ORLANDO, FL (FNN News) – Independent film is not as glamorous as Hollywood; its plethora of challenges range from lacking capital to the point of a filmmaker spending his last dime to the dread of a lackluster screening thanks to low audience attendance, resulting from scanty marketing. Indie filmmakers relentlessly labor and use whatever resources they can get in order to realize their vision. There is nothing more gratifying than screening and winning at a film festival, and what better way to do it than winning on Orlando Film Festival’s tenth anniversary? OFFX, as it was called this year, screened over three hundred independent features, shorts, and music videos, and awarded its winners in the Plaza Cinema Café courtyard in Downtown Orlando at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Juicy Details
Here is the list of OFFX’s award categories, nominees, and winners. Some films were unique and forged their own categories, garnering a win by default. The Ralph Clemente Student Short Award was added this year in honor of prolific executive producer and Valencia Film program director Ralph Clemente, who passed away earlier this year. During OFFX’s kickoff on Wednesday, the festival honored Clemente posthumously with a new star on the Plaza Cinema Cafe’s mezzanine, donated by Glory Sandblasting.
Best Music Video
Chops, Tiger JK, Yoon Mi Rae: Turn It Up—Winner
Take Me With You/Emptiness – Matt Pond Pa
Winged Painter (Rainn – Benefit) Ft. Tori Amos
Best Web Series
America In The Shadows
Focus On Art Award
Winged Painter (Rainn Benefit) Ft. Tori Amos
Sideshow Of The Absurd
Ralph R. Clemente Student Short Award
The Discovery Of Allan Hindley—Winner
Greetings From Florida
My Spicy Grandma
Lies Beneath The Nightshade
Best Foreign Language Short Film
Song Of Seashore
My Father’s Eyes
Best Documentary Short Film
Ron Taylor Dr. Baseball—Winner
Son Of Mapes
Winds Of Change
The White House Overture
Best Animated Short Film
Ideas That Are Grand A Broken One
The Bunny Hole
Best Short Film
Jack Is Pretty—Winner
The Melancholy Doorman
Jerry Cavallaro Independent Spirit Award
Best Documentary Feature
The Record Man—Winner
Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield
Look At Us Now Mother
Welcome To Angkar
Social Awareness Award
The Conspiracy Project
Welcome To Angkar
Portraits Of Professional Caregivers
Best Foreign Language Feature
Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things—Winner
White House Overture
The Back Story-Changing The Lives Of Kids With Scoliosis
A Teen’s Guide To Autism
All In Time
Best Ensemble Cast
Actor For Hire—Winner
Route 30 Three!
Best Supporting Performance
Sean Bridgers – Blue—Winner
Willie Repoley – Quiet River
Steve Wilcox – Night Eyes
Michele Martin – Blue
Chicken – Inside Scarlett
Richard Hench – The Runaway—Winner
Drew Connick – Blue
Dan Zukovich – Scammerhead
Rebecca Morris – Quiet River
Adriana Mather – Honey Glue
James Bird – Honey Glue—Winner
Charles Huddleston – Blue
Jay Silverman – Girl On The Edge
Shane T. Hall – Concealed
Girl On The Edge
Many of the night’s winners were not present to receive their awards, but the ones who were received their plaques in awe, excitement, and humility, dedicating their awards to the other filmmakers in the audience and the film industry itself, and thanking the Orlando Film Festival team.
The Future of Florida’s Indie Film Scene
Visionary filmmakers continually emerge with high quality productions each year, and the Orlando Film Festival recognizes that, having screened movies from as far away as India and Pakistan this year. “We have no cap on how many movies we screen,” Chairman and Executive Director Dan Springen told FNN News. “We select movies based on whether they have high cinematic value, so if we get three hundred-plus submissions with high cinematic value, we’re screening three hundred movies. If only a hundred [have high cinematic value], then we’ll only screen a hundred.”
Springen also explained that this tenth anniversary marks the festival’s largest turnout. The general manager for Plaza Cinema Café 12 called and congratulated him on a record-breaking year for festival attendance. Springen also shared plans to expand the festival to include art and live music performances. “I want [Orlando Film Festival] to be a festival not unlike South By Southwest.” In the very near future—next year, in fact—Springen will make OFF even more exciting for filmmakers by introducing a screenplay contest.
Despite its challenges, independent film is a mainstay, and if this year’s OFF is any indication, film lovers and filmmakers worldwide have a lot to look forward to in the future.
Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She is also an author success coach, helping advisors, coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, experts, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book via her Inevitable AUTHORity™ Author Mentoring Program.
She has published seven books, all available on Amazon.com. Her newly released book, From a Babe 2.0, is now available on the Kindle.