This past August 7-9, “The Feel Good Film Festival” celebrated films, filmmakers and creative artists that create entertainment with positive themes, happy endings, that make audiences laugh, and that captures the beauty of our world. FGFF will encourage the development, production, and distribution of films that share those characteristics as it offers a yearly touchstone for the viewing and enjoyment of those films.
The Feel Good Film Festival (FGFF) announced the award winners for its sophomore outing with Max Mannix’s and John Radel’s DANCE OF THE DRAGON taking home the Panavision Grand Jury Prize for Best Feel Good Feature Film and Julie Sagalowsky’s LUCY: A PERIOD PIECE named as the winner of the SLX Rentals & Sales Grand Jury Prize for Best Feel Good Short Film.
Hollywood Rentals Audience Awards went to Chris Dowling’s ROCK SLYDE for Feel Good Feature and Angelo Salvatore Restaino’s GRANDE DRIP for Feel Good Short. The Feel Good Award for Best Student Film was presented to Kunal Savkur for HAPPY MAN’S PANTS and Best Feel Good Webisode went to PINK EYE. Cass Warner’s documentary THE BROTHERS WARNER received a Special Mention in the Feel Good Feature category.
UNIVERSAL SIGNS took the two acting categories with Anthony Natale and Sabrina Lloyd named as Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, and SUMMERHOOD also snagged two honors, with Jacob Medjuck named Best Director and Ewan Dickson cited for Best Production Design. The Panther Award for Best Cinematography went to John Radel for his work on DANCE OF THE DRAGON.
Travis Mann’s, David White’s and Michael Toay’s “Godspeed” won the Feel Good Screenplay Competition and Skyebat (Stephanie Batailler) won the Feel Good Original Song Competition for the song, “Step on the Moon.”
Graphic Designer June Tan, who was representing DANCE OF THE DRAGON at the film festival was presented with a prize package of more than $70,000 ($60,000 in-kind & 4 week camera rental from Panavision, $3000 in-kind from Hollywood Rentals, $3000 in-kind from SLX Rentals & Sales, $2000 in-kind from ISS Props, $1500 in-kind from Fujifilm, $500 in-kind from IndieRentals, 1 copy of Final Draft Version 8 and 1 copy of Showbiz Budgeting as the winner of the Best Feel Good Feature Length Film.
Sagalowsky received a prize package of more than $4500 ($1500 in-kind from SLX Rentals & Sales, $1000 in-kind from Hollywood Rentals, ISS Props and Fujifilm, 1 copy of Final Draft version 8 and 1 copy of Showbiz Budgeting for winning the Best Feel Good Short Film.
Dowling received $1000 in-kind from Hollywood Rentals, as well as 1 copy each of Final Draft Version 8 and Showbiz Budgeting for the Feature Film Audience Award and Restaino took home Final Draft Version 8 and Showbiz Budgeting as well.
For his Best Feel Good Student Film honor, Savkur received a one week scholarship at the New York Film Academy, $800 in-kind from SLX Rentals and Sales and 1 copy of Final Draft Version 8. Bryan also received copies of Final Draft version 8 and Showbiz Budgeting for his Best Webisode award.
$3000 in-kind from SLX Rentals & Sales was given to Radal along with his Panther Award for Best Feel Good Cinematography; the Best Actor and Best Actress nods came with a 1 year membership to Film Independent to go along with the Final Draft version 8 and Showbiz Producer and Showbiz Film and TV Contracts software, along with a demo reel shot by FINT Films; and Medjuck’s Best Directing nod included Showbiz Budgeting and Showbiz Scheduling, as well as a 1 week scholarship to New York Film Academy. The Best Production Design award included $500 in-kind for ISS Studio props, a 3- hour design consultation by MEHRNOOSH, and a 1-year membership to Film Independent.
Memberships to Film Independent and InkTip.com as well as the Final Draft and Showbiz Software were part of the package presented for the Best Feel Good Screenplay and 1 day of studio recording with an engineer at Tuff Cut Sound was awarded for the Best Feel Good Original Song.
Kristen Ridgway Flores, FGFF Founder and Co-Director, said, “The second year of the Feel Good Film Festival was a huge and happy leap forward. Our Opening Night Gala presentation of ROCK SLYDE was sold out with a standing-room-only crowd and each screening block, panel, and musical performance throughout the weekend had a solid attendance. I was thrilled to celebrate Ed Asner and our jury and audience award-winning projects this year. They are an inspiration! The positive feedback we have received again this year makes me confident there is a need for the festival’s counter-programming and I could not feel more thrilled at what we’ve accomplished in just our second year.”
The festival featured 60 films, including 16 features, 34 shorts, and 10 student films, as well as 2 webisodes. Along with the films offered throughout the festival, highlights included Carlos Mencia serving as host for the Opening Night Gala; a filmmaker panel exploring the limits of language and content in feel good entertainment and films featuring Emmy winning writer Rick Overton, Frank Conniff (Mystery Science Theater 3000), Lisa Ann Walter (DRILLBIT TAYLOR), Jacob Medjuck (SUMMERHOOD) and David Slevin (Manager, Comedy Development, FOX Broadcasting); musical performances in the Egyptian Theater Courtyard; and an outdoor bazaar highlighted by “green” and health-oriented vendors.
The weekend concluded Sunday evening with a Closing Night Awards Gala hosted by Brian Krause (“Charmed”) featuring a Tribute to film and television legend, Ed Asner. Asner could not attend, but sent an acceptance video. The ceremony also included the screening of a music video of the song “Til My Voice is Gone” by The Old Ceremony that starred Asner and Eileen Ryan. The award winners all received the distinctive Feel Good Film Can w Sunflower awards designed by Lauren Bicknell and Scott Thewes with bases by Corkologie.
One of the highlights of the award ceremony occurred when Anthony Natale, who is deaf, accepted his Best Feel Good Actor award for UNIVERSAL SIGNS. As part of his acceptance speech, which he signed and was translated for the audience, Natale “taught” everyone how to say “feel good” in sign language.
BEST FEEL GOOD FEATURE FILM: DANCE OF THE DRAGON
Dir: Max Mannix and John Radel
Exec. Prod: Pierre Andurand, Gary Hamilton, Max Mannix, John Radel, Ying Ye
Prod: Robin Leong
Cast: Hyuk Jang, Fann Wong, Jason Scott Lee
SPECIAL MENTION: THE BROTHERS WARNER
Dir: Cass Warner
BEST FEEL GOOD SHORT FILM: LUCY: A PERIOD PIECE
Dir: Julie Sagalowsky
Prod: Josh Feldman, Julie Sagalowsky
BEST FEEL GOOD STUDENT FILM: HAPPY MAN’S PANTS
Dir: Kunal Savkur
Prod: Zach Guglin, Kunal Savkur, Stephanie Sorenson
BEST FEEL GOOD WEBISODE: PINK EYE
Dir: Brinton Bryan
Prod: Ryan Alosio, Brinton Bryan, Julie Gonzalo
BEST FEEL GOOD DIRECTOR: Jacob Medjuck (for SUMMERHOOD)
BEST FEEL GOOD ACTOR: Anthony Natale (for UNIVERSAL SIGNS)
BEST FEEL GOOD ACTRESS: Sabrina Lloyd (for UNIVERSAL SIGNS)
BEST FEEL GOOD CINEMATOGRAPHY (PANTHER AWARD): John Radel (for DANCE OF THE DRAGON)
EST FEEL GOOD PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ewan Dickson (for SUMMERHOOD)
FEEL GOOD ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY AWARD: “Godspeed”
Writer: Travis Mann, David White & Michael Toay
FEEL GOOD ORIGINAL SONG AWARD: “Step on the Moon”
Music & Lyrics: Skyebat (Stephanie Batailler)
FEEL GOOD FEATURE: ROCK SLYDE
Dir: Chris Dowling
Exec Prod: Ed Ojdana, JB Orecchia, Dolores Robinson, Patrick Warburton
Prod: Milan Chakraborty, Chris Dowling, Jason Manns, Will Walace, Josh Young
Cast: Patrick Warburton, Andy Dick, Elaine Hendrix, Rena Sofer
FEEL GOOD SHORT: GRANDE DRIP
Dir: Angelo Salvatore Restaino
Exec. Prod: Hugo Perez, Jeff Silverman
Prod: Ryan Cheevers, Emily Moss, Greg Wilson