2016 Harlem International Film Festival Announces Award Winners

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The 2016 Harlem International Film Festival announced on Sunday, September 18, the award winners for the 11th edition of the film festival at MIST Harlem (41 West 116th Street). Priscilla Anany’s CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN was named Best Narrative Feature, with Yoon-ha Chang’s I GO BACK HOME – JIMMY SCOTT taking the award for Best Documentary Feature. Ed Ehrenberg’s HEAR THE SILENCE won Best World Film (Narrative) and Fredrik Oskarsson’s NUCLEAR NEIGHBOR took the prize for Best World Documentary.

Harlem International Film Festival Program Director Nasri Zacharia said, “This year’s slate of films was unprecedented in their diversity and impact on our audiences. They pushed boundaries, dealt with issues and emotions that affect us all, and provided an introduction to some truly special and accomplished filmmakers. While it is always a pleasure to bestow distinction on some of the great films we enjoyed and appreciated, it is to all of their credit that it’s difficult to not honor so many more.”

The Audience Award was bestowed upon Margo Pelletier’s THIRSTY and Best Director Awards went to Brandon Ford Green for GOOD GRIEF (Narrative Feature), and Dawn Engle for RIGOBERTA MANCHÚ TUM – DAUGHTER OF THE MAYA (Documentary Feature).

The Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker went to Kati Juurus for her work on FOR KIBERA!, while acting awards were received by Rukiyat Masud (Best Actress for CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN), Mdou Moctar (Best Actor for RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT), and 42 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS receiving the nod for Best Ensemble Cast.

Honoring work behind the camera, the Harlem International Film Festival cited Marco Lopez for Best Cinematography for his work on THE SISTER, and Flora Volpelière was singled out for Best Editing for WEST COAST. A handful of performers were named Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen, including Laura Gontarczyk (TWO WORLDS), Jonas Laborda (JONAS AND THE BACKYARD CIRCUS), Kojo Roney (KOJO), Leonay Shepherd (GOOD FUNK), and Matthew Whitaker (THRIVE).

Highlighting the film festival’s commitment to celebrating and promoting the work of local filmmakers, Daniel Maldonado’s H.O.M.E. won the New York Showcase Award, and Harlem Spotlight Awards went to Adam Kritzer’s GOOD FUNK (Harlem Spotlight Best Feature), Emily Abt’s DADDY DON’T GO (Harlem Spotlight Best Documentary), Greg Charles Royal’s WORLD’S NOT FOR ME (Harlem Spotlight Best Short Narrative), and Mike De Caro’s BY JAMAL JOSEPH (Harlem Spotlight Best Short Documentary).

Best Experimental Film went to Bakhtiyar Islamov’s THE SKY OVER BERLIN OF MY CHILDHOOD. Best Animation went to both Alison Klayman’s THE NIGHT WITCH, and Jamal Joseph’s SISTERS, and Best Music Video also had a pair of winners with JD Ferenc’s BANGERS, and Jacob Krupnick’s DOVE.

The festival placed the spotlight on it’s Top 10 Narrative Shorts, choosing Phedon Papamichael’s A BEAUTIFUL DAY, Albert Uria’s ANY DAY NOW, Paul Meschùh’s BOAT PEOPLE, Karim Oulhaj’s THE FROZEN EYE, Tony Ducret’s MBFF (MAN’S BEST FRIEND FOREVER), George Dalphin’s NEUROPHREAK, Dave Zhang’s PRINCESS EUN HWA, Jace Alexander Casey’s SHEN, James Khehtie’s THE TELEGRAM MAN, and LeRon Lee’s UGLY. A trio of films received recognition as Best Short Documentaries, including Stephanie Mankins’s DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?, Gabri Christa’s ONE DAY AT A TIME, and Gini Richards, Monica Berra, and SheRea DelSol’s SOUL CITY. Best Short Shorts nods went to Pau Escribano’s THE QUANTUM LIGHTER, James Wvinner’s THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA, and Paul Szynol’s THRIVE.

Best Youth Feature went to Karmia Olutade’s THE REMNANT, Best Youth Short was Wayne Williams’s LET’S STAY TOGETHER, and Susan Saltz’s OUT OF THE ASHES Was named Best Youth Short Documentary.

Winning Webisodes were Kaira Akita’s EVERYTHING I DID WRONG IN MY TWENTIES (Narrative), and Maureen Aladin’s MY LIFE OFFLINE (Documentary). The Winning Feature Script was Ken Kimmelson and Mick Carlon’s Riding on Duke’s Train, and the Winning Short Script was Marjory Kaptanoglu’s Run, My Dear.

The festival opened with a tribute to Prince including a screening of Christopher Kirkely’s African homage to Prince’s PURPLE RAIN, RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT, and closed with Marlene “Mo” Morris’s A NEW COLOR: THE ART OF BEING EDYTHE BOONE, bookending the screening of 99 films (31 features, and 68 short films) including 14 world premieres, 1 North American Premiere, and 7 U.S. premieres. The Harlem International Film Festival also featured a number of films in their annual Harlem Spotlight, which celebrates the work of Harlem and locally-based filmmakers in front of and behind the camera, and featured the final stage of the Harlem International Film Festival’s Screenplay Showdown, where 6 finalists directed excepts from their scripts in a live read by actors for the film festival’s audience.

 

 

THE 2016 HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS

 

Best Narrative Film

CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN

Director: Priscilla Anany

 

Best World Film

HEAR THE SILENCE (Höre Die Stille)

Director: Ed Ehrenberg

 

Best Documentary

I GO BACK HOME – JIMMY SCOTT

Director: Yoon-ha Chang

 

Best World Documentary

NUCLEAR NEIGHBOR

Director: Fredrik Oskarsson

 

Audience Award

THIRSTY

Director: Margo Pelletier

 

 

Best Narrative Director

Brandon Ford Green (GOOD GRIEF)

 

Best Documentary Director

Dawn Engle (RIGOBERTA MANCHÚ TUM – DAUGHTER OF THE MAYA)

 

Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker

Kati Juurus (FOR KIBERA!)

 

 

Best Actress

Rukiyat Masud (CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN)

 

Best Actor

Mdou Moctar (RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT)

 

Best Ensemble Cast

42 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS

 

Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen

Laura Gontarczyk (TWO WORLDS)

Jonas Laborda (JONAS AND THE BACKYARD CIRCUS)

Kojo Roney (KOJO)

Leonay Shepherd (GOOD FUNK)

Matthew Whitaker (THRIVE)

 

Best Cinematography

Marco Lopez (THE SISTER)

 

Best Editing

Flora Volpelière (WEST COAST)

 

 

New York Showcase Award

H.O.M.E.

Director: Daniel Maldonado

 

Harlem Spotlight (Feature)

GOOD FUNK

Directed by Adam Kritzer

 

Harlem Spotlight (Documentary)

DADDY DON’T GO

Director: Emily Abt

 

Harlem Spotlight (Short Narrative)

WORLD’S NOT FOR ME

Director: Greg Charles Royal

 

Harlem Spotlight (Short Documentary)

BY JAMAL JOSEPH

Director: Mike De Caro

 

Best Experimental Film

THE SKY OVER BERLIN OF MY CHILDHOOD

Director: Bakhtiyar Islamov

 

Top 10 Narrative Shorts

A BEAUTIFUL DAY Director: Phedon Papamichael

ANY DAY NOW Director: Albert Uria

BOAT PEOPLE Director: Paul Meschùh

THE FROZEN EYE Director: Karim Oulhaj

MBFF (MAN’S BEST FRIEND FOREVER) Director: Tony Ducret

NEUROPHREAK Director: George Dalphin

PRINCESS EUN HWA Director: Dave Zhang

SHEN Director: Jace Alexander Casey

THE TELEGRAM MAN Director: James Khehtie

UGLY Director: LeRon Lee

 

Best Short Documentaries

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? Director: Stephanie Mankins

ONE DAY AT A TIME Director: Gabri Christa

SOUL CITY Directors: Gini Richards, Monica Berra, SheRea DelSol

 

Best Short Shorts

THE QUANTUM LIGHTER (L’Encenedor Quàntic) Director: Pau Escribano

THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA Director: James Wvinner

THRIVE Director: Paul Szynol

 

 

Best Youth Feature

THE REMNANT

Director: Karmia Olutade

 

Best Youth Short Documentary

OUT OF THE ASHES

Director: Susan Saltz       

 

Best Youth Short

LET’S STAY TOGETHER

Director: Wayne Williams

 

Best Animation

THE NIGHT WITCH Director: Alison Klayman

SISTERS Director: David Chontos

 

Best Music Video

BANGERS Director: JD Ferenc

DOVE Director: Jacob Krupnick

 

 

Winning Webisode (Narrative)

EVERYTHING I DID WRONG IN MY TWENTIES Director: Kaira Akita

 

Winning Webisode (Documentary)

MY LIFE OFFLINE Director: Maureen Aladin

 

 

Winning Feature Script

Riding on Duke’s Train

Ken Kimmelson & Mick Carlon

 

Feature Script Finalists

Shining Star

Jackie Thornton

Monsterland

Michael Philip Cash

Dana the Drummer

Tannaz Hazemi

The Crab Pot

Joseph Grinstein

Ghost Chant

Ramon Olivo

 

Feature Script Semi-Finalists

The Legend of William Tell

J. Ian Sample

Dismas and Gestas

Peter Hoffmann

Wall Streak

Greg Greenberg

The Colored Women’s Chapter

Nancy Zafris

Verity

Richard Spencer

 

Winning Short Script

Run, My Dear

Marjory Kaptanoglu

 

Short Script Finalists

Christmas of Nothing

Joseph Verrico

Double Crossed

Eric P. Granger

Fireworks for a Funeral

Madeline Dennis-Yates

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