2016 DANCES WITH FILMS AWARD WINNERS AT CLOSING FESTIVAL GALA

“VIRTUAL REVOLUTION” And “NEXT STOP” taking top prizes

The Dances With Films, the paradigmatic Film Festival in Los Angeles announced their Awards winners at Sunday’s Awards Gala and the closing night of its 19th Festival edition. This year’s Dances With Films (DWF) showcased an exceptional and diverse group of filmmakers premiering 161 films, with the competitive lineup including 16 narrative features and 31 short films. The 47 competitive films line-up with a record 47 premieres – 22 World, 3 North American, 1 US premieres, 15 West Coast, 2 California, 1 Los Angeles, and 3 Southern California.

The topics of this year’s films ranged from postpartum depression, a comic strip character/creator in the throws of the changing her voice, and the restoration of iconic DeLoren time machine from ‘Back to the Future’ franchise.

The opening night’s film “Wolf Mother,” kicked off this year’s wildly anticipated festival to record crowds.  The following 10 days provided audiences with a multitude of genres, appealing to every kind of filmgoer’s taste. DWF 19’s incredibly diverse slates included acclaimed casts including: Ione Skye (“Say Anything”), Randall Park (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Annette O’Toole (“Superman III”) John Glover (“Smallville”), French Stewart (“3rd Rock From the Sun”), Nick Mancuso (“Stingray”), Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville”), Jay Ellis (“The Game”), Chris Weihl (“What Boys Like”), Lucy Russell (“Batman Begins”), Greg Powell (“Contagion”), Camille Sullivan (“The Butterfly Effect”), Gabrielle Rose (“If I Stay”), among others.

“This year’s slate of films proved once again why we do this. I am exceedingly proud of what we have created with this festival.  Highlighting amazing films and getting to know the even more amazing filmmakers who have fresh voices that deserve to be listened to, confirms to us as founders that we have created something really special with this festival.” states Leslee Scallon, Festival Co-Founder.

Dances With Films originated to bring to the forefront the best of up and coming filmmakers who, with deeply rooted creativity and innovative techniques, provide the festival with an exceptional line up. All competition films are selected from more than 2,000 entries and from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Taiwan, Brazil, Kurdistan, Australia, Romania, and Canada. 

“This year’s festival has certainly surpassed our optimistic expectations.  As we close in on our 20th year, we know that what we provide for the filmmakers is a valuable vehicle to showcase and highlight some of the best indie films from around the world.  We continue to evolve the festival and we consistently strive to enhance our presence and work model for every single festival we host each year. ” says Michael Trent, Festival Founder.

DWF kicked off their 19th festival season and presented over 11 days, beginning with the opening night party on June 2nd and ‘wrapped’ with the closing awards ceremony & after party which took place at Ohm Night Club on Sunday, June 12th.  All events were centrally located in the Hollywood & Highland complex. Dances With Films proudly touts its distinction as a discovery festival and highlights the ‘independent filmmaker’.

Dances With Films is sometimes referred to as a “summer camp” for filmmakers because of its awesomely friendly spirit, the fostering of camaraderie and continual efforts in helping filmmakers forge relationships that will last long after the end credits roll and the lights come up in the theatre.

GRAND JURY AWARD | COMPETITION FEATURES:

VIRTUAL REVOLUTION – Writer/Producer/Dir: Guy-Roger Duvert

Honorable Mention:

POP-UP – Writer/Dir: Stuart McBratney

GRAND JURY AWARD | COMPETITION SHORTS:  

NEXT STOP – Writer/Dir: Charlie Hamilton

***Winner Receives Academy Qualifying Theatrical Run from Laemmle’s Theaters***

Honorable Mention:

THE BOY WHO CRIED FISH – Writer/Dir: Dalia Musaad

OVERALL AUDIENCE AWARD | FEST SHORTS: 

KILLER FRIENDS – Dir: Zach Noe Towers & Tina Carbone

***Winner Receives Academy Qualifying Theatrical Run from Laemmle’s Theaters***

AUDIENCE AWARD | COMPETITION FEATURE: 

WE GO ON – Dir: Andy Mitton, Jesse Holland

AUDIENCE AWARD | COMPETITION SHORT: 

SNAKE BITE – Dir: Tim Hyten

AUDIENCE AWARD | DOCUMENTARY FEATURES:

VICTOR WALK – Dir: Michael David Lynch

AUDIENCE AWARD | FUSION FEATURE: 

HOW WE MET – Dir: Oscar Rene Lozoya II

AUDIENCE AWARD | FUSION SHORTS: 

KILLER FRIENDS – Dir: Zach Noe Towers & Tina Carbone

AUDIENCE AWARD | MUSIC VIDEO: 

DEVON KIRTZ “MY DAY” – Writer/Dir: Eric McCoy

ICA | INDUSTRY CHOICE AWARD OVER 40 MIN: 

CREEDMORIA – Writer/Dir: Alicia Slimmer

ICA | INDUSTRY CHOICE AWARD UNDER 40 MIN: 

TWINSBURG – Writer/Dir: Joe Garrity

Honorable Mention:

TATTOO YOU– Dir: S.R. Bindler

BLACKMAGIC SHORT FILM CHALLENGE

SPONSORED BY BLACKMAGIC DESIGN –  INSPIRED BY HENDRICK’S GIN

LIFE OF THE PARTY – Dir:  Jeff Lorch

AUDIENCE AWARD – TV PILOTS:

KILLING THE APOLOGETIC GIRL – Dir: Kimberly Aboltin

AUDIENCE AWARD – WEB SERIES:

LAST WILL AND TESTICLE – Writer/Producer/Dir: Byron Lane

This year’s returning DWF alumni served as Grand Jury Judges—

Features Judges: Iris Almaraz, Ashley Eberbach, Canyon Prince

Shorts Judges: Theresa Gallagher, Diana Zollicoffer, Joel Knoernschild, Amos Glick

Dances With Films 2016 Film Festival season took place from June 2 – 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at: Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

About Dances With Films

In 1998 DWF began and is designed as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrow’s talent today.  With many World and West Coast Premieres, DWF provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit.  With a vast number of submissions, the selection process is based solely on merit and discoverability, DWF continues its dedication and is a devoted champion of fresh and creative voices, mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors or producers.   For the past 19 years, DWF has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers from across the globe that diligently work year after year to see their dreams realized.   Last year, 15 features were picked up for distribution at the festival. Now, with over 12,000+ festival attendees plus 2.5 million impressions per month on www.danceswithfilms.com, DWF is loyal and dedicated to the indie filmmaker and is considered their champion here in Hollywood.

At the core of DWF is the narrative competition section, comprising both features and shorts. DWF is comprised of 16 competition features and nearly 3 dozen competition shorts.  In addition, DWF presents some of the most groundbreaking documentaries and cutting-edge music videos from the indie scene. All of this on top of the Fusion series, which brings together a multitude of amazing additional features and shorts.

Notable Dances With Films alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Gina Rodriguez, Bryan Cranston, Will Scheffer, Mark V. Olsen, Jesse Eisenberg, Mike Flanagan and John Hawkes, among others.

DWF’s Advisory Board includes:  Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman and Steve Wegner.

2016 Dances With Films Film Festival Sponsors include: Movietickets.com, Hendricks Gin, TCL Chinese Theatre, The Lot, SagIndie, Bricktown, APM Music, Final Draft, VER, OHM Night Club, Lucky Strike, Canters Restaurant, as well as the Loews Hollywood Hotel.

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