The Fifth Annual Marco Island Film Festival has wrapped with Jury and Audience Awards being granted to 20 films.
Winners determined by audience votes were:
Best Short Comedy: “A Man’s Life” by Paul Quarrington of Canada
Best Short Drama: “The Book and The Rose” by Jeff Bemiss
Best Documentary: “The Ballad of Bering Strait” directed by Nina Gilden Seavey
Best Animation: Hamilton Mattress by Christopher Moll of United Kingdom
Best Foreign Language Film: “Nynke” written and directed by Pieter Verhoeff of Amsterdam; starring: Monic Hendrickx, Jeroen Willems, Peter Tuinman, Rients Gratama, Carine Crutzen, Joke Tjalsma
Best Feature Cine Latino: No Turning Back written and directed by Jesús Nebot and Julia Montego; starring: Jesus Nebot, Susan Haskell, Chelsea Rendon, Lindsay Price, Vernee Watson Johnson, Robert Vestal, Paul Ganus, and Joe Estevez
Best Feature Thriller: “Black Point” directed by David Mackay; screenplay by Thomas Ian Griffith and Greg Mellott; starring: David Caruso, Susan Haskell, Gordon Tootoosis, Thomas Ian Griffith, and Miguel Sandoval
Best Feature Comedy: Certain Guys written and directed by Stephen James; starring Diedrich Bader, Tom McCarthy, Robert Peters, Mark Pellegrino, Melora Hardin, Stephen James, Traci Lords, and Jerry Hardin
Best Feature Drama: “Touching Wild Horses” directed by Eleanore Lindo; screenplay by Murray McRae; starring Jane Seymour, Mark Rendall, Charles Martin Smith, James McGowan, and Danielle Bouffard
An independent jury also chose winners in various categories from among the 120 films screened during the festival competition. Announced as winners of The Marco Island Film Festival’s Pelican Awards are:
Cinematography: A tie between “Touching Wild Horses” and “The Last Place on Earth,” written and directed by James Slocum; starring Tisha Campbell-Martin, Dana Ashbrook, Mitchell Anderson, Zoey Drake, Matt Farnsworth, Billy Dee Williams, and Phyllis Diller
First Short: “The Book and The Rose” by Jeff Bemiss
First Feature: “Mother Ghost” directed by Rich Thorne; screenplay by Mark Thompson; starring Kevin Pollak, Mark Thompson, Dana Delaney, Charles Durning, Garry Marshall, David Keith, Joe Montegna, Jere Burns, and James Franco
Screenwriter: Alan Jacobs who also directed American Gun, starring James Coburn, Virginia Madsen, Barbara Bain, Alexandra Holden, and Ryan Locke
Director: Richard Thorne for “Mother Ghost”
International Feature: “Love and War” from the United Kingdom, directed by Lyndon Chubbuck; screenplay by Angela Workman; starring Brenda Fricker, Anna Friel, Molly Parker, Loren Dean, Julie Cox, Aden Young, Alex Rice, Caroline Cave, and Ben Weinberger
Screenplay: First Place to Kathy Kink for “Shrimp Po’Boy” and Second Place to Steve Wisniewski for “The Nite Spot”
The Sir Tim Rice Award for excellence in music in a short or documentary went to “In Her Mother’s Eyes,” by writer, director, producer Tara Raquel Cates.
The Terence Scarlet Award in honor of the late festival volunteer and enthusiastic supporter of the festival, went to filmmaker Suzanne DeLaurentiis, whose film “A Month of Sundays,” starred the late Rod Steiger.
The John Esvang Spirit Award for comedy went to “Robbie’s Brother,” the quirky film about a modern day immaculate conception. The film was written and directed by Tom Dorfmeister and the late Wendy Bott; starring Tom Dorfmeister, Barry Livingston, Martin Starr, Nicholle Tom, Ben Goldstein, Aimee Graham, Mike Malin, Kessia Randall, and Harley Cross.
The Dale Melbourne Herklotz Award went to Eric Swanson for the music in “The Last Place on Earth.”
High school and college student entries competed, with awards going to the following:
First Place College Award to Joey Jones of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA for “Little Red Plane.”
Second Place College Award to Jennifer Perchalla of Florida State University for “Hunger.”
First Place High School Award to Kapil Khimdas, a student at Northern Collegiate Institute for “Santa X.”
Second Place High School Award to Jordan Krumbine, of Naples, Florida, now attending the University of Miami for “Gone Goldfishin’.”
First Place Elementary School Award went to nationally recognized young filmmaker Chaille Stovall for “Party Animals.” Chaille attends Riviera Preparatory School in Miami.
Earlier in the week, the festival honored the late Rod Steiger with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Kevin Pollak starred in the festival’s opening night film, “Mother Ghost,” and was given the Modern Master Award. Robert Forster was bestowed a Golden Eagle Award for accomplished mastery of all aspects of the film industry. Jane Seymour also appeared at the festival and received the Crystal Palm Award for choosing scripts that reflect positive values and provide wholesome family entertainment.
For more post festival information, visit the Marco Island Film Festival website.

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