The Dallas Video Festival finished with a bang this year as we presented our first ever awards ceremony! Each maker received a handmade glass sculpture as our thanks for bringing such fine work to the festival.
Our jurors chose Año Uña as the Best Narrative Feature. The piece is in the tradition of still photograph montage films, but it’s especially inventive in the fact that maker Jonas Cuarón first captured photographs of his life over the period of a year before later reordering those images to discover the film’s story. We’re proud to present such daring work to Dallas.
We chose audience-favorite She Should Have Gone To The Moon as our Best Feature Documentary. It tells the story of the Mercury 13, a group of women astronauts who trained alongside John Glenn and the rest of NASA’s pioneers. These women should have gone to space, but the patriarchy cancelled the program on a whim. It took thirty years before Eileen Collins realized their dream to become a space pilot and commander.
Jurors selected My Mom Smokes Weed as Best Comedy Short, for obvious reasons. Nothing could be so uncomfortable (and thus hilarious) for the straight-laced protagonist as sitting next to his mom as she gets high at some dude’s house. Filmmaker Clay Liford thanked his mom for the inspiration.
New Business by Julia Kots won Best Dramatic Short. Dima thinks he knows everything about women - they are like the buttons he makes in a post-Soviet Russia factory. He tries his hand at being an entrepreneur by pimping two teenage girls, but business isn’t as easy as he thought.
The inspirational For Tomorrow: The First Step of the Revolution won Best Short Documentary. Blake Mycoskie’s story of charity is genuine and uplifting. In partnership with Tom’s Shoes, for each pair of shoes purchased by consumers, he manages to bring a pair of donated shoes to needy children. http://www.tomsshoes.com/
Joel Schlemowitz made Teslamania, our best Experimental Short this year. This film is really cool, combining zaps of AC in time lapse with flashing lightning in multiple exposure. Along the way, we learn about the genius and insanity that was Tesla.
For the ACE award, AC chose Chris Ohlson’s Expecting, which was featured in the Texas Show. This film is a bare bones production that abandons the luxuries other films have at their disposal, such as HD cameras, elaborate art direction, and fancy camera moves. Expecting succeeds brilliantly based only on its raw performances and talented directing. You are involved with the two characters on a real emotional level. The subject of the film is expertly crafted around the reactions of a young man and young woman as they carry on a conversation rich in subtext. It’s riveting.
Moral Kombat, Bart’s choice for the Meta-Media award, is about the effects of video games. This is not an easy “Nasty video games are bad and are the cause of the destruction of man” type of video. It is very thoughtful, very thorough, and it definitely presents both sides of the argument. The film is incredibly well produced and directed, melding the interview into hi-res images from the games. The film makes you understand what video games are really like while you’re hearing about their effects; it’s very powerful and a must-see.
Thanks to Brad Abrams for the beautiful awards trophies. http://www.bradabramsglass.com/
THANK YOU to everyone who made the Festival possible, from the Video Association’s board, to our kind sponsors, to the artists, but most importantly, to the viewers. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to share cutting-edge work with curious and engaged audiences here in Dallas.