2019 Grand Jury Prize Winners

We are proud to announce the Grand Jury Prize winners for the 2019 festival!

Grand Jury Prize Winners

Best Feature Film – Groupers
Best Short Film – Drama – The Wind Phone
Best Short Film – Comedy – Beach Day
Best Short Film – Horror – Nocturne
Best Documentary Film – Suffer For Good
Music Video – I Could Have Died
Best Director, Feature Film – Anderson Cowan, Groupers
Best Director, Short Film – DAVI.IN, Dream/Life

Best Actress in a Lead Role – Nicole Dambro, Groupers
Best Actor in a Lead Role – Elliott Kashner, The Last of the Manson Girls
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Jenna Curtis, The Man and Mel
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Cameron Duckett, Groupers
Best Performance by a Full Cast – The Wind Phone
Best Screenplay – Kristen Gerweck, The Wind Phone
Outstanding Cinematography – Jon Keng, The Wind Phone
Best Art Direction – Alex Dixon, Beast

Best Screenplay (Unproduced) –
Rube by Dan O’Brien
Run! Run! Run! – The Lives of Abbie Hoffman by Michael J. Shapiro
Stuck by Rich Van Tine

2019 Filmmakers Award Winners

We are proud to announce the following award winners for the 2019 festival!

Filmmakers Award Winners

Outstanding Short Films – Dream/Life, Shanghai Sole
Outstanding Directors – Kristen Gerweck, The Wind Phone; Mike Trainotti, Nocturne
Outstanding Screenplay – DAVI.IN, Dream/Life; Laura Holliday, Girl Friend
Outstanding Acting, Cast – Lemon, The Man and Mel
Outstanding Acting, Individual – Megumi Kabe, The Wind Phone; T’ai Hartley, The Man and Mel
Outstanding Cinematography – Justyn Moro, Lemon

Prize Definitions/Explanations

Filmmakers Awards – given only to short films, these are determined by a panel of fifteen filmmakers whose films have been Official Selections previous years.

2019 Programmer’s Prize Winners

Programmer’s Prize

Outstanding Films: How To Get A Boyfriend, The Man and Mel

A message from FILA programmer Jeff Howard:

Every year it’s a challenge for us to look at the jury votes and hand out awards.  Invariably, I see some things that bother me.  This is especially because I watch every film a second time with an audience at the festival, while the majority of the jury members do not.  In 2019, I was very happy with the award winners but I noticed two things.  One, the wonderful How To Get A Boyfriend was a runner up in several categories including writing, directing, and acting.  I get it; it’s a dark comedy steps across the line and slips into gore.  Not for everyone but it’s GREAT.  Programmer’s Prize to the rescue.  Two, the remarkable film The Man and Mel only won awards for its actors.  That’s another thing I couldn’t let happen.  The Man and Mel is wonderfully written, artfully directed, and beautifully shot.  So it gets a Programmer’s Prize, too.

FILA 2019: FIlm Festival Screening Lineup

Which screening is most interesting to you?  All of them?  Then get a pass to entire festival!

Click any program for tickets.

Program 1 – Originality Spotlight: Friday, June 7, at 7 p.m.
Three short films that highlight the originality and creativity of independent filmmaking.
Program 2 – Empowerment Spotlight: Friday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m.
Three films featuring lead female characters who find the power to overcome anything that stands in their way.
Program 3 – Documentary Spotlight: Friday, June 7, at 10 p.m.
Two documentaries revealing insights on topics ranging from UFC training to law enforcement to Olympic boxing.
Program 4 – Suspense Spotlight: Saturday, June 8, at 6 p.m.
Four short films that keep you on the edge of your seat.
Program 5 – Cutting Edge Spotlight: Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m.
Four short films with a unique perspectives on comedy, drama, and the supernatural.
Program 6 – Kidnapping Spotlight – Groupers: Saturday, June 8, at 10 p.m.
A feature film about a grad student who kidnaps and runs an experiment on two bullies to cure their homophobia.
Program 7 – Radical Spotlight: The Last Of The Manson Girls. Sunday, June 9, at Noon
A feature film that takes on the Manson Family with an entirely new twist, preceded by a touching documentary short.
Program 8 – Danger Spotlight: Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m.
Five short films, from horror to tragedy to comedy, that approach dangerous situations in completely original ways.
Program 9 – Confrontation Spotlight: Sunday, June 9, at 4 p.m
Four short films whose heroes confront challenges from a bathroom in China to the meaning of life.

2019 Schedule – Tickets on Sale Now

Click Here For Tickets To All Screenings

Program 1 – Originality Spotlight
Friday, June 7, 7 PM
Everything is Temp
Mr. Throw ‘Em Down The Stairs
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Program 2 – Empowerment Spotlight
Friday, June 7, 8:30 PM
Girl Friend
How To Get A Boyfriend
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Program 3 – Documentary Spotlight
Friday, June 7, 10 PM
The Sweetest Land (Trailer)
Suffer for Good
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Program 4 – Suspense Spotlight
Saturday, June 8, 6 PM
About Steven
Lightning Strikes
She & Her
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Program 5 – Cutting Edge Spotlight
Saturday, June 8, 8 PM
The Derailers
Hammer Jackson
The Man and Mel
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Program 6 – Kidnapping Spotlight
Saturday, June 8, 10 PM
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Program 7 – Revolutionary Spotlight
Sunday, June 9, 12 PM
Radical Acts Of Love (Trailer)
The Last of the Manson Girls
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Program 8 – Danger Spotlight
Sunday, June 9, 2 PM
Kings Boulevard
I Could Have Died
The Wind Phone
FILA Screenplay Awards
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Program 9 – Confrontation Spotlight
Sunday, June 9, 4 PM
Beach Day
Stand Down
Shanghai Sole
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Below… the 8’x10′ banner that will be on the side of the theater!


2019 Official Selection: Narrative Short Film

After her date night goes bust, Erin must contend with an unexpected visitor at the door.

Director: Michael Trainotti
Writer(s): Michael Trainotti
Producer(s): Michael & Maureen Trainotti, Brian Palatucci, Clark D. Schaefer, Grant Housley, Rick Jones, Craig Davis, Kathleen Markel
Cast: Sabrina Howells, Brian Palatucci, Megan Rach

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Return to 2019 Official Selections Page

Suffer for Good

2019 Official Selection: Documentary Feature Film

Ethiopian boxer Seb Zewdie‘s Olympic dreams were knocked out when the Soviet Union and their allies boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. 35 years later, we find Seb in LA, a Pro-UFC and boxing coach still haunted by that tough punch.

Director: Danny Simmons
Producer(s): Louis Benjamin Del Guercio, Danny Simmons, David Fisch, Trevor Ward
Cast: Seb Zewdie, Jared Papazian, Jesse Merritt, Chad George, Rick Hodes

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The story of a man who knows neither victory nor defeat.

Return to 2019 Official Selections Page