“Louder Than a Bomb” and “Earthwork” are the big winners at the 19th annual Woods Hole Film Festival, collecting jury awards for best documentary and best narrative features, respectively. “Louder Than a Bomb” was also awarded the “Best of the Fest” Audience Award, while “Earthwork” enjoyed the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. In other words, the jury and audience agreed. From the official press release:

The winners of the 19th annual Woods Hole Film Festival were announced on Saturday, August 7, at the Landfall Restaurant in Woods Hole. Greg Jacobs’s and Jon Siskel’s (the late Gene Siskel’s nephew) Louder Than a Bomb, about four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for the world’s largest youth slam, won the Jury Award for Best Documentary and the “Best of the Fest” Audience Award. Earthwork, the story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd by Chris Ordal of Los Angeles, won the festival’s Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Narrative Feature.

The festival’s other top jury award-winners include:

  • Best Short Documentary & New England Emerging Artist Award, Short: Calling My Children by David Binder (Boston), an intimate portrayal of the effects of love and loss on one family’s struggle for unity with AIDS as a subtext.
  • Best Narrative Short: Piquo by Josh Hume (New York), an animated film about a girl from the Artic Tundra who ends up as the odd girl out in her class of five’s senior prom
  • Best Film, Cape Cod Section: House of Bones by Victoria Campbell (Martha’s Vineyard), a portrait of a family coming to terms with the recent death of the matriarch and the unavoidable sale of a big, rambling Vineyard summer home by the sea.
  • Best Cinematography: Feed the Fish by Michael Matzdorff (Los Angeles), about a burnt out children’s book author who finds a muse, a mentor and a nemesis on his way to publishing again on the shores of icy cold Lake Michigan in Wisconsin
  • New England Emerging Artist’s Award, Feature: The Aristocrat by Greg Croteau (Boston), about a traveling salesman in the late 1980’s who spends a year figuring out what to do next, but not before training his replacement, a young con man who entangles himself in every aspect of the salesman’s life

In announcing the winners, Executive Director Judy Laster remarked, “With 80% of filmmakers attending this year, it was truly a filmmaker’s festival. Having Filmmaker in Residence and two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple speak after the screening of her films also contributed to the collegial atmosphere.”

The complete list of winners includes:

Earthwork (l to r): Actress Laura Kirk, actor and producer Brendon Glad, and writer, director and producer Chris Ordal after the screening of Earthwork at the Woods Hole Film Festival. Photo credit Anne OBrien

Jury Awards
Best Narrative FeatureEarthwork by Chris Ordal
Best Documentary Feature Louder Than a Bomb by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel
Best Narrative ShortPiquo by Paul Yee
Best Documentary Short FilmCalling My Children by David Binder
Best Animated ShortThe Hen House by Elena Pomares
Best Film, Cape Cod SectionHouse of Bones by Victoria Campbell 
Best CinematographyFeed the Fish by Michael Matzdorff

New England Emerging Artist Awards
Feature: The Aristocrat by Greg Croteau, Boston
Short: Calling My Children by David Binder, Boston 

This year’s jurors included an esteemed group of film programmers, distributors, filmmakers, actors, and journalists including:
Feature Narrative: Erika Kao-Haley, Distributor, Multivisionnaire; Michael Abrams, Manager, Abrams Group; Philippe Caland, Filmmaker, Ripple Effect

Feature Documentary: Patrick Hubley, Program Director, Salt Lake City Film Center; Flo Grace, President, Grace PR; Melinda Esquibel, Producer, Mundo Maravilla

Short Narrative: Necar Zadegan, Actress, 24; Miranda De Poncier, Producer, Northwood Productions; Robin Jonas, Independent Producer (Swing Vote, Mr. Brooks)

Short Documentary: Susan Hoffman, Educational Film Distributor – Intermedia; Michael Nash, Director, Climate Refugees, Fuel; Gregg Helvey, Academy Award nominated short film director, Kavi  

Short Animation: Ramin Zahed, Editor in Chief, Animation Magazine; Tom Sito, Animator/Educator (UCLA/USC); Irene Kotlarz, Founding Director, PLATFORM International Animation Festival 

Louder Than a Bomb: Co-directors Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel at the Q&A following the screening of Louder Than a Bomb.

Audience Awards
Best of the Fest: Louder Than a Bomb by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel, Chicago
Best Narrative Feature, Comedy: The Drummond Will by Allan Butterworth, United Kingdom
Best Narrative Feature, Dramatic: Earthwork by Chris Ordal, Los Angeles
Best Documentary Feature: The Rivals by Kirk Wolfinger, Maine
Best Documentary Short: A Life Taken by Josh Banville, Boston
Best Dramatic Short: Death, Taxes & Apple Juice by Tamar Halpern, US
Best Animated Short: The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger by Bill Plympton, New York
Best Cape Cod Section: House of Bones by Victoria Campbell, Martha’s Vineyard
Best Children’s Short: The Happy Duckling by Gili Dolev, Scotland

Screenwriting Competition
Winner: Initial Descent (An Oklahoma Hightower Story) by Geordie McLelland, MA

Winner: The Voyeur by John Bengel, CA

Winner: Bystander by Robert Cohen, NY

Family Film
Winner: Too Fat To Fly South by Anthony Amenta, CA

Winner: Shoot by Donna Bellorado, CA

Winner: Breaking the Fourth by Melody Cooper, NY
Short Drama
Winner: Song Bird by Kelly L. Frey, TN

Short Comedy
Winner: Momfia by Dean Watts, TX

Short Family
Winner: Aliens and Princesses by Russ Brandon, NC

Short Sci-Fi/Horror
Winner: Trans by Paul Rogalus, NH

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