Waco’s Deep in the Heart FF Announces Awards For 2022 Festival


Waco’s Deep in the Heart Film Festival announced the award winners for the 6thedition of the film festival which concluded it’s in-person presentations on Sunday with an entertaining Awards Brunch hosted by the Art Center Waco (701 S. 8th Street). The awards haul was led by Aaron Hosé’s One Pint at a Time, which took three awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, and the Audience Award for Best Feature. individual awards were led by The Sisters Karras’ Micah Stathis (Best Feature Film Director), and A Place Among the Dead’s’ Juliet Landau (Best Performance – Feature Film).

This year’s edition of the popular film festival rode the wave of its selection by MovieMaker Magazine as one of “20 Great Film Festivals for First-time Moviemakers” into another year featuring innovations and additions to their presentations and events. A major focus of this year’s edition of the film festival was the celebration of Waco as a film location with their Waco is Made for Movies theme. Additional highlights and new innovations include the launch of the Made Deep in the Heart Screenplay Grant. This grant is awarded to the winner of the film festival’s screenplay contest, which went to Gregory JM Kasunich and Lauren Noll’s “The Audition”. The grant provides a variety of elements for producing that screenplay in Waco.

Co-Founders and Co-Directors Louis Hunter and Samuel Thomas, said, “This year’s Deep in the Heart Film Festival was another reaffirmation of the reputation this film festival has built over the last couple of years. Forging that connection between our visiting filmmakers and the wonderful film-loving community in Waco has always been our aim and we are enjoying seeing that come to fruition in so many ways now.” Hunter and Thomas added, “Our award-winning films this year emphasized that connection and added the anticipation of more filmmakers returning to Waco to shoot their next films – and the thought of that energizes us to continue to grow in years to come.”

Leading the award winners in the short film categories were; Jack Reynor’s Bainne, which took the prize for Best Short Film; Michael Charron’s First Impressions, which garnered the Best Texas Short Film award; Portlynn Tagavi’s Out of Tune, which won Best U.S. Short Film; Nick Blake’s Kafkas, which was named Best Foreign Short Film; and Luisa Maria González’s Saving Salvador, which won Best Student Short Film. Short films cited with Special Jury Awards included: Male Fadàu (Ill Fated) (Director: Matteo Incollu), Jettison (Director: JJ Pollack), Man Seeking Man (Director: Travis White), and Where the Winds Die (Director: Pejman Alipour).

Film awards by genre in the Short Film category went to; Glenn Peck’s Kalamiti for Best Drama Short; Jonathan Hammond’s We All Die Alone, which took Best Comedy Short; and Blair Thomas and Steve Vanderhiede’s Riding the Shadow, which was named Best Documentary Short. Natalie LaValley’s Telos was named Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short; Dan Repp, Lindsay Young’s Cutter scared up the award for Best Horror/Thriller Short; Chris Sage and Stephen Schroeder’s Nickels received the award for Best Family Short; and Jill Sachs and Angeline Armstrong won Best Music Video for “Bones.”

Filmmaking craft awards were given to; Vaishali Naik for Best Director – Short Film for 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment; Rona Rees won Best Performance – Short Film (Drama) for her role in Freya; and Joe Grisaffi won Best Performance – Short Film (Comedy) for his work in Joe Returns a Video. Best Cinematography – Short Film went to Matthew Barber (Specter of Weeping Hill), Best Editing – Short Film was given to Esmeralda Hernandez for Dream Carriers, and Best Screenplay – Short Film went to Sanuel Rudykoff for Cruise. The Audience Award for Short Film went to Taylor Hinds and Savannah Sivert’s The Tale of the Daughter. Honorable mention in the Screenplay Competition went to Shanna R Riker’s “Blood Splattered Pearls”.

2022 Deep in the Heart Film Festival Filmmaker Award Winners


Feature Film Awards

Best Feature Film 
One Pint at a Time
Director: Aaron Hosé

Best Feature Film (Documentary)
One Pint at a Time
Director: Aaron Hosé

Best Director – Feature Film
Micah Stathis (The Sisters Karras)

Best Performance – Feature Film
Juliet Landau (A Place Among the Dead)

Audience Awards

Feature Film
One Pint at a Time
Director: Aaron Hosé

Short Film
The Tale of the Daughter
Directors: Taylor Hinds, Savannah Sivert

Short Film Awards

Best Short Film
Director: Jack Reynor

Best Texas Short Film
First Impressions
Director: Michael Charron

Best United States Short Film
Out of Tune
Director: Portlynn Tagavi

Best Foreign Short Film
Director: Nick Blake

Best Student Short Film
Saving Salvador
Director: Luisa Maria González

Special Jury Award – Short Films
Male Fadàu (Ill Fated) (Director: Matteo Incollu)
Jettison (Director: JJ Pollack)
Man Seeking Man (Director: Travis White)
Where the Winds Die (Director: Pejman Alipour)

Short Film Awards by Genre

Best Drama Short
Director: Glenn Pack

Best Comedy Short
We All Die Alone
Director: Jonathan Hammond

Best Documentary Short
Riding the Shadow
Directors: Blair Thomas, Steve Vanderhiede

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Director: Natalie LaValley

Best Horror/Thriller Short
Directors: Dan Repp, Lindsay Young

Best Family Short
Directors: Chris Sage, Stephen Schroeder

Best Music Video
Directors: Jill Sachs, Angeline Armstrong

Short Film Craft Awards

Best Director – Short Film
Vaishali Naik (7 Star Dinosor Entertainment)

Best Performance – Short Film (Drama)
Rona Rees (Freya)

Best Performance – Short Film (Comedy)
Joe Grisaffi (Joe Returns a Video)

Best Cinematography – Short Film
Matthew Barber (Specter of Weeping Hill)

Best Editing – Short Film
Esmeralda Hernandez (Dream Carriers)

Best Screenplay – Short Film
Samuel Rudykoff (Cruise)

Screenplay Competition

Best Unproduced Screenplay – First Place
“The Audition” (Writers: Gregory JM Kasunich, Lauren Noll)

Best Unproduced Screenplay – Honorable Mention
“Blood Splattered Pearls” (Writer: Shanna R Riker)

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