2015 Films

Award Winning Films


Best Picture
Best Picture Under $5,000
Audience Choice
Chip Hackler
16 min. Budget $4,785. USA
One week from retiring, security guard Hank Goodman stares at blank monitors, and a bleak future. Trapped in his little booth, he yearns for adventure, and true love. He’s smitten with Donna, who parks in his lot each day, but so is the dastardly Rizzo. Will the cosmos conspire to help out poor Hank?

The Palooka

Best Picture Under $25,000
Zack Kron
15 min. Budget $12,000. USA
“The Palooka” is based on one of Tennessee Williams’ long-lost short plays, in which an up-and-coming fighter meets an older palooka before his fight. The washed-up fighter takes the rookie boxer under his wing and regales him with stories of his childhood hero, Galveston Joe. Will either man get to live those storied dreams?


Best Picture Under $500
Best Editing
Cameron Gade
2 min. Budget $400. USA
A strangely unsettling yet simple and mundane scenario.

Eye of the Storm

Best Music Video
YouTube Channel
Aaron Sorenson
5 min. Budget $10,000. USA
Garrett Garfield's new single debut song is a music video of a girl running away from the inevitable storm that will take her away.


Best International Under $10,000
Rajko Ristanović
9 min. Budget $1,000. Serbia
Vlada is a happy barber, the best in his town. One day, an unexpected visitor of his barbershop triggers a traumatic childhood memory...


Best Acting - Skyler Day
Chris Adler
6 min. Budget $600. USA
A backwoods girl teaches her mother a valuable lesson in loyalty.

Mr. Lockjaw

Best Cinematography
Best Directing
Byron Erwin
58 min. Budget $15,000. USA
Mr. Lockjaw is the story of Miles Brimley, a struggling children's entertainer who is dragged into the underworld of criminal interrogation and torture by his deranged dummy, Mr. Lockjaw. Finding his hole dug deeper and deeper, Miles has no choice but to give in to Mr. Lockjaw's increasingly dangerous desires. Miles and Lockjaw's situation is further complicated by the crumbling empire of their once powerful employer, Hubaldus Hercolani; his number one in command, Leonard Stanley; and a blackmailed police officer, Bill Preslin. If that weren't enough to contend with, Detective Schafley, a by the book gumshoe, is pulled into a murder case with Miles as the prime suspect... or should that be Mr. Lockjaw?

The Original

Best Student Film
Arthur Veenema
9 min. Budget $1,000. USA
Maia Long is a computer programmer evaluating a digital replication of her own mind. She notices that the machine is growing rapidly and thinking for itself. As the situation grows out of her control, Maia comes to the realization that this simulation may be an authentic consciousness, and their interaction casts her own individuality into doubt.

Life on the streets

Best Documentary
Simon Waller
8 min. Budget $149. United Kingdom
What’s it like to be homeless? This film gathers together a collection of stories direct from those who – through circumstance – have wound up living on the streets. From riding the buses, to dodging rats and coping with ill health, find out about just some of the challenges rough sleepers face each day and those they overcome with the help of a homeless charity in London called The Passage.

Cereal Killer

Local Favorite
Honorable Mention
Braxton Paas
5 min. Budget $200. USA
As if the world isn't sick enough. Now there's a new kind of killer, a cereal killer.

Official Selections

The Good Sacrifice

Braxton Paas
4 min. Budget $5. USA
When Braxton's day keeps repeating, he has to find a way to move onto the next day.

Time played

Maria Askedal
2 min. Budget $50. Norway
A man tries to help a stranger who is stuck in an entrance to a building. TIME PLAYED is a microbudget short; a twisted thriller and a collaboration between Norway and Spain.

Far From You

Dan McBride
8 min. Budget $100. USA
I story during WWII and the connection between two young lovers.

Far Away

Bryan Hansen
7 min. Budget $200. USA
With little left, Gabe must discern his own fate while taking his infected wife far away from one of the last bastions of hope for humanity.


Dan McBride
16 min. Budget $200. USA
David tries to overcome the choices from his past to make a better life for himself but his life long friend insists that all they need is each other to be happy.

Enmity To Amity

Jase Van Meeteren
4 min. Budget $200. USA
David goes to his friends party. Once there, he realizes how much he would rather be by himself. Eventually, the judgmental eyes of everyone at the party drive him to seek refuge in the bathroom.

Nightblind: Beneath The Alien Plains

Rob York
15 min. Budget $2,000. USA
Trapped deep in hostile territory on an alien world, four companions decide to hole up in a cave, which they will defend to the death against an onslaught of attacking planetary natives bent on taking captive a girl with mysterious powers.

Listen, Darkling

Doug Cunningham
14 min. Budget $7,500. USA
Listen, Darkling tells the story of a young woman whose search for a mysterious painting brings her to question her values, intellectual assumptions, and life choices. All the while, a certain ethereal, cinematic heritage hangs in the air like a ghost or a memory just out of reach--a story familiar, recognizable, yet somehow elusive.


Mijbil Al Durwaza
7 min. Budget $250. USA
This video is for the song Pokey, by Corey Axt, a native of Richmond Virginia and a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. Pokey is a lilting acoustic tune that discusses the passage of time, growing up, growing old, and being eternally chained to our inevitable selves and our memories.

"Won't Be Broken"

Kathryn Moss
4 min. Budget $400. USA
Music video by Kathryn Lee Moss. "Won't Be Broken" by Keane "I've been knocked down, but I won't be broken. My spirit's reeling, but my arms are open. I won't be broken."

Cais Sodré Funk Connection - Offbeat (Official Music Video)

Richard F. Coelho
4 min. Budget $800. Portugal
The Cais Sodré Funk Connection "Offbeat" Official Music Video shows us the band in a desolate and void industrial location, coexisting with various surreal Gaiman alike characters that personify theirs and ours features, fears, aspirations and more, in a fun and offbeat way.

mïus - Tomorrow (Official Music Video)

Peter Varsics
5 min. Budget $1,000. Hungary
Music video for the song "Tomorrow", which is about the unknown future, the pain and necessity of letting go and also about hope.

Fix You

Cassidy Hilton
6 min. Budget $2,000. USA
An experiment in visual storytelling, Fix You is a short film about a couple's breakup, using only music to tell the story. inspired by and set to the music of Coldplay's "Fix You."

"Tell Me" Tom Babbitt

Thomas Babbitt
3 min. Budget $5,000. USA
A man struggles to find some manner of escape from the prison of his own mind, where mostly chaos and fear rule - and the lines between real and unreal endlessly blur.

Jeanne & Mike: Original Art

Kathy Drasky
14 min. Budget $500. USA
A film about my parents and the art in their house. This 14-minute documentary explores a family of self-taught artists, photographers and filmmakers spanning three generations.

"San Quentin Inside"

S. Kramer Herzog
6 min. Budget $2,500. USA
Award winning filmmaker S. Kramer Herzog's documentary “San Quentin Inside”, presents a rare inside look at sports in prison.

The Little Things

Morten Haslerud
7 min. Budget $200. Norway
In this nostalgic drama, a young man relives his first encounter with the love of his life, as he is about to say his final goodbye to it. As past and present bleeds into one another, he is reminded of all of the little things he's come to love about her, and that the beginning is really what hurts in the end.


Pascal Pernix
19 min. Budget $7,000. Cayman Islands
A successful professional painter suffering from artist’s block is put under pressure in the run-up to a major exhibit celebrating his career.

Days of Z

Facebook Page
Travis Skene
26 min. Budget $200. USA
Days of Z is a short film with a setting that is loosely based upon the video game DayZ, which has become increasingly popular among the PC gaming community by selling millions of copies to users. The film depicts the story of 4 survivors who come in contact with one another during an apocalyptic crisis and how they will not only interact with one another, but face the threats of infection and other hostile groups.

DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till

Rob Underhill
70 min. Budget Unknown. USA
In an acting tour de force, one man performs 36 roles in the telling of the Emmett Till tragedy. In DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till (*18 BEST FILM AWARDS*), experience the story, trial, and unbelievable confessions of those accused of Emmett's murder in this riveting true-crime drama. 'His death was a spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in America,' Ed Bradley, Emmy Award-winning journalist. POWERFUL ENDORSEMENT by US UN Ambassador Andrew Young watch here: https://vimeo.com/115341159 'A TRIUMPH ...an exceptional film with multiple, powerful performances by Mike Wiley,' *4.5/5 Stars* -FILM THREAT. 'EXTRAORDINARY' *4/5 Stars* -Anne Brodie, CRITICIZE THIS! ***DAR HE is also available in Spanish Subtitles***

Honorable Mentions


Spencer Allred
8 min. Budget $200. USA
While on a nightly walk, a Man searches for his dog through a maze of reeds with nothing but a flashlight to see. Shot completely through the point of view of our main character, the Man soon realizes he is not alone among the reeds.

Two Cities

Dave Hogan
8 min. Budget $200. USA
Exploring Park City, Utah as a simultaneous mining ghost town and modern world-class resort destination.


Marc Kornblatt
23 min. Budget $250. USA
In celebration of his 60th birthday, a manically active man, with the help of his best friend, decides to sit for 60 minutes without doing anything. This light-hearted film documents the steps he takes over the two months leading up to his big sit.

Juvenile Justice: The Road to Reform

Evan Glass
8 min. Budget $9,500. USA
It was a turbulent spring of 2015 as protesters and rioters took to the streets of Baltimore expressing their frustration with the justice system. Fifty miles away seven high school students watched the scene unfold and asked themselves why it happened. What were the factors that lead to this situation, and more importantly, what could be done to make our youth safer in the communities where they live? This documentary was conceived and produced by the members of Gandhi Brigade Youth Media.


John Hellberg
40 min. Budget $40,000. Sweden
What could be easier than robbing a small bookie place on the outskirts of town? It’s during the year’s biggest horse race event and the betting center Washington’s Tobacco looks like the ultimate hit for some fast cash. Mousse is a man of pride and principles and is fed up with living as a second-class citizen. But what happens when he faces principles different to his own?

THE ROCK - An Ibex Adventure

Trevon Stoltzfus
44 min. Budget $12,000. USA
Some adventures call to you from far off places, but some call you back to where you started it all. Trevon Stoltzfus travels back to his roots and The Rock, or the Florida Mountains, in southern NM where the transplanted Bezoar Ibex call home and hold the title as the toughest animal in the US to bowhunt.

The Architect

YouTube Channel
Chad Gravallese
29 min. Budget $4,000. USA
An architect who designs his life just as meticulously as he designs buildings confronts misfortune when things don't go according to plan.

Letter to a Friend

YouTube Channel
Jason Paas
84 min. Budget $5,000. USA
On the heels of the allied invasion, a squad of thirteen U.S. soldiers led by Cpt. James C. Wright, are left to permanently scout ahead of their company. While fighting to stay alive, the battle between Sgt. Pete Cross and Cpl. Jude Goldstein grows more eminent. Moving closer to Germany, Cpt. Wright struggles with the mortality, hope, and faith of his men.

to be or not to be?

Darya Belkina
61 min. Budget $14,000. Kazakhstan
Takhir Umarov is a performer of the leading role, student of the ‘’ARDI’’ Rehabilitation center (Association of Parents of Disabled Children). In real life he dreams to become an actor. His diagnosis is Cerebral palsy. In addition, he is wheelchair-bound and stammers. Takhir does not have chances to realize the dream practically. We created this project in order to give him the opportunity to make his dream come true, to uncover the actor and human potential, to help him in being integrated into society. There are many talents among people with disabilities. Therefore, all roles of this film are performed by young people with disabilities. Every second of their lives is given to them by incredible struggle, which enforces them to put a question for themselves: “To be or not to be”? And despite the dramatic conditions of their existence, their answer is – to BE!