On Sunday, August 19, the Women Texas Film Festival presented by Studio Movie Grill announced the award winners for the 3rd edition of the film festival during an awards brunch held at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria (5460 James Temple Drive). Laura Somers’s RICH KIDS took home the award for Best Feature Film, and in an imaginative re-branding and re-purposing of the festival’s other awards to align with the female-focused film festival’s programming directives and emphasis of “Leaders, Storytellers, Radicals” behind the camera, Tracie Laymon’s MIXED SIGNALS won the WTxFF Leader Award (for Best Director), and Mira Lippold-Johnson’s BAD THINGS was named the winner of the WTxFF Storyteller Award (for Best Writing), and Natalie Dickinson and Arianne Martin’s SKINNY won the WTxFF Radical Award (for Most Visionary).
The award presentations were made by Walford, Executive Director Kim Cousin, and WTxFF publicist John Wildman during a ceremony presented by the Dallas Film Commission. Filmmakers were on hand to accept each of the awards during a morning that – as already has become a tradition at WTxFF – alternated a lot of laughter with tears.
Awardees were determined by the board, the Artistic Director and Executive Director, and staff of WTxFF, the first and only full-fledged film festival in the state of Texas to celebrate and promote the work of women behind the camera (producers, directors, screenwriter, editors, composers, and cinematographers).
Women Texas Film Festival Founder and Artistic Director Justina Walford said, “Our decision to update the naming of our awards came out of the fact that we wanted to honor filmmakers based on why we program these films: for their leadership, storytelling and vision. From the beginning we wanted to not simply screen films envisioned and created by women, but to push forward the risk takers. Taking those risks makes us stronger filmmakers and it should be lauded at every turn.”
The third annual Women Texas Film Festival emphatically underlined that philosophy on Wednesday, August 15 at Studio Movie Grill’s Spring Valley theaters with their signature red carpet-laden party, featuring the World Premiere Opening Night screening of Amanda Kramer’s mind-bending film, PARIS WINDOW. For the second consecutive year, WTxFF received a special presentation of an Official Citation to Walford – this time from Trizteza Ordex-Ramirez, representing Texas State Representative Victoria Neave. Additional highlights included the red carpet entrances which – along with the festival’s filmmakers, featured several women in the Dallas/Fort Worth filmmaking community invited as guests of WTxFF, as well as as after party (produced by Red ID) at WAAS Gallery, which duplicated the film’s quirky oddball apartment style and setting with TV playing video tapes of infomercials and food served on TV Dinner food trays.
Other festival highlights included an appearance by Jana Lynne Sanchez, a candidate for Texas Congressional District 6, who moderated the Q&A with director Ashley York following a screening of York and Sally Rubin’s documentary HILLBILLY about a political journey into the Appalachian coal fields, and a spirited turn out by the local roller skating community and participation in the after screening Q&A with the film’s co-director Dyana Walker and one of the film’s subjects, Phelicia Wright from the documentary UNITED SKATES. The film explores the dwindling number of locations across the country for the dedicated roller skaters that live for “adult night” skating.
For more information on the Women Texas Film festival go to WomenTxFF.org.
Women Texas Film Festival (WTxFF) 2018 Award Winners
Best Feature Film
DIR: Laura Somers
WTxFF Leader Award (Best Director)
DIR: Tracie Laymon
WTxFF Storyteller Award (Best Writing)
DIR/SCR: Mira Lippold-Johnson
WTxFF Radical Award (Most Visionary)
DIRS: Natalie Dickinson and Arianne Martin