Austin Film Festival Announces Winners of 2016 Audience & Courage Awards



Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier Festival to recognize the writer’s contribution to film, is pleased to announce its 2016 Jury Award winners, Hiscox Audience and Courage Award Winners, and the Screenplay Competition winners.


The following Jury Award winners were selected by category:

  • Narrative Feature presented by Seed&Spark: Boys in the Trees, written by Nicholas Verso
  • Documentary Feature presented by POV: Santoalla, directed by Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Hot Air, written by Jeremy M. Goldstein and Derek Sieg
  • Dark Matters Feature: The Cliff, written by Natxo Lopez, Andres Martorell, Helena Taberna
  • Narrative Short: Lucy in My Eyes, written by Megan Park
  • Narrative Student Short: The Art of Not Appearing, written by Pernille Rivedal Hellevik
  • Documentary Short presented by IDA: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, directed by Frank Stiefel
  • Animated Short: Hugo Bumfeldt, written by Eva Katinka Bognaar
  • Scripted Digital Series presented by New Form Digital: Guest Appearances, created by Elizabeth Guest


After each Festival screening, audiences voted for the Hiscox Audience Awards, recognizing film favorites among the 2016 slate.


The following Hiscox Audience Award winners were selected by category:

  • Narrative Feature: Blood Stripe, written by Remy Auberjonois and Kate Nowlin
  • Documentary Feature: Berlin Rebel High School, directed by Alexander Kleider
  • Dark Matters Feature: Found Footage 3D, written by Steven DeGennaro
  • Comedy Vanguard Feature: Brave New Jersey, written by Michael Dowling and Jody Lambert
  • Narrative Short: Killing Thyme, written by Natalie Malla
  • Documentary Short: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, directed by Frank Stiefel
  • Animated Short: Moon of a Sleepless Night, written by Takeshi Yashiro
  • Narrative Student Short: Red Apples, written by Ophelia Harutyunyan
  • Scripted Digital Series: The Listening Box, written by Westin Ray
  • Heart of Film: American Wrestler: The Wizard, written by Brian Rudnick
  • Stories From Abroad: My Mother’s Wound, Ozan Aciktan, Ozan Guven, Fethi Kantarci, Uygar Sirin, Mehmet Turgut, and Funda Cetin
  • Texas Independent: Homestate, written by David Hickey and Blaise Miller
  • Marquee Feature: Lion, written by Luke Davies


One film was selected to receive the Hiscox Courage Award. Voted on by the audience, the Hiscox Courage Award is presented to the film that best embodies the virtue of courage and to the filmmaker who best embraced the risk to share the story. The 2016 Courage Award went to Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.


The following Screenplay Competition winners were selected by category:

  • Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East: Static by Henry Jones
  • Comedy Screenplay Award presented by Sony Pictures Animation: Dinner with Friends by Geeta Malik
  • Sci-Fi Screenplay Award: Static by Henry Jones
  • Enderby Entertainment Award: Static by Henry Jones
  • Vertigo Entertainment Horror Award: Rock Point Draw by Jeremy David Lee
  • AMC One-Hour Pilot Award: The Devil and the Deep by Kyle Bugg
  • Sitcom Pilot Award: Losing It by Louise Rozett
  • Short Screenplay Award: Futurehealth by Sarah Polhaus
  • Scripted Digital Series Award presented by New Form Digital: Main Stream by JC Conklin
  • One-Hour Spec Award: Fargo: The Hunt for the Cobra King by Sarah Beckett
  • Sitcom Spec Award: Broad City: Short Term Effort by Greg Wayne


Three-time screenplay winner Static has been acquired by Inkubate, Max Borenstein’s (Minority Report (TV), Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) new banner focused on character-driven genre material in film and television.  Inkubate plans to package the script and then pursue setting it up at a studio or with independent financing. Static is described as a grounded, visionary sci-fi thriller.

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