The Central Nebraska Film Festival concluded January 29th with the controversial documentary “416” winning both the Feature Film Award and Audience Award! “416” is a documentary by Omaha filmmaker Jim Fields that explores the issue of same sex marriage and civil rights for gay couples in Nebraska. The movie’s title comes from the Nebraska 2000 ballot initiative 416 which states that: “only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska”. Passed into law by Nebraska voters in the 2000 elections, initiative 416 was the most extreme and comprehensive Defense of Marriage Amendment created in the United States.

Patrick Rea’s suspenseful film “Hell to Pay” about a lonely housewife who gets revenge against her rude husband by making a voodoo doll took home the Best Short Film Award. A film graduate of the University of Kansas, Patrick Rea has been making short films and videos for the last six years.

The Central Nebraska Film Festival took place in Kearney, Nebraska January 28th and 29th. Five feature films and fifteen short films were screened for filmmakers and filmgoers from all over the country. Many of the filmmakers took part in a panel discussion where they described the process that went into creating their film as well as provided insight into the journey they had to take to get their film from script to screen. Below is a list of all the festival winners.

Best Feature:

1st Place: “416” by Jim Fields

2nd Place: “University Heights” by Scott Beck

3rd Place: “Halfway Point” by Chad Bring, Eric Dwight, & Kevin O’Neill

Best Short Film:

1st Place: “Hell to Pay” by Patrick Rea

2nd Place: “Elevator” by Peter John Ross

3rd Place: “White Room” by Hal Kravig

Audience Award: “416” by Jim Fields

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