Grand Prize winner for Best Live Action Short: “Ivo”directed by Christina Lande
Grand Prize winner for Best Live Action Short: “Ivo”directed by Christina Lande

The Academy Awards qualifying Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) announced the Award Winners for its 38th Anniversary edition.

The winners of RIIFF’s Live Action, Animation and Documentary Short Grand Prizes hold a special honor as they become the Festival’s nominees for Academy Award consideration. The Grand Prize for Best Live Action Short went to “Ivo”directed by Christina Lande; Best Animated Short went to “Gon, Little Fox” directed by Takeshi Yashiro; and Best Documentary Short went to “Messania’s Story” directed by: Laki Karavias.

Last year, five films from the Festival received Oscar® nominations and one, “The Neighbor’s Window” by Marshall Curry, won for Best Live Action Short.

Over its six-day run, the Festival screened 263 films that included 83 World/United States Premieres from 51 countries including Denmark, Israel, Bosnia, Serbia, Germany, Australia, Iceland, Iran, Spain, Mexico, China, Italy, France, Brazil and 34 states in the US.

Due to the health directives and restrictions regarding social gatherings and COVID-19, the Festival was a hybrid event that included live screenings at area Drive-ins along with an online virtual platform. The 2020 Festival was dedicated to the memories of the 671,371+ individuals who have lost their lives to COVID-19, including the more than 167,295 in the United States and the more than one thousand in the State of Rhode Island.

2020 GRAND PRIZE SHORT FILM WINNERS

LIVE ACTION SHORT:“Ivo” | Directed by: Christina Lande | Norway | 2019

The teacher Iben (64) lives alone with her dog Ivo in a small coastal community in Lofoten. She’s always felt like an outsider in the village, and life doesn’t get any easier when one of her students claims he’s been bitten by her dog.

ANIMATED SHORT:“Gon, Little Fox” | Directed by: Takeshi Yashiro | Japan | 2019

When Gon, a playful orphaned fox, finds that young Hyoju has lost his mother, he tries to comfort him and make amends for his own earlier mischiefs by secretly bringing small gifts to the boy every day. But Hyoju doesn’t realize who is behind the anonymous gifts, and the two are headed for a heartbreaking climax.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:“Messania’s Story” | Directed by: Laki Karavias | United States | 2020

A childhood filled with laughter and friends, singing and games—cut short by the circumciser’s knife. In her early teens, Messania walked the same path as millions of other young girls around the world, first undergoing female genital mutilation to make her marriageable and then being married off to a stranger many years older than herself. Listen as Messania shares her spiritual journey of identity from her rural Kenyan home to see how this strong woman—who could have remained just a statistic—found the determination to escape abuse, challenge harmful cultural norms, and sing a new song of freedom, for herself and for girls like her everywhere.

2020 INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS & SPECIAL AWARDS

WINIFRED E. BROWNELL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

This year’s winner is Lionel Jeffreys, of Toland, CT who will be entering his junior year at the University of Rhode Island and pursuing a major in Film. His goal is to establish a career path in film directing.

THE RIIFF SCREENPLAY COMPETITION AWARD

Presented to Daniel Talbott from Los Angeles, CA for his screenplay “YOSEMITE,” that chronicles three young siblings who have been sent into the snow-silent woods in the Sierra Nevada foothills to dig a hole deep enough to bury a family secret. The script is both beautiful and tragic, brimming with raw emotion.

Daniel Talbott is a writer, director, actor, and a Lucille Lortel and Obie Award winning theater producer. He is a graduate of Juilliard, a proud member of Echo Theater Company, and a member of the Actors Studio.

GEORGES MELIES SCI-FI, FANTASY AWARD

The Georges Méliès Sci-Fi & Fantasy Award is presented to a filmmaker with a unique and creative vision, reflecting the work of the visionary French illusionist and film director who pioneered many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. Méliès films include A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), which both are considered among the most important early fantasy and science fiction films, thus establishing the importance of the genre.

Robert M Schulbaum, writer/director, “The Wrong Todd”

DREAMMAKER AWARD

The Dream Maker Award recognizes those who provide incredible service and support of the local film community and are a voice for advocacy of the film industry.”

Lawrence J. Andrade, Flickers; Director of Research and Development, Dominion Diagnostics

THE 2020 PRODUCER’S CIRCLE AWARDS

Presented annually to members of the community who have actively worked to support and promote the mission of the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival. This year’s recipients included:

Michelle Abbott, Producer

David M. Dooley, President, University of Rhode Island

Dominick Ruggerio, Senate President, State of Rhode Island

Daniel Sousa, Animator/Director

IATSE, Local 481

COMPLETE LIST OF 2020 FESTIVAL AWARDS

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination)
“Ivo” | Directed by: Christina Lande | Norway | 2019

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A dive into what drives human behavior in a small town in Norway. A film that truly puts you in the place of its characters and shows the viewer a world that you would most likely not ever see in person. Great film.

FIRST Prize:
“Interlude” | Directed by: Eli Snyder | United States | 2019
Tied With:
“Under the Heavens” (Seiva Bruta) | Directed by: Gustavo Milan | Brazil | 2019

BEST SHORT ANIMATION

GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination)
“Gon, Little Fox” | Directed by: Takeshi Yashiro | Japan | 2019

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A beautiful, sweet and ultimately heartbreaking story told with exquisitely detailed stop-motion animation. The cinematography, lighting, sets, and character designs are incredible.

FIRST Prize:
“Grandad Was A Romantic” | Directed by: Maryam Mohajer United Kingdom | 2019
Tied With:
“KAPA EMAHU” | Directed by: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson | United States | 2019

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

GRAND Prize: (RIIFF’s Official Academy Nomination)
“Messania’s Story” | Directed by: Laki Karavias | United States | 2020

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Timely, brilliant and unforgettable. A Chronicle of discovery and personal growth in a hostile world.

FIRST Prize:
“Dafa Metti (Difficult)” | Directed by: Tal Amiran | United Kingdom | 2019
Tied With:
“EL INFIERNO” | Directed by: Raúl De la Fuente Calle | Spain | 2019

BEST FEATURE

GRAND Prize:
“Big House” | Directed by: Jack Lawrence Mayer | United States | 2019

JUDGE’S COMMENT: Compelling, a playfully absurd comedy that is brimming with spontaneity and filled with memorable characters. The cinematography is both nuanced and expressive.

FIRST Prize:
“Irgendwann ist auch mal gut (It’s gonna be fine)” | Directed by: Christian Werner | Germany | 2020
Tied With:
Los Nombres De Las Flores (The Names Of The Flowers)” | Directed by: Bahman Tavoosi | Bolivia, United States, Canada, Qatar | 2019

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

GRAND Prize:“Five Years North” | Directed by: Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple | United States | 2020

JUDGES COMMENT: An incredibly timely portrait of one undocumented boy’s struggle to achieve the American dream in spite of the mounting obstacles facing him, and a Cuban American ICE agent who struggles with what is right and what compromises are necessary. A film that documents America’s broken immigration system with nuance and humanity.

FIRST Prize:
“TRUST ME” | Directed by: Roko Belic | United States | 2020
Tied With:
“Objector” | Directed by: Molly Stuart | United States | 2019

FILMMAKER OF THE FUTURE AWARD

Presented to a filmmaker whose vision excites audiences and judges alike about the potential to produce compelling and successful films in the future. Sponsored by Festival Formula

Haohao Yan, “The Speech” | United States | 2019

BEST ACTOR

Alexander Wertmann, “Masel Tov Cocktail” Directed by: Arkadij Khaet, Mickey Paatzsch | Germany | 2020

JUDGE’S COMMENT: Excellent film! It combines a crisp cinematic style with a creative, 4th-wall breaking technique, top-notch acting and editing, all to create an entertaining picture with meaning, insight, and a message!

FIRST Prize:

Vayu O’Donnell, “Survival Skills” | Directed by: Quinn Armstrong | United States | 2019

BEST ACTRESS

Anna Dzieduszycka, “The Dress” (Sukienka) | Directed by: Tadeusz Lysiak Poland | 2020

JUDGE’S COMMENT: Wow! A performance full of nuance and subtlety. Anna fully develops a perspective that has long been underrepresented. She creates a world within her character, one that stays with us long after the film has ended.

FIRST Prize

Christiane Conil,The Saverini Widow” (La Veuve Saverini) | Directed by: Loïc Gaillard | France | 2020

BEST COMEDY SHORT

GRAND Prize:
“Martin Fell Off the Roof” (Martin est tombé d’un toit) | Directed by: Matías Ganz | France, Uruguay | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Trumpet” | Directed by: Kevin Haefelin | Switzerland, United States | 2020
Tied With:
“Mary and Margaret” | Directed by: Gregory Caruso | United States | 2018

BEST EXPERIMENTAL

GRAND Prize:
“Any Instant Whatever” | Directed by: Michelle Brand | United Kingdom | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“Vertigo, AI” | Directed by: Chris Peters | United States | 2019
Tied With:
“Xylem” | Directed by: Michael Hughes | United Kingdom | 2019

BEST DIRECTOR

GRAND Prize:
“Matriochkas” | Directed by: Bérangère Mc Neese | Belgium | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“NJUOKCAMAT (THE TONGUES)” | Directed by: Marja Bål Nango | Norway | 2019
Tied With:
“Cayenne” | Directed by: Simon Gionet | Canada | 2020

THE MARLYN MASON AWARD

New voices, new perspectives by women in film

GRAND Prize:
Nicole Vanden Broeck, Director | “Elle” | United States | 2020

FIRST Prize:
Maria Brendle, Director | “ALA KACHUU – Take and Run” | Switzerland | 2020

DIRECTORIAL DISCOVERY AWARD

GRAND Prize:
“Augustus” | Directed by: Jon Alston | United States | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Under the Lights” | Directed by: Miles Levin | United States | 2019
Tied With
“Freed” | Directed by: Josza Anjembe | France | 2019

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

GRAND Prize:
Saulius Lukosevicius, “Unfolded” | Directed by Cristina Picchi | Italy | 2019

FIRST Prize:
Sean Price Williams, Hunter Zimny, “Let’s Get Lost” | Directed by Sam Stillman | United States | 2019

RIIFF NEW ENGLAND DIRECTOR’S AWARD

GRAND Prize:
“Ruwatan” | Directed by: Ernest Lesmana | Indonesia | 2019

FIRST Prize
“Balk” | Directed by: Gabriel Wilson | United States | 2019

SOLDIERS AND SACRIFICE AWARD

Celebrating Stories That Commemorate America’s Heroes

GRAND Prize:
“Early Light” | Directed by: Ted Schneider | United States | 2020

RIIFF DIRECTOR’S CHOICE AWARD

“The Scottish Play” | Directed by: Keith Boynton | United States | 2020
Tied With
“Corono” | Directed by: Mostafa Keshvari | Canada | 2020

RIIFF SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT

Bringing Awareness to critical and underreported global issues

“The Art of Dissent” | Directed by: James Dean Le Sueur | United States | 2020
Tied With
“Coup 53” | Directed by: Taghi Amirani | United States | 2019

HEARTS, MINDS, SOULS AWARD

Celebrating Films that Reflect the Jewish Experience.

GRAND Prize:
“Shande” | Directed by: Bob Balaban | United States | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“Burka fil Mishmish” | Directed by: Tal Michael | Israel, France | 2019
Tied with:
“SHTETLERS” | Directed by: Katya Ustinova | Russia, United States | 2019

BEST EDITING

GRAND Prize:
Kaname Onoyama, “Crazy Tiger” | Directed by: Kaname Onoyama | Japan, France | 2019

FIRST Prize:
Rich Williamson, “Thirty Eight MInutes” | Directed by: Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson | Canada | 2020
Tied With:
Kait Plum, “Higher Love” | Directed by: Hasan Oswald | United States | 2020

BEST SCREENPLAY

GRAND Prize:
“She” | Written & Directed by: Matt Greenhalgh United Kingdom | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Clay”
| Written & Directed by: Leonard Rääf | Denmark | 2019
Tied With:
Sasha Collington, “Love Type D” | Directed by: Sasha Collington, United Kingdom | 2019

FLICKERS’ AMBASSADOR AWARD

Presented to an individual who inspires and empowers communication and cultural understanding.

Kevin Haefelin, “Trumpet” | Directed by: Kevin Haefelin, | Switzerland, United States | 2020

FLICKERS’ INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD

Given annually to films or filmmakers who inspire social change and community outreach and strive to better the world in which we live.

GRAND Prize:
“The Lesson” | Directed by: Elena Horn | Germany | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“The Reunited States” | Directed by: Ben Rekhi | United States | 2020

FLICKERS INTERNATIONAL VISION AWARD:

Breaking down international cultural barriers through film

GRAND Prize:
“Heading South” | Directed by: Yuan Yuan | United States | 2020

FIRST Prize
“Henet Ward” | Directed by: Morad Mostafa | Egypt | 2020
Tied With:
“Summer Fasting” (Jeune d’ete) | Directed by: Abdenoure Ziane | France | 2020

PROVIDENCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARD

Presented annually to a New England director whose work brings cinematic excellence to an international audience.

GRAND Prize:
“I Lost the Horse” | Directed by: Yu LiuJing | United States | 2020

ALTERNATIVE SPIRIT AWARD (LGBTQ)

GRAND Prize:
“Fabiu” | Directed by: Stefan Langthaler | Austria | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Féeroce (Fairyocious)” | Directed by: Fabien Ara | France | 2019
Tied with:
“Take Me to the Prom” | Directed by: Andrew Moir | Canada | 2019

KIDSEYE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS

Presented to a film that resonates with the filmmaker within both children and adults alike.

BEST CHILDREN’S ANIMATION

GRAND Prize:
“Mishou” | Directed by: Milen Vitanov| Germany | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“The Abandoned Block” | Directed by: James Bourne | Canada | 2020
Tied with:
“Killing Time” | Directed by: Camille Guillot, Fanny Hagdahl Sörebo, Aleksandra Krechman, Sarah Naciri, Morgane Ravelonary, Valentine Zhang | France | 2019

LIVE ACTION Short

GRAND Prize:
“Adeline the Great” | Directed by: Jessica Mendez Siqueiros | United States | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Maradona’s Legs” (Ijrain Maradona) | Directed by: Firas Khoury | Palestine, Germany | 2019
Tied With:
“Cramming” | Directed by: Dan Perlman | United States | 2020

LIVE ACTION Feature

GRAND Prize:
“Die Verhaal van Racheltjie de Beer (The Children of the Storm)” | Directed by Matthys Boshoff | South Africa | 2020

GREEN PLANET AWARD

Celebrating the vision of man’s shared humanity and achieving sustainability on our planet.

GRAND Prize:
“The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima” | Directed by: Otto Bell | United States | 2019

FIRST Prize
“Beyond the North Winds: a Post Nuclear Reverie” | Directed by: Natalie Cubides-Brady | United Kingdom | 2019

VORTEX SCI-FI & FANTASY AWARD

GRAND Prize:
“Jack and Joe Don’t Want to Die” | Directed by: Kantu Lentz United States | 2019

FIRST Prize:“Willy Goes Way Back” | Directed by: Ryan Wagner United States | 2020
Tied With:
“Floss” | Directed by: Zack Bornstein | United States | 2020

BREAKING BOUNDARIES

Films that celebrate the endurance of the human spirit and resilience in the face of injustice.

GRAND Prize:
“The Undocumented Lawyer” | Directed by: Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci | United States | 2020

FIRST Prize:
SANKARA N’EST PAS MORT (SANKARA IS NOT DEAD)” | Directed by: Lucie Viver | France | 2019
Tied With:
Après ta révolte, ton vote” | Directed: Kiswendsida Parfait Kaboré | Burkina Faso, France | 2019

BEST MUSICAL

GRAND Prize:
“Cinderella Games” | Directed by:  Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple | United Kingdom, 2019

BEST MUSICAL DOCUMENTARY

GRAND Prize:
“UPROOTED” | Directed by: Khadifa Wong | United States | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“The Offline Playlist”
| Directed by: Brian C. Miller Richard | United States | 2019
Tied With
“Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon” | Directed by: Chris Johnson, Ken Bloom | United States | 2019

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

GRAND Prize:
“Black Puma’s Colors” |
Directed by: Kristian Mercado United States | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“Namewee – Getaway to Kaohsiung” | Directed by: Namewee, Namewee Studio Production | Taiwan | 2020

BEST TELEVISION PILOT/Webisode

GRAND Prize:
“MANILENNIALS” | Directed by: E Del Mundo | Philippines | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“I Am Sophie” | Directed by: Tom Ransom | United Kingdom | 2020

FLICKERS’ YOUTH FILM JURY AWARDS

Awards were presented by Angelique Dina, RIIFF Youth Film Jury Program Manager, and the 2020 Youth Film Jury members.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

GRAND Prize:
“Clay” | Directed by: Leonard Rääf | Denmark | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place” | Directed by: Mads Koudal | Denmark | 2019
Tied With:
“Jeune d’été” | Directed by: Abenoure Ziane | France | 2020

BEST ANIMATION

GRAND Prize:
“Any Instant Whatever” | Directed by Michelle Brand | United Kingdom | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“Purple Boy” | Directed by Alexandre Siqueira | Portugal | 2019
Tied With:
“Ciervo” | Directed by Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma | United States | 2020

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

GRAND Prize:
“Higher Love” | Directed by: Hasan Oswald | United States | 2020

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

GRAND Prize:
“Sundays At The Triple Nickel” | Directed by: Jessica Colquhoun | United States | 2019

FIRST Prize:
“With Dad” | Directed by: Soren Sorensen | United States | 2020

BEST LGBTQ FILM

GRAND Prize:
“Take Me to The Prom” | Directed by: Andrew Moir | Canada | 2020

FIRST Prize:
“Purple Boy” | Directed by Alexandre Siqueira | Portugal | 2019
Tied With:
“Adeline The Great” | Directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros | United States | 2020

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