The ballots have been counted, and the results are now final. The CMG Short Film Festival Audience Awards for 2016:
For Best Drama, it was a very close call. The winner, with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, is SIGN, the story of a relationship between a deaf man and a hearing one, directed by Adam Wachter. Just behind SIGN in the voting, with an average of 4.4 stars, is PICK UP, directed by Joshua Alan Rogers. PICK UP is the story of Jesse, a driver who uses the ride service more for his own social ends than to make money.
Best Comedy, and best average rating overall, is OH-BE-JOYFUL, directed by Susan Jacobson. The audience awarded a near-perfect 4.66 to this delightful film about a feisty grandmother who teaches her granddaughter a few things about shoplifting and picking up girls. Not far behind was THE WEDDING PATROL, with an average of 4.44. Directed by Rogier Hardeman, THE WEDDING PATROL depicts a German police visit to the household of two men accused of violating Germany’s immigration rules, an ill-advised effort that soon falls apart.
In the race for best documentary, nothing could touch ALZHEIMER’S – A LOVE STORY, directed by Monica Petruzelli and Gabe Schimmel. Averaging 4.59 stars, this powerful film depicts the last stages of the life of a man afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, and its effects on his lover of 40 years. Runner up, with 4.44 average, was SAINT OF DRY CREEK, an animated film in which Patrick Hagerty relates a conversation with his father in the late 50s. Directed by Amanda Granger.
This year’s audience tended to like what they saw. Only two films averaged below a 3 (neutral) rating, and not by much. About a third of the films were 4.0 or better.
Best drama: Vessels, directed by Arkasha Stevenson
Best comedy: Bittersweet, directed by Allen Martsch
Best documentary: Alzheimer's: a Love Story, dir. Monica Petruzelli, Gabe Schimmel
Best emerging talent: Whittier Boulevard
Best acting: Emily Robinson (Virgin Territory) and Travor Thompson (Pick Up)
Rob Williams is a prolific filmmaker, having written and directed eight feature films. He founded his production and distribution company Guest House Films with his husband, Rodney Johnson 11 years ago. His latest film - the award-winning holiday comedy Shared Rooms - hits DVD and Digital on November 15.
Michelle Ehlen is a graduate of The Los Angeles Film School where she studied writing and directing. With a focus on comedy, much of her work satirizes gender, sexuality, stereotypes, and identity. She produced, wrote, directed, and acted in four award-winning feature films -- Butch Jamie, POP-U-larity!, Heterosexual Jill, and S&M Sally. Her latest film, S&M Sally, has screened in over 70 cities worldwide and won 8 awards including Best Feature from qFLIX Philadelphia and the Director’s Award from Out Film CT. She has also worked as a producer on three features for the Eating Out series on LOGO, and the dramedy Eat With Me. You can check out more about her work at www.BalletDiesel.com
Roy Liebman is the author of six reference books on film history, the latest entitled Broadway Actors in Films, 1894---2015 that will be released at the end of the year. He is also the author of numerous articles and essays on film history and many other subjects for various periodicals and reference books, including the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers.
Roy wrote a produced television documentary about Charlie Chaplin and BusterKeaton, and was interviewed for the documentary Hollywood Singing and Dancing: the 1920s. Among other writings was a series of one-act plays for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Q. Allan Brocka is best known as the creator of the award winning stop-motion animated series RICK & STEVE THE HAPPIEST GAY COUPLE IN ALL THE WORLD which aired on MTV's Logo Network and in 20 other countries. He is also the writer and director of the award-winning feature films BOY CULTURE and EATING OUT, which spawned for sequels.
His other credits include the Sky UK reality series PORNO VALLEY, the documentary CAMP MICHAEL JACKSON, the feature film NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM and THE BIG GAY SKETCH SHOW
CMG Short Film Festival 2016
Our 2016 Jury Panel:
We are indebted to this year's jurors, who attended the festival and each conducted a Q+A session. Their curriculum vitae appear below:
CMG Short Film Festival 2016