Return to the Peach Blossom Wonderland directed by Haomin Peng, Yue Huang, Yuchao Luo (China)
  •  Honorable Mention: ?Lizard Ladder directed by Ted Wiggin (USA)

Slamdance Acting Award

  • Tender Huang? from the film Taipei Suicide Story? (Taiwan)
  • Honorable mention: ?Michelle Uranowitz of the film The Ultimate (by Lou Fescano)(USA)

Audience Awards Winners:

  •  Best Narrative Feature: Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF (Taiwan)
  •  Documentary Feature: Holy Frit directed by Justin Monroe (USA)
  •  Episodic: The Little Broomstick Rider directed by Matteo Bernardini (Italy)

The AGBO Fellowship Award Winner, presented by Joe and Anthony Russo

  • Agnieszka Polska, director of Hurrah, We Are Still Alive! (Poland)

Slamdance Founder Award Winner

  • Award Winner: Tilane Jones, President of ARRAY (USA)

George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner

  • Award Winner: Chelsea Christer, director of Bleeding Audio (USA)
  •  Honorable Mention: Mohammad Mohammadian, director of LIFE (Iran) 

Creative Future Innovation Award Winner

  •  Opera by Erick Oh

My own favorites were Holy Frit, directed by Justin Monroe; Opera, directed by Erick Oh; Taipei Suicide Story, directed by KEFF; Feeling Through, directed by Doug Roland; and 18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium Story, directed by Stephen DeBro.

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