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The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival's 12th edition announces the awards

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The Votes Are In!

SANTA FE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS 2020

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival's 12th edition is our most unique festival to date, having faced the adversity that most film festivals, non-profit groups, and other arts organizations encountered during 2020. While SFiFF has adjusted to the circumstances, our mission remains the same, and the artist outreach and cultural significance of our festival are now more essential than ever.

We are delighted to recognize the talents of our filmmakers and announce the following outstanding films, which have earned top scores from our festival jury.

 

 

 

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Best Narrative Feature
Our Own directed by Jeanne Leblanc

A social suspense about Magalie, a teenager who after an assault will have no choice but to take back the reins of her own life. Against all odds.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best Documentary Feature
MLK/FBI directed by Sam Pollard

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered today as an American hero: a bridge-builder, a shrewd political tactician, and a moral leader. Yet throughout his history-altering political career, he was often treated by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies like an enemy of the state. In this virtuosic documentary, veteran editor and director Sam Pollard (Two Trains Runnin’) lays out a detailed account of the FBI surveillance, fueled by the racist and red-baiting paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover. In crafting a rich archival tapestry, featuring some revelatory restored footage of King, Pollard urges us to remember that true American progress is always hard-won.

Screening at Motorama at the Downs Drive-In
Sunday, October 18th at 7:30pm, Gates open 5pm-7:15pm

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best New Mexico Feature
Truth or Consequences directed by Hannah Jayanti

In the shadow of the world’s first commercial spaceport, in the small desert town of Truth or Consequences, NM,  this experimental documentary follows five residents, set in a near future when space travel has begun. Combining documentary cinema, archival footage, experimental virtual reality worlds and an improvised score by Bill Frisell, the film meditates on progress, history, and how we navigate a sense of loss within ourselves and a changing world. (New Mexico only)

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best U.S. Short
Lost Kings directed by Brian Lawes

Searching for food, a boy breaks into a neighborhood home. But when the homeowners return, he becomes trapped inside with those he's stealing from.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival: Shorts Program 2 – Drama
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best International Short
The Present directed by Farah Nabulsi

On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy will it be to go shopping?

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival: Shorts Program 2 – Drama
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best Documentary Short
My Brother's Keeper directed by Laurence Topham

A former Guantánamo detainee, Mohamedou Ould Salahi, and his one-time American guard, Steve Wood, form an unlikely friendship that changes both of their lives forever.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival: Shorts Program 5 – Documentary
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best Animated Short
Grand Adventure Railroad directed by Hsiao-Shan Huang

Grand Adventure Railroad Company offers the rich to go sightseeing in slum communities. The touring train suddenly halts in a pitch black tunnel. An uninvited creature quietly sneaks on board...

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival: Shorts Program 4 – Animation
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best Experimental Short (TIE)
Flora My Dear directed by Dan Janos and Pile directed by Toby Auberg

Flora My Dear directed by Dan Janos: Shorts Program 5 – Documentary
A reconstruction of a moment of jealous rage in photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s life. The film combines Muybridge’s still images, motion studies, text and phone footage to re-imagine the crime.

Pile directed by Toby Auberg: Shorts Program 4 – Animation
Attempting to put human constructs in order, Pile uncovers a vertical habitat modeling the material progression from bare survival to the unhinged dystopia of late capitalism.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets: Animation Shorts

 

 

Tickets: Documentary Shorts

 

 

 

 

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Best Overall New Mexico Short, Best NM Short Documentary
Mermaids Against Plastic: Tamara directed by Sylvia Johnson

Tamara is from the ocean and water runs in her veins.  When she discovers plastic in her beloved ocean, she sets out to get the diving industry to stop using single use plastic.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Fest: Shorts Program 9 – NM Documentary Shorts
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

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Best New Mexico Narrative Short
Away, Together directed by Sana Malik

Ayah is a 10 year old refugee who grew up in a camp in Pakistan. After moving to New Mexico with her dad, she is forced to go on her first ever camping trip. A weekend of misunderstanding leads her to get lost in the mountains where she connects to a memory she didn’t know she had. As she explores this foreign place, she comes closer to finding her own story.

Screening at SFiFF's Virtual Festival: Shorts Program 8 – NM Narrative Shorts
Wednesday, October 14th–Sunday, October 18th

 

Tickets

 

 

 

 

MEET THE 2020 SFiFF JURY

 

Narrative Features Jury 
Laura Terruso - Director of the Netflix film Work It. She co-wrote and directed the comedy Good Girls Get High, now available on HBO Max.  Her feature debut as writer/director/producer Fits And Starts premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival and is available on Amazon. She co-wrote and co-produced the film Hello, My Name Is Doris, starring Sally Field. Released by Roadside Attractions, it went on to become one of the top grossing indies of 2016. Laura graduated from NYU's graduate film program at the Tisch School of the Arts.

Kathleen Broyles - President of the Board of The Milagro Initiative, and is a consultant to Sundance Institute, where she has worked since 1990. Kathleen is also a location casting director known for productions like Honeydripper and Silver City

Cassidy Freeman - Known for her roles in television's The Righteous Gemstones, Smallville and Longmire, actress and musician Cassidy Freeman also acted in and produced the stunning New Mexico-filmed feature length drama, Cortez.

Ed Khmara - Known for his work as an American screenwriter, actor, and producer. He is best known for his work on Enemy Mine, Ladyhawke and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

Jon Moritsugu - Making movies since 1985, the writer/director has created a miasma of protopunk deconstructions of popular genres and formats with scabrous and pointedly garish results. The New York Times describes them as "funny, anarchic, provocative and exhilarating". Since 1989 he has collaborated with his wife of 25 years and creative partner, Amy Davis, when he directed her in his first feature, My Degeneration, which played at Sundance and was hailed by Rolling Stone as “One of the top 25 greatest punk rock movies of all time.” 

Ani Simon-Kennedy - Raised in Paris and based in New York, Ani Simon-Kennedy is a feature film, documentary and commercial director. Under the banner of Bicephaly Pictures, she collaborates with cinematographer Cailin Yatsko on socially-conscious stories. Her second narrative feature, The Short History of the Long Road, starring Sabrina Carpenter, Steven Ogg, Maggie Siff, and Danny Trejo, won Best New Mexico Narrative Feature at SFiFF 2019.

Documentary Features Jury
Glenn Silber - Two-time Academy-Award nominee Glenn Silber is the director of The War at Home, Atomic Artist, and El Salvador: Another Vietnam.

Alexandria Bombach - An award-winning director, cinematographer, and editor from Santa Fe, NM, her recent work has focused on exploring ethics in journalism and advocacy, and challenging misperceptions of the refugee crisis. Her feature-length documentary, On Her Shoulders (2018), won Best Directing in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards, and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature. Alexandria is the founder of the Santa Fe Editing & Writing Residency, a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow, and a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Fellow.

Maura Studi - Actress, producer, and writer Maura Studi is known for Defending the Fire and A Thousand Voices

Jenifer McShane - An independent filmmaker committed to using film to bridge understanding in situations where structural, cultural, or religious divisions that typically keep people apart. Her Emmy Award-winning film, Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops won the Jury Award for Empathy & Craft at SXSW in 2019 and multiple jury prizes at other film festivals including the 2019 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.  Jenifer spent nearly five years visiting Bedford Hills Correctional Facility to make her previous documentary, Mothers of Bedford, which reveals the impact of incarceration on jailed mothers and their children. 

Holly Morris - Holly Morris is an author, filmmaker and presenter best known for her work on the PBS series' Globe Trekker and Adventure Divas, as well as for the feature films she directs and writes, including The Babushkas of Chernobyl and the forthcoming Exposure, about the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition.

New Mexico Features Jury
Nathan Hollis, Castle Searcy, and Lily Zepeda

Short Film Jury
Alem Dauletkulov, Colleen Hammond, Judith Kriger, Castle Searcy, Matthew Spain, Patti White, Kosta Nikas, Jordyn Romero, and Scott Hussion

 

 

 

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