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HollyShorts 2020: Film Festival Awards Coverage

With the final days of this year’s virtual HollyShorts Film Festival upon us, it’s time to take a look at the top films of the year, as decided by the festival’s judges. This is not a comprehensive list of the entire festival, as opinion is subjective, but these were some of the most praised and beloved films of the year. Before I get to the winners category, I want to highlight a few of the films I thought were truly special this year. While many of these films have been mentioned in previous coverage, since it’s awards time, I want to give my own awards, too.

Personal Favorites (In No Particular Order):

1, 2, 3 All Eyes on Me by Emil Gallardo
A terrifying look into a massive school shooting and the teacher that attempts to protect her class. This was very deserving of the top honor of this year’s festival.

An Uninvited Guest by Richard B. Pierre
My favorite film of the festival, this takes a look at the willful ignorance of police violence against the African-American community.

Audio Guide by Chris Elena
An art museum audio guide takes a young art student on a journey, as it reveals the secrets of the world to her. This is another top one for me, and it’s just a lot of fun and a great concept.

A Simple F*cking Gesture by Jesse Shamata
This was my favorite comedy of this year’s HollyShorts festival, with the simple concept of social contracts during traffic leading to an insane and hilarious short film.

Snake by David Mahmoudieh
A stellar performance by Ali Mueller and some incredible camera work really lend themselves to this thrilling, silent story.

Into the Flame by Sean McClintock
A wonderful animated film about a man who, while attempting to process the disappearance of his wife, has a moth burrow into his ear and set off a strange set of events in his life. It’s a well-styled, incredibly interesting film that should really be seen to be understood.

And now the winners of the *real* awards from this year’s HollyShorts film festival:

Best Action: Twin Turbo by Caity Lotz
Best Animation (Oscar-Qualifying Category): o28 from Otalia Caussé, Geoffroy Collin, Lousie Grardel, Antoine Marchand, Robin Merle, and Fabian Meyran
Best Cinematography: Kai Dickson for Eyes of Eidolon
Best Comedy: Basic by Chelsea Devantez
Best Commercial: Lyon E-Sport by Gaetano Naccarato
Best Director: Karishma Dube for BITTU
Best Drama: November 1st by Charlie Manton
Best Documentary: USA vs. Scott by Ora DeKornfeld and Isabel Castro
Best Editing: Stella Heath Keir for End-O
Best Female Short Screenplay: Hello I Must Be Going written by Sara Hallowell
Best Horror: The Fourth Wall by Kelsey Bollig
Best International: Alive by Jimmy Olsson
Best LGBTQ+: Query By Sophie Kargman
Best Live Action (Oscar-Qualifying Category): Welcome Back by Tiffany K. Guillen
Best Midnight Madness: Inferno by Bishal Dutta
Best Music Video: Adventure by Monster Rally, directed by Zak Marx
Best Producer: Julia Retali for Aio Zitelli
Best SAG Indie Award: Sunday’s Child by Maisie Richardson-Sellers
Best Sci-Fi: Hekademia by Gloria Mercer
Best Student: A Beautiful Nightmare by Kevin Lee Maxwell
Best Television Pilot: Small Fry Pilot ‘Six Pack’ written by Madeline Mack, Michael Lincoln
Best Thriller: An Uninvited Guest by Richard B. Pierre
Best TV: The World Between Us by ChunYang Lin
Best VFX: Automaton by Krzysztof Rost
Best Web Series: All-American Sex Offender by Chloe Lenihan
Festival Honorable Mention: Nahjum by Sebastian Torres Greene & Manuel Del Valle
Grand Prix (Oscar-Qualifying Category): 1, 2, 3 All Eyes On Me by Emil Gallardo
Indie Maverick Award: Justin Simien
Screenplay 1st Place Grand Prize Winner: The Problem With Time Travel written by Mike Kearby
Screenplay 2nd Place: Christopher and the Bug written by Vanessa Esteves
Screenplay 3rd Place: Rice written by Omar Kamara
Shot on Film Award presented by Kodak: Birthday Girl by Portia A. Buckley
Shot on Film Honorable Mention presented by Kodak: David by Zach Woods
Shot On Film Super 8 Winner presented by Kodak: “World Premiere Video” – The Music Video that survived after Music Television didn’t by Mike J. Nichols
Social Impact Award: Black Boys Can’t Cry by Victor Gabriel
Special Jury Award: The Van by Erenik Beqiri
Women in Film Award: The Birth of Valerie Venus by Sarah Clift

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor



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