As the Nashville Film Festival reaches the halfway mark on Monday, April 18, Day 5 of the ten day-festival, comes news of the first awards recipients. Late Sunday night honorees in NaFF’s 2016 Shorts Awards categories were announced at the Short Films Award Ceremony and party at nearby Greenhouse Bar, a favorite late-night destination for festival-goers.
This year, NaFF received nearly 3/700 shorts submissions. Of that, 171 short films were selected for competition and screening at this year’s festival. 23 of those films received recognition’s part of last night’s Shorts Awards celebration.
While being honored at NaFF would seem kudos enough, winning the Grand Jury prize in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Shorts categories makes the films eligible for consideration for the 2017 Academy Awards®, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. Interestingly, “Bear Story,” last year’s winner for Best Animated Short at the Nashville Film Festival went on to win the Academy Award®.
Narrative Shorts Honorees
In the Narrative Shorts category, Director Jonathan Stein’s “Out of the Village,,” an entry from Ghana and the USA, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. Members of the Jury described the film as, “A gripping portrait of two orphaned children spared from the ravages of an Ebola Virus epidemic in their village. We join them in a harrowing escape from a medical nightmare to perform the sacred rituals in honor of their ancestors.”
Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention went to “Maman(s)”(France), directed by Maimouna Doucouré. A Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Cinematography was awarded to Dave Ogle for “The Unbeliever”(USA), and entry in the Tennessee First section. “The Unbeliever” debuted earlier in the festival and will screen a second time as part of Shorts-Tennessee First Shorts 2 on Saturday, April 23 at 2:15 p.m.
Animated Shorts Honorees
Grand Jury Prize was awarded to “Borrowed Time”(USA) directed by Lou Hamou-Lhadj and Andrew Coats. Having met at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, both filmmakers have enjoyed successful careers in the art of animation, Hamou-Lhadj’s work has been seen as a character artist on such Pixar films as “WALL-E,” “Toy Story 3” and “Brave,” while Coats worked on several Blue Sky Studios productions as “Horton Hears a Who” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” as well as serving as character lead on “Rio” before joining Pixar which lead to a reconnection with Hamou-Lhadj and their directorial debut on “Borrowed Time”. The film will screen again on Tuesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. during the Shorts-Animated Showcase.
Animated Shorts Honorable Mentions went to “Moom” (Japan), directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi and “Sea Child” (UK), directed by Minha Kim.
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Use of Music: was awarded to “The Orchestra”(Australia), directed by Mikey Hill.
Documentary Shorts Honorees
The Grand Jury Prize went to “The Surrender” (USA), directed by Stephen Maing. The film centers around South Korean-born immigrant Stephen Kim, who became one of the US State Department’s top intelligence experts on North Korea. Kim’s life changed forever following a series of meetings between Kim and Fox News’ James Rosen. Even though an official at the State Department had arranged the meetings, and numbers of officials deemed the information disclosed as nothing extraordinary, Kim was eventually charged with jeopardizing national security. The film documents Kim’s struggled to make sense of the events leading to his prosecution, as well as his final days as a free man before sentencing. The film screens as part of Shorts-Documentary Showcase 1 on Tuesday, April 19 at 12:30. Honorable Mentions went to “A Tale of Love, Madness and Death” (Chile), directed by Mijael Bustos and “Keeping Balance”(Germany), directed by Bernhard Wenger.
In other short subject categories, the following honors were presented:
Grand Jury Prize: “Quantum”(Italy), directed by Flatform
Honorable Mention: “Démontable”(Netherlands), directed by Douwe Dijkstro
Honorable Mention: “Setting West”(Canada), directed by Judith Poirier.
Grand Jury Prize: “Keeping Balance” (Germany), directed by Bernhard Wenger
Honorable Mention: “Patriot”(UK), directed by Eva Riley. Both films will screen as part of Shorts-Student Showcase on Thursday, April 21 at 4 p.m. Click Here for tickets.
Graveyard Shift Shorts
Grand Jury Prize (tie): “Horn”(USA), directed by Hughes William Thompson
Grand Jury Prize (tie): “The Itching”(USA), directed by Dianne Bellino. Both films will screen Friday, April 22 at 9:30 p.m. as part of Shorts-Frayed Shorts. Click Here for tickets.
Honorable Mention: “Nasty”(UK), Prano Bailey-Bond
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Pop Song: “Come and Play with Us, Danny,” from “The Chickening”
Grand Jury Prize: “The Skin I’m In”(USA), directed by Rajaiah Jones
Grand Jury Prize: “20 Seconds To Live”(USA), directed by Ben Rock
Honorable Mention: “1-Minute Meal”(USA), directed by James Boo
Narrative Grand Jury Prize: “Three Fingers”(USA), directed by Paul D. Hart
Documentary Grand Jury Prize: “Lift Like a Girl”(USA), directed by Allie Sultan
Student Grand Jury Prize: “Gogurt”(USA), directed by Hilary Bell
Sunday night’s Short Films Awards also included the reveal of a set of shorts selected by festival goers votes earlier in the week. These short films, all created by local filmmakers, screened on opening day as part of the Shorts-Tennessee First Shorts section and are now eligible for the Tennessee Horizon Award.
Shorts TN Horizon Audience Award Nominees
“Everyday Yeti” directed by Motke Dapp
“Lift Like a Girl” directed by Allie Sultan
“Mr. Johnson’s Julius Caesar” directed by Lesley Surdi
“Naiad” directed by Trevor Krulcik
“The Saurus” directed by Drew Maynard
“Three Fingers” directed by Paul D. Hart
“The Unbeliever” directed by Will Morgan Holland
“The Van” directed by John McAmis
“Visionary” directed by Caroline Knight
Now that these nominees have been announced, festival attendees will have one more chance to see them all with an encore screening on Thursday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Shorts-Tennessee Horizon Audience Award Nominees. Click Here for tickets.
As for Day 5, highlights include screenings of two feature films starring some familiar names. At 3 p.m. there’s “The Great & the Small” starring Nick Fink (“Loserville” & TV’s “Glee”), Ritchie Coster (“Creed” and TV’s “True Detective”), Melanie Lyskey (HBO’s “Togetherness) and Louisa Krause (HBO’s “Billions”). Then at 5:30 p.m. it’s “Five Nights In Maine” starring David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “Interstellar”) Teyonah Parris (“Dear White People,” “Chi-Raq”), Dianne Wiest (“Hannah and Her Sisters,”,”The Lost Boys,” “I Am Sam” and TV’s “Life in Pieces, to name a few) and Rosie Perez (“Do The Right Thing”, “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Pineapple Express”). For a full list of all films screening at Nashville Film Festival on Monday, April 18, or to purchase tickets, Click Here.
If you’ve enjoyed this recap of Nashville Film Festival Shorts Award winners, and Day 5’s suggested films, be sure and click the ‘subscribe’ tab located near the close of this article to sign up for free email alerts whenever new content is published. Also, be sure and check back tomorrow for a preview of Day 6.