The 12th Lower East Side Film Festival (LESFF) announced the winning films awarding Best of Fest – Prix D’or to Bacon N’ Laces directed by Stephen Michael Simon; and Best Feature Film prize to I am Gen Z directed by Liz Smith.
Other top prizes including the Audience Award went to Egg, Directed by Stephanie Ibarra and The Neighborhood Award went to Hallelujah Anyway, Anyway, directed by Neil Goldberg.
“For 12 years we have been providing unique experiences for New Yorkers and film lovers and are extremely proud to be a platform for emerging filmmakers. We have been lucky enough to create a loyal community that celebrates independent films made with a focus on creativity over funding,” said Lower East Side Film Festival Director, Roxy Hunt. “That spirit has been a crucial part of our ethos since year one, in our tiny storefront on Norfolk Street, to year 12 with audiences of thousands in the theaters and even more in our expanded community of film lovers that stream our program across the globe.”
Winning films of the 2022 Lower East Side Film Festival listed below:
Best of Fest – Prix D’or: Bacon N’ Laces, Directed by Stephen Michael Simon
A single dad of three boys manages a diner. But, there’s more to John than meets the eye.
Best Feature Film: I am Gen Z, Directed by Liz Smith
Through expert interviews and the web lens of Generation Z, this documentary explores how the digital revolution is impacting our society, our brains and mental health. It dives into how the forces driving the digital revolution are working against humanity and have put us on a dangerous trajectory that has huge ramifications for this first generation growing up with mobile digital technology.
Best Documentary Short: Game Hawker, Directed by Brett Marty, Joshua Izenberg
Shawn Hayes leads a life of devotion. For him, falconry is more than a deep partnership with raptors: it’s his life’s work. As an American falconry ambassador, he’s carved a space for himself where people of color haven’t always been welcome. It’s taken him across the globe, into strongholds of tradition and conservation. This film is about more than what humans can train birds to do—it’s about what those birds can teach us about living in partnership with wild creatures and wild places.
Best Narrative Short: Help Me Mary, Directed by Annie Tippe
Mary, a hospice nurse who has lost all sense of compassion, rediscovers her call to care in the most unlikely place: a dead possum.
Best Animated Short: Buzzkill Directed by Peter Ahern
This short follows the blind date woes of Rick and Becky (who has something in her eye…and her closet).
Best Music Video: Drumtalk, Directed by Magic Steven, Music by Cousin
Two people discover an inner world of music and feelings, accessible to anyone who opens their heart. The sun observes their experiences from above, providing encouragement and moral support.
Audience Award Winner: Egg, Directed by Stephanie Ibarra
A close friendship goes through a harrowing trial when one of them lays an egg.
The Neighborhood Award: Hallelujah Anyway, Anyway, Directed by Neil Goldberg
This award goes to a film each year that truly represents the vibrant, independent spirit of the festival and the neighborhood.
This short documentary revisits a video shot by the filmmaker in the early 1990s, of shopkeepers near their East Village, New York City apartment throwing open their gates in the morning, to reflect on the perpetual change and resilience that mark life in New York City. This retrospective look back on footage shot in the past tries to make sense of the present.