2016 La Costa Film Festival Announces Filmmaker Awards for the 4th Edition of the Film Festival



The 4th Annual La Costa Film Festival announced their filmmaker awards on Saturday, October 15 at the renowned Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Nathan Apffel’s THE LONGEST JOURNEY was the big winner of the evening, taking home the Audience Awards for both Best Documentary Feature Film, as well as Best of the Festival. Bo Brinkman’s LAST MAN CLUB was chosen by La Costa FF audiences as Best Narrative Feature Film (Domestic), and Olivier Ringer’s BIRDS OF PASSAGE received the Audience nod as Best Narrative Feature (Foreign). The Closing Night Star Awards Gala presentations were preceded by the featured screening of Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s CLAIRE IN MOTION, with star Betsy Brandt in attendance.

La Costa Film Festival Co-Founders, Michael and Ruby Callihan, said, “We were so pleased that both the judges and the audiences had a very difficult time selecting just one winner for each category, with infinitesimal differences between all of their choices. As nerve wracking as that can be for filmmakers, many of them said they’ve never had a better time. With the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa as our host, that’s easy to understand.”

Additional Audience Awards went to Eric 'Ptah' Herbert’s MANCHILD: THE SCHEA COTTON STORY for Best Sports Documentary, and Annie O’Neal and Jessica Lewis’s PHIL’S CAMINO for Best of the Festival – Short Film. The two student short film award winners were Adam Russell’s 168 HOURS (Best High School Competition Short), and Nick DeCell’s SOMEWHERE TO BE (Best College Competition Short). Russell is a student at Rancho Buena Vista High School (Vista, CA), and De Cell is a graduate of Florida State University. Russell and De Celll both received a7s cameras, courtesy of SONY, as well as a $500 cash prize, along with their awards.

Charlene Fisk and Carrie Schrader’s THE FOUNDERS took home the jury prize for Best Sports Film, with O’Neal and Lewis’s PHIL’S CAMINO winning its second award (Best Documentary Short), Tim Ellrich’s THE BATHTUB named as Best Narrative Short, and Melanie Brunt and Mikey Hill’s THE ORCHESTRA receiving the award for Best Animated Short.

Two-time Golden Globe nominee and SAG Award nominated actor Chris Noth was the recipient of the La Costa Film Festival’s first Shining Star Award. The award presentation and lively “Under the Stars” conversation reflecting on Noth’s award-winning career on television and in film, was moderated by entertainment awards expert and commentator Dave Karger on Friday, October 14. When Noth was asked by Karger if he’d consider making an appearance in the planned spin-off for CBS All Access, he said, “I’d be happy to do a couple of episodes. I’d love to see where that guy ended up. He finished the series just like he started it, by saying he wasn’t guilty. He’s such a great character.”

Tommy Kelly, a charismatic 13-year-old stole the show and was declared the winner of the La Costa Film Festival’s second “Reel Pitch” competition, curated by Mike Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM). His 5-minute pitch to a panel of studio producers and executives selected by MSM, won him the opportunity to refine his pitch under the guidance of one of the judges. He will be mentored for full development of his dream, and presentation to a potential distributor.

The winners of the festival’s coveted 'Sip & Savor' Gala Competition, held on Opening Night, were Carruth Cellars (Best Sip), Chandler’s Oceanfront Dining (Best Savor), and Bistro West (Best Presentation).

Bookended by Johnathan Brownlee’s THREE DAYS IN AUGUST, which opened the festival on Thursday, October 13, with Mariette Hartley joining Brownlee and several cast and crew members in attendance, and the Closing Night Gala screening of Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson’s CLAIRE IN MOTION on Saturday, October 15, with Howell and Betsy Brandt, on hand, with both participating in the post-screening Q&A, the La Costa Film Festival enjoyed another year of growth with an estimated 5,000 film fans making their way to the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa to see films and panels and meet the filmmakers.

Other highlights included the world premiere screening, before an audience of a thousand film fans, of Apffel’s THE LONGEST JOURNEY. Afterward, Apffel announced a film series to follow, titled The Genetics Collection, looking at ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. A special 3D screening of TOP GUN wowed the audience at the Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas (6941 El Camino Real), and La Costa FF’s filmmaker panels, including the Rapidly Changing Panel curated by Something Kreative’s Geoff Clark and featuring industry veterans like Amy Keating Rogers (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack), Zach Moncrief (Family Guy, Phineas and Ferb), and Jared Hillman (THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Psyche), Michael Repsch (Breaking Glass Pictures), Eric Bromberg (Pluto.TV), and Jeff Chao (Kerin Media Ventures).





Best of the Festival:


Director: Nathan Apffel


Best Documentary Feature Film: THE LONGEST JOURNEY

Director: Nathan Apffel


Best Narrative Feature Film (Domestic): LAST MAN CLUB

Director: Bo Brinkman


Best Narrative Feature Film (Foreign): BIRDS OF PASSAGE

Director: Olivier Ringer



Director: Eric 'Ptah' Herbert


Best of the Festival – Short Film: PHIL’S CAMINO

Directors: Annie O’Neil and Jessica Lewis


Best High School Competition Short: 168 HOURS

Director: Adam Russell

(Rancho Buena Vista High School)


Best College Competition Short: SOMEWHERE TO BE

Director: Nick DeCell

(Florida State University)







Best Sports Film:THE FOUNDERS

Director: Charlene Fisk



Best Documentary Short: PHIL’S CAMINO

Directors: Annie O’Neil and Jessica Lewis


Best Narrative Short: THE BATHTUB

Director: Tim Ellrich


Best Animated Short: THE ORCHESTRA

Directors: Melanie Brunt and Mikey Hill



Tommy Kelly






Carruth Cellars



Chandler’s Oceanfront Dining



Bistro West

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