Shorts winners of the 41st USA Film Festival were unveiled this week with Michelle Steffes "The Interview" winning in the fiction category, while Joanna Priestly's "Eyeliner" taking the prize in the experimental category. "Enrique Wrecks the World" by David Chai receivd first place in animation, while "The A Word" by Lindsay Ellis won first place in both the non-fiction and student award categories. All winners received $1,000 with the student nod also carrying $250.
Based in Dallas, TX, first place winners in the fiction and animation categories at the USA Film Festival qualify for Oscar consideration from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The festival said it has awarded over $250,000 in cash prizes to a number of then emerging filmmakers over its four decades, including: Jessica Yu ("Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien"), Todd Haynes ("Superstar" and "Dottie Gets Spanked"), Alexander Payne ("The Passion of Martin), George Hickenlooper ("Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade"), Alan Taylor ("The Burning Question") and John Lasseter ("Tin Toy"). 2008 Oscar winner West Bank Story and 2010 nominee Kavi were qualified for Academy consideration at the USA Film Festival; 2010 USAFF winner "Ana’s Playground" was shortlisted for Academy consideration in 2011.
Winners of the USA Film Festival's Short Film & Video Competition ($1,000):
"The Interview" by Michelle Steffes (Fiction)
"Eyeliner" by Joanna Priestly (Experimental)
"Enrique Wrecks the World" by David Chai (Animation)
"The A Word" by Lindsay Ellis (Non-Fiction and the Student Award)
Special Jury Awards ($250):
"How It Ended" by Gabriel Nussbaum
"Hello Caller" by Andrew Putschoegl
"Save The Farm" by Michael Kuehnert
"Time and Love" by Max Bo Price
"Cross Your Heart" by Michael Wood