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THE 2021 SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FILMMAKER AWARD WINNERS

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Posted by Larry Gleeson

THE 2021 SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

ANNOUNCES FILMMAKER AWARD WINNERS

Xuan Liu’s BLOOM wins Best Narrative Feature, with Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss’ MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY
and Paul Michael Angeli’s MEDICINE MAN: THE STAN BROCK STORY sharing the Best Documentary Feature Award

Silje Salomonsen and Arild Ostin Ommundsen’s SISTERS: THE
SUMMER WE FOUND OUR SUPERPOWERS wins the Audience
Award for Best Narrative Feature

Judith Ehrlich’s THE BOYS
WHO SAID NO! wins the Audience Award for Best Documentary
Feature, while MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY adds to its haul with the Best in Fest honor

San Luis Obispo, CA (March 17, 2021) – The 2021 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival announced this year’s filmmaker award winners during a virtual presentation with more than 150 filmmakers and jury members participating. Winners of their jury awards for the popular film festival included Xuan Liu’s BLOOM (Best Narrative Feature) and Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss’ MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY and Paul Michael Angeli’s MEDICINE MAN: THE STAN BROCK STORY (Tie for Best Documentary Feature). Audience Award winners were topped by Silje Salomonsen and Arild Ostin Ommundsen’s SISTERS: THE SUMMER WE FOUND OUR SUPERPOWERS, chosen as Best Narrative Feature, Judith Ehrlich’s THE BOYS WHO SAID NO!, Best Documentary Feature, with MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY taking the Best of Fest award.

 

While this year’s hybrid edition of the popular film festival winds down with encore screenings of the award winners concluding on Wednesday, SLO Film Fest saw increased numbers of virtual viewers this year thanks – in part – to the film festival’s addition of its Short Films, Big Voices: A Program of Diverse Voices programming and a series of panels that invited discussion on issues relating to diversity and racial equity, establishing SLO Film Fest as more than a willing participant in those necessary conversations, but taking the next step to host and lead them as well.

In addition, this year saw a huge turnout to a first-time drive-in edition of its signature Surf Nite surfing movies presentation – even with a day’s postponement due to rain, as well as its first in-person event in more than a year – a Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase event held at SLO Brew Rock. Central Coast film fans clearly were enthusiastic to see what was on tap this year, be it virtual or in-person.

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival Director Skye McLennan,

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival Director Skye McLennan, said, “We were thrilled to welcome back so many from our film festival family and have the opportunity to see several at the drive-in and in-person, just as it was exciting to once again introduce people from all over the state of California to see our films and get a taste of what makes SLO Film Fest so special. We look forward to some of them making the trip to join us in beautiful San Luis Obispo next year.”

 

Additional winners in the George Sidney Independent Film Awards category included; Meital Cohen Navarro’s OVER MY DEAD BODY (Best Narrative Short Film); Jacob Reed’s FULL PICTURE and Dana Frankoff’s VOICE ABOVE WATER (tied for Best Documentary Short Film); Best Animated Film selection KAPAEMAHU from directors Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson; and Best Student Film, SOUS LA GRACE, from the directing team of Luce Grosjean, Ismail Berrahma, Flore Dupont, Laurie Estampes, Quentin Nory, and Hugo Potin.

Other films to win the audiences’ favor included; Jacob Reed’s GUM (Best Narrative Short Film); Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION (Best Documentary Short Film); Miranda Winters and Rocky Romano’s WE CAN’T BREATHE (Best Music Video); and Justice Whitaker’s RESTRICTIONS APPLY (Best Central Coast Film).

Winners of the Central Coast Filmmaker Awards were; Chris Hite and Dennis Ford’s FIRESTORM ‘77: THE TRUE STORY OF THE HONDA CANYON FIRE (Best Feature Length Film); Alix Angelis’ comedy SÉANCE-ING (Best Narrative Short Film); Nick Cavalier’s BODEGA DE EDGAR (Best Documentary Short Film); and Jo Anna Edmison’s stylish documentary, STOKE CHASERS (Best Student Film). The Music Video category was singled out for awards including Miranda Winters and Rocky Romano’s WE CAN’T BREATHE (Best Overall); Taisia Deeva’s PARACHUTE with music by Paul Kalkbrenner (Best International); and Casey Wieber’s INSUFFERABLE with music by Heart to Heart (Best SLO County).

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival also continued its traditional support of the development of student filmmakers with SLO’s Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase. Award winners included; Jacob Pincus’ LAST STOP (Best Narrative Film); Akash Dewan’s WE ARE THE REVOLUTION (Best Documentary Film); Emmanuel Li’s MUSIC FOR THE END OF THE WORLD (Best International Film); Phoebe Mitchem’s AMPLITUDE OF THOUGHTS (Best SLO County Film); and Piotr Kazmierczak’s SYSTEM ERROR (Best Animated Film).

SLO Film Fest’s jury winners were selected by an impressive lineup of film influencers and professionals, including journalists  Richard Propes (The Independent Critic), Rebecca Pahle (Boxoffice Pro), Tim Molloy (MovieMaker Magazine), Jack Moulton (Letterboxd), Glen Starkey (New Times), and Kirk Honeycutt (Former Film Critic, Hollywood Reporter), filmmakers Beth & George Gage (A HOME CALLED NEBRASKA, BIDDER 70), Sky Bergman (LIVES WELL LIVED), and Patrick Lawler (BLEEDING AUDIO) and industry veterans Erica Thompson (Executive Director, Ashland Film Festival), Logan Taylor (Acquisitions, Screen Media Ventures), Robin Robinson (Programmer, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival & Mountainfilm), and Ryan Suffern (Head of Documentaries, Lucasfilm).

 

Closing Night featured the presentation of San Luis Obispo’s own Brittany App’s directorial debut, WHERE THERE ONCE WAS WATER. Along with the virtual presentation of the call-to-action documentary looking at growing water shortages and how communities are taking steps to head off a potential crisis in the future, SLO Film Fest also put together an impressive panel including; Kandi (Mossett) White (Native Energy and Climate Campaign Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network), Kate Lundquist (Co-Director of the WATER Institute & the “Bring Back the Beaver” Campaign, Occidental Arts & Ecology Center), Jason Haas (Partner & General Manager, Tablas Creek Vineyard), and Chief Caleen Sisk (Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe) joining App to add further depth to the discussion of the film and the issues it presents. It was a fitting capstone to an edition of the film festival that saw it continue its growth from an annual favorite of local film fans to an organization and event accepting the mantle of community arts and activism leader, giving a platform to energized diverse voices.

 

The 2021 San Luis Obispo Film Festival Award Winners:

GEORGE SIDNEY INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS

BLOOM – Best Narrative Feature

Director: Xuan Liu

 

MEDICINE MAN: THE STAN BROCK STORY – Best Documentary Feature (TIE)

Director: Paul Michael Angeli

 

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY – Best Documentary Feature (TIE)

Directors: Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss

 

OVER MY DEAD BODY – Best Narrative Short Film
Director: Meital Cohen Navarro


FULL PICTURE – Best Documentary Short Film (TIE)

Director: Jacob Reed

 

VOICE ABOVE WATER – Best Documentary Short Film (TIE)
Director: Dana Frankoff

 

KAPAEMAHU – Best Animated Film

Directors: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson

 

SOUS LA GRACE – Best Student Film
Directors: Luce Grosjean, Ismail Berrahma, Flore Dupont, Laurie Estampes, Quentin Nory, Hugo Potin

 

AUDIENCE AWARDS

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY – Best in Fest (Highest Score)

Directors: Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss

 

SISTERS: THE SUMMER WE FOUND OUR SUPERPOWERS – Best Narrative Feature

Directors: Silje Salomonsen, Arild Ostin Ommundsen

 

THE BOYS WHO SAID NO! – Best Documentary Feature
Director: Judith Ehrlich

 

GUM – Best Narrative Short Film

Director: Jacob Reed

 

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION – Best Documentary Short Film
Directors: Kris Bowers, Ben Proudfoot

 

WE CAN’T BREATHE – Best Music Video

Directors: Miranda Winters, Rocky Romano

 

RESTRICTIONS APPLY – Best Central Coast Film
Director: Justice Whitaker

 

CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKER AWARDS

FIRESTORM ‘77: THE TRUE STORY OF THE HONDA CANYON FIRE – Best Feature Length Film

Directors: Chris Hite, Dennis Ford

 

SÉANCE-ING – Best Narrative Short Film

Director: Alix Angelis


BODEGA DE EDGAR – Best Documentary Short Film

Director: Nick Cavalier


STOKE CHASERS – Best Student Film

Director: Jo Anna Edmison

 

MUSIC VIDEOS

WE CAN’T BREATHE – Best Overall

Directors: Miranda Winters, Rocky Romano

 

PARACHUTE – Best International

Director: Taisia Deeva

Music: Paul Kalkbrenner

 

INSUFFERABLE – Best SLO County

Director: Casey Wieber

Music: Heart to Heart

 

FILMMAKERS OF TOMORROW SHOWCASE

LAST STOP – Best Narrative Film

Director: Jacob Pincus

 

WE ARE THE REVOLUTION – Best Documentary Film

Director: Akash Dewan

 

MUSIC FOR THE END OF THE WORLD – Best International Film

Director: Emmanuel Li

 

AMPLITUDE OF THOUGHTS – Best SLO County Film

Director: Phoebe Mitchem

 

SYSTEM ERROR – Best Animated Film

Director: Piotr Kazmierczak

 

ABOUT SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo’s laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the film festival’s thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility.

 *Featured Photo by J Kevin O’Connor

PRESS CONTACT

John Wildman, Wildworks PR

FilmsGoneWild.com

jswildman@hotmail.com