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With the festival opening in lass than a month, the organizers of The Derby City Film Festival have announced the award finalists for the 2012 edition. Awards will be handed out in 7 categories; US Short Film, International Short Film, Student Short Film, Documentary Film, Feature Film, Best Actor and Best Actress. The festival has also partnered with York Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, who will offer distribution to one or more of the Feature Films and IndieFlix, based in Seattle, who will hold an on-line short film contest the week before the opening of the festival.

Three films with Kentucky ties are among the finalists. One, the short film “Bizarnival: Tuxedos in the Attic” from filmmakers Todd Sheene, Allen Martin, and Scott Stafford screens Saturday February 18th at 4:00 PM with Shorts Group C. “Bizarnival” is a pseudo-experimental film which follows three men who seek the key to a magic suitcase, guarded by a mechanical man, and takes them on a journey through the ridiculously fantastic world of Bizarnival. “Bizarnival” is nominated for Best US Short Film.

James Sheldon who stars as the title character from Alex O. Gaynor’s “Wid Winner and the Slipstream” is nominated for Best Actor. ‘Wid Winner & the Slipstream’ is a poetic, blue-collar story of a disenchanted auto parts store clerk and the road trip that will change his life. “Wid” screens Friday February 17th at 7:00 PM.

“It’s in the Blood” from Louisville natives and Ballard High School graduates Scooter Downey & Sean Elliot is up for three awards including Best Feature Film and two Best Actor Nominations for the film’s stars Sean Elliot & Lance Henriksen. “Blood”  tells the tale of a father and son who become stranded in the wild and must confront the horrors of their past to escape with their lives.  However, this wilderness is not what it seems, and as they deteriorate, so to does their concept of reality: horrifying creatures, ghostly apparitions, is it all in their heads, or could the truth be far more terrible? “It’s in the Blood” screens at 8:00 PM on February 18th with the short film “Endless”.

Another film up for three awards is the closing film of the festival, the Edward Furlong film “Below Zero”, which will screen at 6:00 PM on Sunday February 19th. “Zero” follows screenwriter Jack “The Hack” (Furlong) who, facing writer’s block and a crucial deadline, decides to remove himself from all distractions by locking himself in the freezer of an abandoned slaughterhouse, where fiction and reality blur. Inspired by true events, method writer Signe Olynyk’s BELOW ZERO is a twisty story within a story, within a real-life story. The film also stars Kristin Booth and Michael Berryman. “Zero” was directed by Justin Thomas Ostensen who’s film “By the Wayside” screened at the inaugural DCFF in 2008. “Zero” is nominated for Best Feature, Best Actor (Furlong) and Best Actress (Booth).

All 9 of the Short Film Finalists (US, International & Student) have also been invited to take part of the DCFF-IndieFlix on-line film contest which will run February 10th-16th. All films will be available to watch on-line and the public can vote on their favorite. The winning film will receive a one year subscription to Videoblocks & The Footage Firm, an online library of downloadable production material, video clips and royalty free music. A link to the IndieFlix film contest will be available on the DCFF website starting February 10th.

York Entertainment has invited 4 films to be considered for distribution. Included among the finalists is “Overtime” from Louisville filmmakers Matt Neihoff & Brian Cunningham. The other three are “Below Zero”, “Blind Turn” & “It’s in the Blood”. Any agreement will be between York and the selected film(s) and the festival will not be part of the negotiations

The 2012 Derby City Film Festival runs February 17th – 19th at the Clifton Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The full festival schedule and film descriptions are available on the festival website. Tickets for all films and screening groups are also on-sale through the website. More information on the festival can be found at the festival website: or by calling the DCFF office at 502-454-7801. Additional details about the upcoming festival will be released in the coming weeks.

The following includes the full list of award finalists for the 2012 Derby City Film Festival.

Best Feature:
Below Zero: Directed by: Justin Thomas Ostensen
It’s in the Blood (KY Premiere): Directed by: Scooter Downey
Johnny’s Gone (KY Premiere): Directed by: Giorgio Serafini

Best Documentary
Bailout (USA – KY Premiere): Directed by: Sean Patrick Fahey
Israel vs. Israel (Israel – KY Premiere): Directed by: Terje Carlsson
Holding the Line (Libya/UK – US Premiere): Directed by: Patrick Wells

Best US Short Film
Bizarnival: Tuxedos in the Attic: Directed by: Todd Sheene, Allen Martin, and Scott Stafford
Easy Street (KY Premiere): Directed by Russell Greene
Grounded (World Premiere): Directed by Kevin Margo

Best International Short
Donkey (UK – KY Premiere); Directed by: Keir Burrows
Employee of the Month (Switzerland – KY Premiere): Directed by: Olivier Beguin
Endless (UK – KY Premiere): Directed by: Matt Bloom

Best Student Short
GoldenBox (USA): Directed by: Matt MacDonald
Made in China (USA – World Premiere): Directed by: Kellen Moore
Thin Air (USA – World Premiere): Directed by: Max Rosen

Best Actor
Sean Elliot – It’s in the Blood
Lance Henriksen – It’s in the Blood
James Sheldon – Wid Winner and the Slipstream
Edward Furlong – Below Zero
Michal Cholka – Znikniecie

Best Actress
Katarzyna Zawiglak-Dolny – Znikniecie
Inge Chiles – Thin Air
LaDon Drummond  – Johnny’s Gone
Rachel Boston – Blind Turn
Kristin Booth – Below Zero

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