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28th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival Winners Announced



“Gutterbug” wins Jury Award for Best Narrative Drama & Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature; “Banana Split” wins Jury Award for Best Narrative Comedy; and “Runner” wins Best of the Fest Audience Award


WOODS HOLE, MA–The Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands and one of the top fifty film festivals in the world worth the entry fee for five years running according to MovieMaker Magazine, concluded its 28th edition on Saturday, August 3, with the announcement of this year’s winners at the Captain Kidd Restaurant in Woods Hole. With 54 feature length and 110 short films, this year’s festival once again experienced unprecedented competition with two awards presented in each category. More than 120 filmmakers, the majority of who were making their directing debuts, and over 6000 audience members attended this year’s Festival.

Three of the festival’s top winners share New England roots. Gutterbug, University of New Hampshire graduate Andrew Gibson’s gritty directing debut about homeless, drug-addicted street punks that was filmed almost entirely in the Boston neighborhood of Allston, won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Runner, Worcester, MA native Bill Gallagher’s life-affirming documentary about Guor Mading Maker, who ran away from his refugee camp in war-torn Sudan and ended up in New Hampshire when he was only nine years old, eventually becoming a running sensation and qualifying for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, won the Best of the Fest Audience Award. It Started as a Joke, Julie Smith Clem and Ken Druckerman’s portrayal of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival’s decade-long run that celebrates the Lexington, MA-bred comic's (the voice of Gene Belcher in Bob’s Burgers) role in the alternative comedy movement, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.


Additional Jury Awards were bestowed on Banana Split, Benjamin Kasulke’s coming of age story about two teenage girls who develop the perfect kindred spirit friendship until they discover that one of them is dating the other’s ex, for Best Comedy Feature, and Changing the Game, Michael Barnett’s groundbreaking profile of three transgender high school competitive athletes trying to live life as their most authentic selves, for Best Documentary Feature. Baby Splitters by Sam Friedlander (Amazon’s The Residents), which stars his Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant star Mark Feuerstein in a story about two couples who hatch a plan to have and share one baby, received the Audience Award for Best Comedy Feature.


Three short films won both the Jury Award and Audience Award:  The Neighbors’ Window by three-time Oscar -nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry for Best Dramatic Short, Men of Vision by Frank Todaro for Best Comedy Short, and Girl in the Hallway by Valerie Barnhart for Best Short Animation. A Song Can’t Burn by Roscoe Neil won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short, and The Love Bugs by Allison Atto won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short.



“We received more than 1000 submissions from all over the world, from which we selected nearly 170 films, including ten world premieres,” said Founder and Executive Director Judy Laster. “With more than half of the films accepted by first-time directors, we continue to focus on fostering the careers of emerging, independent filmmakers,” she added.

For more information about the festival and a complete list of awards, visit at, or follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.



The Woods Hole Film Festival, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that presents year-round programming that includes an annual eight-day summer film festival, the Dinner & a Movie Film Series, the Film Falmouth Film Series at Falmouth Academy, Best of the Fest Screenings at Cotuit Center for the Arts, as well as filmmaking workshops. 


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