Winners of 2021 Naples International Film Festival
Winners of 2021 Naples International Film Festival

Lissette Feliciano’s Women Is Losers won the jury prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $2,500) and Justin Monroe’s Holy Frit won the jury prize for Best Documentary Feature (and $2,500) at the 2021 Naples International Film Festival. Audience Awards went to Jonathan Keijser’s Peace by Chocolate (Best Narrative Feature), Christopher Chambers’ A Fire Within (Best Documentary Feature) and Maria Brendle’s Ala Kachuu – Take and Run (Best Short Film). Both feature films received cash prizes of $1,000 and the short film winner received a cash prize of $500.

The filmmaker awards selected by the festival programmers included Austrian filmmaker Bernadette Wegenstein winning NIFF’s coveted Focus on the Arts Award and $1,500 for her film, The Conductor; Robin Hauser’s $avvy winning the Impact Award for the social and racial awareness explored through her film; Deirdre O’Conner’s One Moment winning the Indie Spirit Award; and Jim Bernfield’s Me To Play selected as the Programmers’ Choice honoree. Roshan Sethi’s 7 Days took Best First Feature honors, while Like the Ones I Used to Know director Annie St-Pierre won this year’s Rising Star Award. Each of these filmmakers also received a $250 cash prize.

The Filmmaker Awards ceremony was an emotional one with $avvy’s Robin Hauser stating that she hoped she would “have the courage to make another film” so she could return to NIFF once again. Christopher Chambers said that following an extensive and successful film festival tour for his film, A Fire Within, he was overwhelmed to see it for the first time with an audience in the theater. Holy Frit’s Justin Monroe concluded the filmmaker awards acceptance speeches with an impassioned thank you to the Artis—Naples/NIFF team and Naples film fans for their support of the filmmakers and their work, emphasizing what the experience—from being accepted into the film festival, to the hospitality and generosity of the organization, to the very vocal approval of the audiences—means to filmmakers and how it helps propel their films’ paths forward.

2021 Naples International Film Festival Award Winners


Best Narrative Feature
Women Is Losers
Director: Lissette Feliciano

Best Documentary Feature
Holy Frit
Director: Justin Monroe


Focus on the Arts Award
The Conductor
Director: Bernadette Wegenstein

Impact Award
Director: Robin Hauser

Indie Spirit Award
One Moment
Director: Deirdre O’Conner

Programmers’ Choice Award
Me To Play
Director: Jim Bernfield

Best First Feature
7 Days
Director: Roshan Sethi

Rising Star Award
Like the Ones I Used to Know
Director: Annie St-Pierre


Audience Award Winner, Narrative Feature
Peace by Chocolate
Director: Jonathan Keijser

Audience Award Winner, Documentary Feature
A Fire Within
Director: Christopher Chambers

Audience Award Winner, Best Short Film
Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
Director: Maria Brendle

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