On Saturday, September 8, the All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) announced the competition award winners for the 31st edition of the film festival at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – South Lamar. Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE-KNIT took home the award for Best Narrative Feature, and Melissa Haizlip’s MR. SOUL! was named Best Documentary Feature. Sunday evening, it was announced that Ondi Timoner’s MAPPLETHORPE’s was the Audience Award winner for Narrative Film, with Haizlip adding to her aGLIFF trophy collection by earning the Audience Award, as well.
aGLIFF Program Director Jim Brunzell, said, “This was a year of new beginnings for aGLIFF, as we debuted both a new name and introduced new filmmaker honors to our film festival in our 31st year. Even with these exciting changes, a film festival will always rise and fall on the quality of the films presented for its audiences – and once again, we had a banner year with 40+ visiting filmmakers and a significantly increased attendance. Diversity, appropriately enough, was highlighted, and that diversity went beyond the letters of LGBTQ+, to age, nationality, and filmmaking experience, as well – in some fascinating, less than obvious ways. aGLIFF will continue to move forward, and this year was a wonderful start for the next 30 years of the fest.”
This year’s aGLIFF jury included:
Narrative Features: Becky Arreaga (co-founder, Mercury Mambo), Sheldon Darnell (Co-President, Austin Black Pride), Adam Sekuler (DIR: TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS)
Documentary Features: Robin Berghaus (DIR: STUMPED), Michelle Randolph Faires (PROD: HONKY TONK HEAVEN), Drew Riley (Executive Director, Gender Portraits)
Short Films: Meredith Alloway (DIR: INTERIOR TERESA), Jake Graf (DIR/SCR: CHANCE, DUSK), Brian Kelley (Programmer, Fantastic Fest)
Other winners included; James Erskine’s THE ICE KING receiving a “Special Jury Mention” in the feature documentary category; Hakim Mastour’s LE CONVIVE named as “Best Narrative Short Film”; Jared Callahan and Russell Sheaffer’s SALTWATER BAPTISM taking the prize for “Best Documentary Short Film”; and Clara Stern’s MATHIAS winning the award for “Best Student Film.”
The 31st Annual All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival added a few new highlights to go along with the title change for the festival (formerly the Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival). aGLIFF opened with a screening of Austin-based documentarian PJ Raval’s CALL HER GANDA, and honored another Austin favorite son, Yen Tan (1985) with their first Tribute Award. Also honored during the film festival was the UK’s Jake Graf with aGLIFF’s inaugural Breakthrough Artist Award. All three filmmakers had multiple films screen at aGLIFF, with Raval’s BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (2013), and Yen Tan’s CIAO (2008) being presented in addition to their latest films, and Graf’s award-winning shorts BRACE (2014), CHANCE (2015), DAWN (2016), and DUSK (2017) each screened during a special “Conversation on Film” presentation with Brunzell.
Another prolific aGLIFF alum, Lisa Donato, enjoyed seeing multiple films screened at this year’s film festival, as her short films FOXY TROT, and THERE YOU ARE, as well as the world premiere of Nick Neon’s ZERO ONE (which Donato executive produced), were all featured in this year’s shorts programs. Sook Yin-Lee’s OCTAVIO IS DEAD! made its US Premiere as the film was selected as aGLIFF’s always highly anticipated Secret Screening this year, with the writer/director/actor making a special appearance at the festival, and Timoner’s critically acclaimed biopic MAPPLETHORPE wrapped the festival up in high style, before a final party on the rooftop at The Contemporary Austin Art Museum.
For more information on aGLIFF, go to http://agliff.org.
All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) 2018 Award Winners
Best Narrative Feature Film
DIR: Naoko Ogigami
Best Documentary Feature Film
DIR: Melissa Haizlip
Special Jury Mention (Documentary)
THE ICE KING
DIR: James Erskine
Best Narrative Short Film
DIR: Hakim Mastour
Best Documentary Short Film
DIRS: Jared Callahan and Russell Sheaffer
Best Student Film
DIR: Clara Stern