2019 Naples International Film Festival Filmmaker Awards Winners
(L to R): Artis-Naples’s David Filner, Akio “Jimmy” Sakurai (MR. JIMMY), NIFF’s Shannon Franklin, Nick Reid (MISS VIRGINIA), Peter Michael Dowd (MR. JIMMY), R.J. Daniel Hanna (MISS VIRGINIA), Bill Gallagher (RUNNER), Guor Mading Maker (RUNNER), Bill Margetson (HOUSEKEEPING), Isis Masoud (SOUTH MOUNTAIN), Andrew Aiello (INTERNATIONAL FALLS), Rebecca Tansley (THE HEART DANCES), John Hermann (STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN), Andrew Murton (ABOVE THE CLOUDS), Hilary Brougher (SOUTH MOUNTAIN), Leon Chambers (ABOVE THE CLOUDS), Artis-Naples’ Kathleen van Bergen (Photo by Charlie McDonald)

The 2019 Naples International Film Festival announced the filmmaker award winners during the Closing Night Awards Ceremony with the jury prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $7,500) going to Amber McGinnis’ INTERNATIONAL FALLS, and the jury prize for Best Documentary Feature (and $7,500) given to Bill Gallagher’s RUNNER. Gallagher’s film RUNNER also took NIFF’s Audience Award for Documentary Feature (and an additional $2,000), while R.J. Daniel Hanna’s MISS VIRGINIA was the Audience Choice for Narrative Feature (also receiving $2,000).

In addition to their best Narrative and Best Documentary selections chosen from four films competing in each category, the jury also awarded a Special Achievement in Direction Award to Hilary Brougher for her work on SOUTH MOUNTAIN. The special award also included a $2,500 cash prize.

The filmmaker awards included; New Zealand filmmaker Rebecca Tansley winning NIFFs first Focus on the Arts Award and $5000 for her film, THE HEART DANCES; Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ FOR SAMA winning the Impact Award for the social and racial awareness explored through their documentary work; Leon Chambers’ ABOVE THE CLOUDS winning the Indie Spirit Award; and Peter Michael Dowd’s MR. JIMMY selected as the Programmers’ Choice honoree. Matt Ratner’s STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN took the Best First Feature honors, while PRINCESS OF THE ROW star Tayler Buck won this year’s Rising Star Award. British filmmaker Andrew Margetson’s HOUSEKEEPING received NIFF’s Audience nod (and $1000) for “Best Short Film”.

2019 Naples International Film Festival Award Winners

Naples International Film Festival Artis – Naples Award
Joe Pantoliano

NIFF JURY AWARDS

Best Narrative Feature – $7500
INTERNATIONAL FALLS
Director: Amber McGinnis

Best Documentary Feature – $7500
RUNNER
Director: Bill Gallagher

Special Achievement in Direction – $2500
SOUTH MOUNTAIN
Director: Hilary Brougher

NIFF PROGRAMMERS’ AWARDS

Focus on the Arts Award – $5000
THE HEART DANCES
Director: Rebecca Tansley

Impact Award
FOR SAMA
Directors: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Indie Spirit Award
ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Director: Leon Chambers

Programmers’ Choice Award
MR. JIMMY
Director: Peter Michael Dowd

Best First Feature
STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner

Rising Star Award
Tayler Buck
PRINCESS OF THE ROW

NIFF AUDIENCE AWARDS

Audience Award Winner, Narrative Feature – $2000
MISS VIRGINIA
Director: R.J. Daniel Hanna

Audience Award Winner, Documentary Feature– $2000
RUNNER
Director: Bill Gallagher

Audience Award Winner, Best Short Film – $1000
HOUSEKEEPING
Director: Andrew Margetson

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