On April 18th, the Florida Film Festival announced its winners. They provide Jury Awards, as well as audience awards in many categories. This allows filmmakers to be judged by their peers or industry professionals, and also receive feedback from audiences attending the festival in person. The “Special Jury” awards signify a specific aspect of a film that deserves credit, while the “Grand Jury” prize crowns the Jury’s choice for the winner of the festival.
Among the Narrative features (which only includes feature-length films), there were two prizes. The Falconer from directors Seanne Winslow & Adam Sjoberg took home the Special Jury Award for its use of narrative in the making of the film. The winner of the Grand Jury Award, and thus the festival’s top prize for Narrative Feature, was Poser from directors Ori Segev and Noah Dixon. Meanwhile, the Audience Award Winner was Generation Wrecks by Director Kevin T. Morales.
On the Documentary side, the Special Jury Award went to Sirens from director Rita Baghdadi for Courage in Filmmaking. Once Upon a Time in Uganda took home the Grand Jury Award honors, which went to directors Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez. The Audience Award went to director Atin Mehra, and their feature Being Michelle.
The festival also handed out prizes to seven different short films over the festival. River earned the Audience Award for Best International Feature. In a section unique to this festival, the Audience Award for Best Florida Feature went to Path of the Panther by director Eric Bendick. The film focuses on the fight to save and rehabilitate Florida Panther populations.