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Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free
Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free

SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival 2018 (SRFF 2018) wrapped up its Fifth Edition at Cinema Village in NYC on March 22, 2018, revealing the winners. Stand-out awards were the Empowering Women and Girls Award, given to Dr. Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap, and the tie for Grand Prize Narrative Feature presented to ‘Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free’ and ‘Hot Country Cold Winter’.

The awards are: Vanya Exerjian – Empowering Women and Girls Award, Grand Prize Narrative Feature, Grand Prize Documentary, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) Award, Best Ensemble Work, Best Actor in a Feature Film, Best Actress in a Feature Film, Best Actor in a Short Film, Best Actress in a Short Film, Immigrant Filmmaker Award, and three winning scripts from the script-writing competition.

“On our fifth year, SRFF is thrilled to continue its quest to spotlight the most impactful stories from around the world,” said Nora Armani, Founding Artistic Director of SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival. “Our goal is to highlight films and filmmakers who choose to tell socially relevant stories oft not given a commercial platform. These films have a strong impact on people’s lives.”

The 2018 Fifth Edition of SRFF screened 70 films from 35 countries in the narrative feature, documentary feature, short film, and immersive VR/360º categories, along with finalists in script-writing. The winners are selected by a hand-picked international jury of industry veterans.

SRFF’s original trophies are the Molten Bowl, designed and donated by Michael Aram and a wine by City Winery bearing the specially designed 5th-anniversary label of SR Film Festival. In-kind awards include Inclusion in InkTip, download certificates by Final Draft, consultation services by Cinema Libre Studio and Candy Factory Films, distribution on IndiePix, stock footage by Pond5 and more.


The jurors: Nicole Ansari-Cox, Najla Said, Valerio Caruso, and Andre Degas.

Awardees in ex aequo:
Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free | Cordula Kablitz-Post | Germany | 2016 | 113 min
German, Italian, Russian w/English subtitles

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the woman who enraptured 19th century Europe’s greatest minds, recounts her life to Ernst Pfeiffer in this German film directed by Cordula Kablitz-Post. Salomé became the first female psychoanalyst under the tutelage of Sigmund Freud.

Hot Country, Cold Winter | David Safarian | Armenia, The Netherlands, Germany | 2016 | 104 min
Armenian, Russian with English subtitles

A tale of a man and a woman suffering near-absurd circumstances during a total energy crisis right after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Their narratives, recollections, imagination, and dreams are depicted in this powerful narrative feature film dealing with a period of recent modern history.


The jurors: Claus Mueller, Morgan Jenness, Dirk Robertson, and Edie Nugent.

Hotel Everest | Claudia Sobral | USA | 2017 | 39 min

Filmed over a tumultuous two-year period, the film follows the efforts and relationship between two unlikely peace activists: Eden Fuchs, a retired Israeli army colonel, and Ibrahim Issa, a Palestinian born in a refugee camp, are joined by the Idahoan founders of the Centre for Emerging Futures, Whit and Paula Jones at the Hotel Everest.

Grand Prize Narrative Feature (ex-aequo): Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free by Cordula Kablitz-Post, and, Hot Country Cold Winter by David Safarian

The Vanya Exerjian Empowering Women & Girls Award: Ruchira Gupta – Apne Aap

Grand Prize Documentary: Hotel Everest by Claudia Sobral

Best Ensemble Work in a Feature: Darcy by Heidi Philipsen-Meisner & Jon Russell Cring

Best Narrative Short: Malik and the Turtle by Adnane Tragha

Best Documentary Short: The Hammamis by Molly Bareiss

Best Actor in a Feature Film: Johnathan Tchaikovsky in Darcy

Best Actress in a Feature Film: Yana Druz in Hot Country Cold Winter

Best Actor in a Short Film: Azhar N’Dahoma in Malik and the Turtle

Best Actress in a Short Film: Jasmin Riggins in Free Period

VR/360º Award: My Beautiful Home by Romain Vakilitabar

The Women Film Critics Circle Award: I Seek Asylum by Anna Southgate

The Immigrant Filmmaker Award: Robert Tutak for Ellis Island

Finalist Script 1st place/Winner: Riding on Duke’s Train by Ken Kimmelman

Finalist Script 2nd place: Shepherding Cassie by Mike Oborn

Finalist Script 3rd Place: American Snake Pit by Dan Tomasulo


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