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By Film Threat Staff | July 9, 2001 announced the winners of the second annual Short Movie Awards, a landmark annual event showcasing the hottest talents in lesbian and gay short filmmaking. The event includes $15,000 in cash prizes awarded by a celebrity jury, as well as online Audience Awards.
After ten hours of viewing and debating the 25 finalists, the Jury members made their decisions. They selected two stellar filmmakers, Eva Saks and Aaron Walker, to split the $10,000 Grand Prize for the second annual awards. Walkerpis “Summer Light” is a chilling account of a young boy who is imprisoned in a junkyard by his cruel master. “Family Values,” by Saks, is a disturbingly funny documentary that chronicles Becky and Donna, a nice lesbian couple who have a house in the suburbs and run a family business cleaning up death scenes.
“This event provides a unique and essential opportunity for queer film and videomakers to have their work recognized and awarded,” said Outfest/Sundance programmer and Movie Awards juror Shannon Kelley.
“The Short Movie Awards presents the best GLBT short films anywhere,” said senior entertainment producer Jenni Olson. “We’re thrilled to reward talented queer short moviemakers resources while offering our customers access to media they just canpit get in their hometowns.”
And The Winners Are ^ “Casualty,” by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson, takes home the Experimental First Prize. This lush film is shot entirely underwater and explores the unraveling of an intimate relationship. The Comedy First Prize goes to Robert Kennedypis “Hi Ipim Steve,” a quirky portrait of a young man who is frustrated with his love life and turns to telephone dating. First-time filmmaker Tadeo Garcia will take home the First Prize for Drama with “Broken Warning,” which takes a disquieting look at two Latino gang kids who must hide their love. “Numb” receives the First Prize in the Animation category. Directed by Dino Alberto and Dave Hughes, this eerily animated short takes you to a land of lost souls with a secret. “Destinypis Children,” by Kevin OpiKeefe, is the Documentary First Prize winner. This intimate portrait reveals one manpis trials adopting a child.
The Audience Has Chosen ^ Throughout the month of June, over a half million people visited the site to watch and vote for their favorites in the second annual Short Movie Audience Awards. Jonathan Waldpis heart-wrenching and beautiful film, “Lives of the Pharaohs,” wins the audience award for Drama. “No Backup” by Efrat Tal, will take home the Documentary audience award. This touching video chronicles real-life trials of one gay police officer in Los Angeles. The Experimental audience award goes to “Lullaby,” by Antonia Kao. In stunning black and white, “Lullaby” offers a magical alternative creation myth. “Color Me Gay,” by Eric Waddell and Jeffrey Wylie, wins the audience award for Comedy. This laugh-a-minute “instructional video” explores all the questions people who are struggling to knock down the closet door might have. Rounding out the awards is Animation audience award winner “Piki and Poko: The Adventure Begins!” by Mark Ewert and David Cutler. This highly stylized digital animation follows two Japanese schoolgirls who have a very special bond.
The distinguished Movie Awards jury included such gay and lesbian film industry notables as openly gay actor Wilson Cruz (“Supernova,” “All Over Me,” “My So-Called Life”), Sundance Film Festival and Outfest programmer Shannon Kelley, and acclaimed indie director Jamie Babbit (“But I’m a Cheerleader,” the WB’s “Popular”).
Cash award winners will be presented with awards at a special Short Movie Awards ceremony and program at Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (July 12-22, 2001). The prizewinning filmmakers will be flown to Outfest for the Awards ceremony, where they will participate in the largest film festival of any kind in Southern California, attended by leading figures in the entertainment industry. AtomFilms will give consideration to all finalists for possible international distribution deals, and Picture This! Entertainment will be screening finalists for potential inclusion on a 2001 Short Movie Awards DVD release.
All the winning films, as well as all the finalists, are available for viewing at the PlanetOut web site.

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