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Film Festival Roundup: Sun Valley Announces Awards, HollyWeb Unveils Full Schedule and More

Elsewhere, Taos Shortz announces its end and the New York International Children's Film Festival hands out its awards.

“The Amazing Gayl Pile”

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– The 2017 HollyWeb Festival, sponsored by AMC Independent and running March 30 – April 2, has announced the full schedule of digital series, filmmaker panels, and events for this year’s edition of the festival, celebrating the world’s premiere digital content. 97 digital series will have episodes screened at AMC Universal CityWalk 19 (100 Universal City Plaza), the Universal Hilton (555 Universal Hollywood Drive), and the Fonda Theatre (6126 Hollywood Blvd.).

HollyWeb Festival Co-Director Daniel Doherty said, “From the beginning, the HollyWeb Festival has sought to shine a light on web series creators, honor their collective vision and work, as well as create a yearly event where they can gather and meet, exchange notes, and possibly form partnerships that will lead to even more outstanding and entertaining web series.” HollyWeb Co-Director Jennifer Doherty, added, “Each year, the web series become more ambitious in terms of scope, creativity, and technical accomplishments, and this year’s incredible slate of projects has raised the bar once again.”

You can check out the full lineup and purchase tickets and passes at their official website.

– The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) has unveiled its schedule. The intimate, international and inspired film festival, in its second year, will present 55 films at five venues in Ridgefield, Connecticut over the course of three days — May 19 – 21. View the full program schedule here.

– The Town of Taos has announced that March 30 will mark the final year and 10th anniversary of its award-winning Taos Shortz Film Fest, and tickets are on sale. This year’s festival, which will showcase global, world-class short films, will be held at the Taos Center for the Arts March 30 – April 2, and will feature screenings of more than 100 films, as well as retrospectives and highlights from the last ten years.

Voted “One of the 50 top US festivals worthy of the entry fee” by Movie Maker Magazine two years in a row, Taos Shortz is the only film festival in the southwest that screens exclusively short films. The 10th anniversary edition of the festival will include a Native American showcase and a special segment where Executive Director Anna Cosentine, and Program Director Duprelon Mark Tizdale, highlight their favorite moments and films from the last 10 years, followed by a casual Q&A. Visitors can also look forward to mixers, speakers and award shows.

For more information, a full list of films, and a look at the official program, visit their official website.

Awards and Honors

– Earlier this week, the Sun Valley Film Festival’s Awards Bash ended this year’s festival, where winners across ten categories were announced. The Festival awarded over $50,000 in cash prizes and countless mentorship opportunities to independent filmmakers. The SVFF features a diverse list of awards including film awards, screenwriting competition awards and special signature awards. Check them out below.

“Blood Road”

Film Awards
Audience Award: “Blood Road”
Vision Award: Dan Sickles, “Dina”
One In A Million Awards: Jenny Phillips and Bestor Cram, “Beyond the Wall” (documentary) and Bill Watterson, “Dave Made a Maze” (narrative)
The Shorty Award: Luke Haskard, “Kendall Got a Rose”
Gem State Award: Ron Torres, “Rita”
Hot Shot Award: Dora Schoenberg, “The Story of Three rings: A Memoir of Dana Schwartz”
SVFF Film & Screenwriting Competition Winners
Nat Geo WILD TO INSPIRE: Anai Colyer, “Ambition”
High Scribe: SB Edwards, “Nowhere”
One Potato Winner: Samantha Silva, “The Big Burn”
The Film Lab: “Unlovable,” directed by Suzi Yoonesi, written by Charlene deGuzman, Sarah Adina Smith and Mark Duplass, produced by Jen Roskind
The Short Film Lab: Mylissa Fitzimmons, “Who Decides”
SVFF Special Awards
RISING STAR: Allison Williams
SNOW ANGEL AWARD: Jill Tidman, The Redford Center

– After presenting four weekends of international films for ages 3-18, the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) celebrated the conclusion of its 20th anniversary event with the presentation of the 2017 Festival Awards and a screening of the best short films from this year’s lineup. Check out the winners below.

Grand Prize Award Winners
“Swallows and Amazons,” Philippa Lowthorpe (UK) (feature)
“Heads Together,” Job, Joris, & Marieke (Netherlands) (short)
Audience Award Winners
Ages 3-6: “Tiger,” Kariem Saleh (Germany)
Ages 5-10: “Stone Soup,” Clementine Robach (France)
Ages 8-14: “Sing,” Kristóf Deák (Hungary)
Ages 12-17: “Welcome to My Life,” Elizabeth Ito (USA)
Grown-ups Award (ages 18+): “Riceballs,” Shingo Usami (Australia)
Jury Award Winners 
Best Animated Short: “When I Hear the Birds Sing,” Trine Habjorg (Norway)
Best Live Action Short, Narrative: “French,” Josza Anjembe (France)
Best Live Action Short, Documentary: “Free Like the Birds,” Paola Mendoza (USA)


– Rounding out multiple days of screenings and parties in its fourteenth annual appearance, organizers for CineKink NYC/2017 announced the recipients of awards in a range of categories during the film festival’s closing celebration on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Audience Choice Awards for CineKink 2017 were given to “Snapshot” (Shine Louis Houston) for Best Narrative Feature, with “SEX and the Silver Gays” (Charles Lum & Todd Verow) winning for Best Documentary Feature.

In the shorts competition, juried festival awards went to “The Erotic Dreams of the Chelsea Hotel“ (Tony Notarberardino & Cassandra Rosebeetle) for Best Dramatic Short,  “Like Totally Hot Couple Seeking Same” (Marcel Simoneau & Kirsten Russell) for Best Comedy Short, “Tabook” (Dario van Vree) for Best Animated Short, and “Folsom Street” (Aron Kantor) for Best Musical Short. Honorable Best Mention awards were presented to “Four Day Weekend” (Nicole Jones), “Trinity” (Ms. Naughty) and “The Hutong Vibe“ (Fan Popo).

The annual CineKink “Bring It!” award, determined by audience ballot during a presentation of excerpts showcasing current adult cinema, went to “Merger” (Urvashi). The CineKink Tribute, recognizing extraordinary depictions of kink and sex-positivity in mainstream film and television, was presented to the feature film “Deadpool” (Director Tim Miller; 20th Century Fox), for its “…general reminder that sex is fun and vital, even for super-heroes, and specifically for its introduction of ‘pegging’ to the mainstream silver screen.”

Program Additions

– Emmy winning actress-turned-director Cady McClain’s “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct” will make its World Premiere and is an Official Selection of the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival. The first episode in the series will screen as part of the program “Short Femme Factor” on April 25 at Island Cinema 6 in Newport Beach.

“Seeing is Believing: Women Direct” is a documentary series, directed, executive produced, written and edited by Cady McClain, about women directors who are on the front lines of the field: from major award winners and those in the vanguard of television and feature films, to graduated students and frustrated auteurs.

– The Sarasota Film Festival has announced that Academy Award-nominated Stanley Tucci and Emmy Award-nominated Rosanna Arquette will attend the 2017 festival, which takes place from March 31 – April 9. It also announced a $5,000 cash prize for the winner of the Narrative Competition Award presented by Sam Slater & Burn Later Productions. Both Tucci and Arquette will participate in SFF’s “In Conversation With…” series along with previously announced attendees Diane Lane and Aisha Tyler. 

“We are thrilled to have two amazing talents join this year’s festival,” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “Stanley is like family to this festival and his commitment to film both on camera and behind-the-scenes is a true testament to his love for the industry. Rosanna is a gem whose work on the big screen, the small screen, and off-screen reflects the diverse nature of the festival itself.”

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