WOODSTOCK, NY – The film “Mass” and the documentary “Storm Lake” took top honors at the Woodstock Film Festival Awards on Saturday night at the Bearsville Theater.
“Mass”, directed by Fran Kranz, won the award for best narrative feature film. “Once we enter this movie’s room, the story revolves around our preconceptions and keeps us in its drama,” the award jurors wrote. “The sublime and sometimes explosive performances plunge us into the emotional war that rages within the characters. As the film removes layers of guilt, blame, and pain, it reveals the true antagonists of the story – the society and culture we live in today.
“Storm Lake”, directed by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison, won the award for best feature documentary.
“Freedom of speech and the ability to criticize the powerful are the foundation of democracy,” the jurors wrote. “Local news is where the community lives and breathes. In a world where we see our voices and our honesty crumble, reporters in Storm Lake, Iowa light up in all their glory what we all have to lose.
The Special Mention for Best Emerging Filmmaker went to director Brooke Pepion Swaney for “Daughter of a Lost Bird”. Honorable mention was given to women in “Ranger,” directed by Austin James Peck.
Other prizes awarded on Saturday evening:
• The best short film went to “Are You Still There? », Directed by Sam A Davis and Rayka Zehtabchi. Honorable mention went to “Girl With a Thermal Gun” by Rongfei Guo.
• The best documentary short went to “The box”, directed by Shal Ngo and James Burns. Honorable mention went to “Hunger Ward”, directed by Skye Fitzgerald.
• The best student short film went to “Generation 328”, directed by Nika Nikanava. Honorable mention went to “Unmothered”, directed by Urvashi Pathania; and “La Mujer de Héctor”, directed by Ricardo J. Varona.
• The Ultra Indie Award went to “Foxhole”, directed by Jack Fessenden. An honorable mention went to “Kendra and Beth”, directed by Dean Peterson.
• The animation prize was awarded to “Conversations with a whale”, directed by Anna Samo. Honorable mention was given to “There in Spirit”, directed by Beck Underwood
• The Films for Change award went to “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America”, directed by Sarah Kunstler and Emily Kunstler.
• The award for Best Director, Documentary went to Brooke Pepion Swaney for “Daughter of a Lost Bird”.
• The award for Best Director, Narrative, went to Rachel Winter for “The Space Between”.
Roger Ross Williams received the Honorary Maverick Awards. He directed the Oscar-winning short “Music by Prudence”, as well as “God Loves Uganda”, “The Apollo”, the docuseries “High on the Hog” and the upcoming “Cassandro”. The award was presented to Williams by Patrick Harrison, director of member relations and awards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tom Quinn, CEO and Founder of NEON (“Parasite”, “Shirley”, “Plam Springs”, “Spencer”) received the Honorary Trailblazer Award. He was introduced to Quinn by Ryan Werner, longtime independent director of marketing and advertising, and Dori Begley, executive vice president of Magnolia Pictures.
Eliza Hittman, director of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” and “Beach Rats”, received the Fiercely Independent Honorary Award. It was introduced by producer and director Lydia Dean Pilcher (“Radium Girls”, “Monsoon Wedding”, “The Namesake”).
The ceremony began with the opening remarks by U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, and State Senator Michelle Hinchey, D-Saugerties, who spoke about the importance of art and cinema, as well as the value of organizations such as Woodstock Film. Festival.
The festival continues on Sunday. Visit https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/