2017 Award Winners

The 48th Nashville Film Festival named winners across multiple categories at three ceremonies at Regal Hollywood 27, the festival’s flagship theater. The big winner was Ian MacAllister McDonald’s Some Freaks, which took home the Grand Jury Prize in the Narrative Competition as well as Best Actress for Lily Mae Harrington and Best Music. The winning short films in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Shorts competitions were all qualified to submit to the 2018 Academy Awards, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements. The selection included 303 films representing 56 nations chosen from over 5,500 entries from 125 nations.

The winners are as follows:

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Audience Award: Step, directed by Amanda Lipitz (USA)

SPECTRUM

Audience Award: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, directed by Jennifer M. Kroot (USA)

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Some Freaks, directed by Ian MacAllister McDonald (USA)
Honorable Mention: Play the Devil, directed by Maria Govan (Trinidad & Tobago)
Audience Award: The Migrumpies, directed by Arman T. Riahi (Austria)
Best Actor: Pyotr Skvortsov for his performance in The Student (Russia)
Best Actress: Lily Mae Harrington in Some Freaks (USA)
Best Screenplay: Play the Devil, written by Maria Govan (Trinidad & Tobago)
Best Music: Some Freaks, Composer Walter Sickert; Music Supervisor, Dan Wilcox (USA)
Special Jury Prize for Overall Film Aesthetics: Flowers of Evil, directed by Antti J. Jokinen (Finland)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Unrest, directed by Jennifer Rhea (USA)
Honorable Mention: Quest, directed by Jonathan Olshefski (USA)
Audience Award: Augie, directed by James Keach (USA)
Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Filmmaking: Small Talk, directed by Hui-Chen Huang (Taiwan)

Grand Jury Prize: The Eremites, directed by Ronny Trocker (Germany)
Honorable Mention: La Soledad, directed by Jorge Thielen Armand (Venezuela)
Audience Award (tie): Bomb City, directed by Jameson Brooks (USA)
Audience Award (tie): Girl Flu, directed by Dorie Barton (USA)
Special Jury Prize for Performance: Dave Davis for is performance in Bomb City (USA)

MUSIC FILMS/MUSIC CITY COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape, directed by Zack Taylor (USA)
Honorable Mention: Score: A Film Music Documentary, directed by
Matt Schrader (USA)
Audience Award: The Last Songwriter, directed by Mark Barger Elliott (USA)

GRAVEYARD SHIFT FEATURE COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: A Closer Walk with Thee, directed by John C. Clark & Brie Williams (USA)
Honorable Mention: Birdboy: The Lost Children, directed by Pedro Rivero | Alberto Vázquez (Spain)
Audience Award: Show Yourself, directed by Billy Ray Brewton (USA)
Best Actor: A.J. Knight for his performance in A Closer Walk with Thee (USA)
Best Actress: Suela Bako, in Bloodlands (Albania / Australia)

ANIMATED FEATURE COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Reveangance, directed by Bill Plympton (USA)
Audience Award: Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming), directed by Ann Marie Fleming (Canada)

TENNESSEE FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Kandyland, directed by Seth Graves (USA)
Audience Award: Wild Man, directed by Jacquie Phillips & Stefanie Black (USA)

EPISODIC COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize – Long Form: The Nest, directed by Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon (Brazil)
Grand Jury Prize – Short Form: Guest Appearances, directed by Elizabeth Guest (USA)
Audience Award: Long Live Death, directed by Sebastian Marka (Germany)
Special Jury Prize: Tatanka Means, for his performance in The Minutes Collection (USA)

NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: What Tears Us Apart, directed by Hu Wei (France) (Qualified for Academy Award Consideration)
Best American Short Film: American Paradise, directed by Joe Talbot (USA)
Honorable Mention – American Short Film: A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock (USA / Canada)
Best International Short Film: Import, directed by Ena Sendijarevic (Netherlands)
Honorable Mention – International Short Film: Thank You Mr. Imada, directed by Sylvain Chomet (France)
Audience Award: 4:15 PM The End of the World, directed by Gabi Virginia Sarga & Catalin Rotaru (Romania)

ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Garden Party, directed by Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire, Theophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Na (France) (Qualified for Academy Award Consideration)
Honorable Mention: Kaputt/Broken – The Woman’s Prison at Hoheneck, directed by Volker Schlecht & Alexander Lahl (Germany)
Honorable Mention: E is for Evolution, directed by Paul Kusmaul (Belgium)
Honorable Mention: The Absence of Eddy Table, directed by Rune Spaans (Norway)
Audience Award: Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island, directed by Lukas Schrank (Australia)

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Refugee, directed by Emily Moore & Joyce Chen (USA)
Honorable Mention: Moriom, directed by Francesca Scalisi & Mark Olexa (Switzerland / Bangladesh)
Audience Award: The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi, directed by Michelle Fiordaliso (USA / Pakistan)

EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: The Edge of Alchemy, directed by Stacey Steers (USA)
Honorable Mention: The Reflection of Power, directed by Mihai Grecu (France)
Audience Award: The Reflection of Power, directed by Mihai Grecu (France)

COLLEGE STUDENT SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: The Art of Not Appearing, directed by Pernille Rivedal Hellevik (Norway)
Honorable Mention: The Alan Dimension, directed by Jac Clinch (United Kingdom)
Special Jury Prize for Performance: Lucy Chappell in Spilt Milk (United Kingdom)

GRAVEYARD SHIFT SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: I Am the Doorway, directed by Robin Kasparik (Czech Republic)
Honorable Mention: Pearlies (Quenottes), directed by Pascal Thiebaux & Gil Pinheiro (Canada)
Special Jury Prize for Exuberance, Vision and Naughtiness: Ghosting the Party, directed by Carlos Alberto Fernandez Lopez
Audience Award: Hand Fart, directed by Stanley Wong & Travis Ashkenasy

TENNESSEE FIRST SHORTS

Grand Jury Prize – Narrative Short: A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock
Grand Jury Prize – Documentary Short: Still Sophie, directed by Caroline Knight
Grand Jury Prize – Student Short: Millennium Girl, directed by Grayson Propst
Tennessee Horizon Audience Award: Martha, directed by Taylor Burgess

YOUNG FILMMAKERS SHORTS COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: Jouska, directedy Wynter Rhys
Audience Award: Recess, directed by Brett Elam