2012 Film Festival Winners

Animation – Winner

PENNIPOTENS 
Heather Freeman – Director, Producer, Writer
‘Pennipotens’ is based on the Flemish fairytale ‘White Caroline and Black Caroline’, first recorded by Edmund Dulac in 1916. Out of spite, a mother repeatedly tries to kill her ‘beautiful’ daughter, although her attempts are always secretly foiled by her beloved ‘ugly’ daughter.

 

Animation – 18 minutes
Charlotte, NC • Mississippi Premier

Student

1st Place
LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX

Producer, Writer – Shu-Hsuan Lin
The leading character Simon is a workaholic without any social contact. Gradually his world becomes smaller and smaller and even at the very end, there is nothing left in his world but only his work. This severe impact finally wakes him up and now Simon has to find the right way to bring his life back before everything is too late.

Student – 5 minutes
Fremont, CA • Mississippi Premier

 

2nd Place
LEGAL. ILLEGAL 

Producer – Daniel Rohm; Director, Writer – Eileen Byrne
The film tells the story of Kicki, a law student and former dedicated political activist. The day before she is due to sit her final exams, she bumps into her ex-boyfriend, Elias, who is still an activist. She offers him a place to sleep. When she wakes up the next morning, she finds a Kurdish illegal refugee lying asleep in her kitchen. Elias runs off and leaves her alone with the stranger.

Student – 25 minutes
Munich, Bavaria, Germany – US Premier

 

3rd Place
THE GRAVITY OF BEING 

Producer, Director – Beau Burrows
A man discovers that he physically travels to the moon when he dreams.

1:37- 1:53 p.m.
Student – 6 minutes
Paradine Valley, AZ – Mississippi Premier

 

Music Video – 1st Place

Forget About Me
Roman Dent, producer/director
Nashville, TN
The struggle of letting go of someone you love.

Forget About Me

 

 

Audience Award
Juke Joint
Roslynn Copeland, producer/director/writer
Baldwyn, MS

Juke Joint

 

 

Shorts

1st Place
THUGS, THE MUSICAL 

Producers – Kevin Avery, Keri Smith Esguia, Daresha Kyi, Nefertiti Lovelace Director – Liam Sullivan, Writer – Kevin Avery
‘Thugs, The Musical’ is a faux documentary about Michael Gardner, a mediocre, slightly delusional, ‘non-urban’ black actor in Hollywood. After years of auditioning but not being considered ‘black enough’ to be cast in any of the stereotypical roles that his fellow black actors have been getting (the Gangsta, the fast-talking Sidekick, the doomed Black Guy at the party in the horror movie), Michael decides to write, direct and star in his own theater production – an epically bad play called ‘Thugs, The Musical!’ – to show Hollywood (and the world) that he, too, can ‘act black.’

Short – 26 minutes
Los Angeles, CA – World Premier

 

2nd Place
THE RUNNER (aka “Ubuntu”)

Producer – Jan Fincke & Thorne Director, Writer – Parker Ellerman
“The Runner” is about a little boy from a township in Cape Town. He needs to find money for his mothers vital surgery and pays a high price that changes his world. The lead role is played by ten year old Cwangco Mayekiso who actually lives in the Gugulethu township.

Short – 9 minutes
Berlin, Germany – Mississippi Premier

 

3rd Place
REFLECTOR 

Producer, Director, Writer – Dave Hill
It’s 1977, and two young missionaries in the deserts of South West Africa take a weekend off to do a little amateur astronomy. Things don’t go quite as planned.

Short – 26 minutes
North Hollywood, CA – World Premier

 

Documentary

1st Place
MISSISSIPPI: I AM

Katherine Linton – Director, Producer
Through the eyes and actions of five primary characters, Mississippi: I AM, examines the relatively new fight in the state over ‘traditional God-fearing values’ and the push on the part of primarily young people and their progressive allies to bring gay civil rights and visibility out in the open and to move beyond division.

Documentary – 46 minutes
Brooklyn, NY – World Premier

2nd Place
7 Years Underground: A 60s Tale

Jason M. Solomon, producer/director/writer
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.

7 Years Underground: A 60s Tale

Jason M. Solomon, producer/director/writer

 

3rd Place
TREASURES FROM THE RUBBLE

Director, Producer, Writer -Alexandra
Branyon The story of an art rebel who broke all rules for Southern women in order to live alone up north so that she could fulfill her dreams of dedicating her life to the creation of her art and leaving an inspiring legacy to her small Alabama hometown by establishing an art museum there.

Documentary – 63 minutes
Amagansett, NY – World Premier

 

Feature

Feature 1st Place
INTO THE WAKE

Producer, Director, Writer – John Mossman; Producer, Writer – Tim Miller
Into the Wake is a psychological thriller that follows a man lured from the city to the remote river banks of his youth by a cryptic phone call. Caught in a violent clan war that he ran from years ago, his life unravels rapidly behind him as he descends further into his past.

1 hour, 18 minutes
Chicago, IL – World Premier

 

Feature 2nd Place
HITTING THE CYCLE 

Director, Producer, Writer – J. Richey Nash; Director – Darin Anthony; Producer – Jimmy Holcomb
Rip, a pro baseball player nearing the end of his career, returns to his long-forgotten hometown to face his fractured past and discover a life beyond the diamond.

Feature – 1 hour, 43 minutes
Los Angeles, CA – World Premier

 

Feature 3rd Place
DAR HE: THE LYNCHING OF EMMETT TILL

Directors, Producers – Rob Underhill & Aravind Ragupathi; Writer, Producer – Mike Wiley
In an acting tour de force, one man performs 36 roles in the telling of the Emmett Till tragedy. Experience the story, trial, and unbelievable confessions of those accused of Emmett’s murder in this riveting drama. ‘A masterful performance by Mike Wiley.’ -20th Pan African Film Festival.

Feature – 1 hour, 8 minutes
Raleigh, NC – Mississippi Premier

 

ELVIN WHITESIDES DIRECTOR’S AWARD

FRESH SKWEEZED 
Directors – GB Shannon & Ryan Parker, Writer – GB Shannon
Maggie, a street smart eleven year old, is stifled by a shaky home-life and constant torment from the neighborhood bully. With a fair share of moxie and a talent for the hustle, this little spitfire is fighting for more than just stability in her turbulent surroundings.

Short – 22 minutes
Millington, TN

 

RON TIBBET “BEST OF SHOW” AWARD

THUGS, THE MUSICAL 
Producers – Kevin Avery, Keri Smith Esguia, Daresha Kyi, Nefertiti Lovelace Director – Liam Sullivan, Writer – Kevin Avery
‘Thugs, The Musical’ is a faux documentary about Michael Gardner, a mediocre, slightly delusional, ‘non-urban’ black actor in Hollywood. After years of auditioning but not being considered ‘black enough’ to be cast in any of the stereotypical roles that his fellow black actors have been getting (the Gangsta, the fast-talking Sidekick, the doomed Black Guy at the party in the horror movie), Michael decides to write, direct and star in his own theater production – an epically bad play called ‘Thugs, The Musical!’ – to show Hollywood (and the world) that he, too, can ‘act black.’

Short – 26 minutes
Los Angeles, CA – World Premier

 

HONORABLE MENTION

ZION
Producer, Writer – Erica Montgomery; Director, Producer – Glenn Payne
A rural family picks up the pieces of a shattered world when tragedy strikes. Weary travelers seek refuge in this seemingly normal home only to discover its dark secrets.

6:56 – 7:28 p.m.
Short – 32 minutes
Blue Springs, MS

 

“The Church of Elvis”
(Documentary)
Executive Producers: Ron Lillie and William Johnston, Produced by Allison Reid and Directed by Scott Dobson
He’s been called the Memphis Messiah and the Jumpsuit Jesus, but Elvis Presley viewed himself simply as a seeker on his own spiritual journey. “Elvis is the deity supreme of rock ‘n’ roll religion as it exists today.” – Bob Dylan
The Church of Elvis walks the footpath of Elvis’ life, retracing how faith influenced the man and his music; and how, in turn, he inspired near religious adulation amongst his fans. Elvis is the only pop icon who has blurred the boundaries between the secular and sacred, to the point where idol worship of him has almost taken on higher religious meaning, complete with missionaries (tribute artists), sacred texts (records and films), disciples (fans), relics (scarves, clips of hair, and customized rings), pilgrimages (Tupelo, Sun Records, and Graceland), shrines (his gravesite, and numerous fans’ memorabilia collections), and all the appearances of a resurrection (reported Elvis sightings).
Guiding us is Christian Elvis Tribute Artist, Ron Moore, a man whose sound has been often compared to Presley. Each episode features interviews with people who knew Elvis, sang with Elvis, and prayed with Elvis. Pop culture commentators, Elvis historians, musicologists, and faith-based academics will provide additional context, insights, and perhaps an epiphany or two.