Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival wrapped up its successful fourth season by announcing the 2017 winners for its Best Feature Audience Award, Best Short Audience Award (sponsored by Film Colossus), the Mary Shelley Award (sponsored by Canine Productions) and the Cthulhies awards.

Nearly 300 films were submitted to the fourth-year festival. A passionate and engaged audience ultimately had to choose from 15 features and 28 shorts, all Austin premieres.

The Best Feature Audience Award winner for #OtherWorlds2017 is the Texas premiere of GNAW (now titled APARTMENT 212), written by Jim Brennnan, Haylar Garcia, and Kathryn Gould, and directed by Haylar Garcia. This supernatural horror film follows Jennifer Conrad, a small-town girl starting over in the big city. Fleeing an abusive relationship, all she wants is a chance to begin again. But it is hard to start over when something is eating you while you sleep… one painful bite at a time.

The Best Short Audience Award winner for #OtherWorlds2017 (sponsored by Film Colossus) is EINSTEIN-ROSEN, written and directed by Olga Osorio. In the summer of 1982, Teo claims he has found a wormhole. His brother Oscar does not believe him… at least not for now.

Best Short Audience Award winner EINSTEIN-ROSEN

Best Short Audience Award winner EINSTEIN-ROSEN

Bears Fonté, OWA Founder and Artistic Director, speaks for the entire Other Worlds Austin team in acknowledging these impressive films: “We’re excited that our jury, made up of our festival attendees, has for the first time, selected one of our Under Worlds films — GNAW — as Best Feature, especially one that handles such difficult issues as domestic abuse with unapologetic honesty.”

Under Worlds Austin, in its third year, is the Horror sidebar to the overall Other Words festival.  

“As for the audience’s selection of Best Short,” Fonté continues, “EINSTEIN-ROSEN captures the pure joy of a child’s wonderment with science as well as classic sibling rivalry.”

The Best Feature Audience Award 2017 winner receives a $500 cash prize. The Best Short Audience Award 2017 winner receives a $250 cash prize.

The Mary Shelley Award winner for the most innovative and most original vision for 2017 is Rosita Lama Muvdi, writer/director of the Under Worlds Austin short film, LA SIRENA. In this psychosexual fishing village fairy tale, Mia, reeling from heartbreak, discovers a woman washed up on shore, naked and with a hook lodged into her ribcage. “Rosita's evocative, folklore-laden film is truly 'other-worldly,' and we're so excited to see her recognized by our jury,” says Jordan Brown, OWA Associate Artistic Director. “Her future stories are sure to be welcome additions to the increasingly diverse universe of genre film!”

Nominees from this year’s programming were identified by the Other Worlds programming team and the winner was determined by a special jury of female film industry professionals: Claire Carré, writer, director, and editor based in New York. Denise Gossett, actress and founder of Shriekfest Film Festival, and Alison Willmore, critic at BuzzFeed News. To qualify, the films must either be written and/or directed by a female. This year’s nominees were:

GNAW: Kathryn Gould (co-writer)
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL: Andrea Sisson (co-writer)
EINSTEIN-ROSEN: Olga Osorio (writer/director)
LA SIRENA: Rosita Lama Muvdi (writer/director)
TASTE: Lauren Kincheloe (co-writer)


In addition, Other Worlds Austin announced the winners of the Cthulhies, a series of awards given by the programming team in areas such as Script, Cinematography, Visual Effects and Acting. The winners for 2017 are:

Feature Script   

Brian DeLeeuw, CURVATURE

Feature Director   

Roope Olenius, TUFTLAND

Feature Actor

Joey Klein, PAINLESS

Feature Actress   

Lyndsy Fonseca, CURVATURE

Feature Cinematography   

Christian Sorensen Hansen & Pete Ohs, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL

Feature Editing   

Sean Albertson & Banner Gwin, BEYOND SKYLINE

Feature Score or Music    

Ryudai Abe, COCOLORS

Feature VFX  

Patrick Flannery, BEYOND SKYLINE

Feature Production Design

 Michi Suzuki, Koji Hashiguchi, Yuichi Suehiro & Mitsuji Kamata, COCOLORS


Short Script   


Short Director   

Nicholas Payne Santos, HOLIDAY FEAR

Short Actor   

Kirk Johnson, SCANNERS

Short Actress   

Anna Mazurik, THE TINWIFE

Short Cinematography   


Short Editor   

Michael Bartolomeo, SOLVED

Short Score or Music   


Short VFX   

Miguel Ortega, THE NINGYO

Short Production Design



About Other Worlds Austin

Other Worlds Austin is one of the premiere SciFi film festivals in the US, championing filmmakers and writers and bringing the best films to the ‘Geek Capital of the World.’

With a diverse and approachable team of programmers, we are building a network of SciFi fans and filmmakers, leading a loyal community, and launching SciFi films into the wider world.


About Film Colossus

Co-founded by Chris Lambert and Travis Bean, Film Colossus represents a new wave of film criticism that goes beyond a synopsis and review. It is also a resource for filmmakers that shines a light on smaller, festival films that don’t get a lot of attention but have great qualities that can be learned from. With a slew of podcasts, interviews, and reviews, Film Colossus cracks open the inner world of film.  And by making connections with film festivals and people in the business, Film Colossus provides insights in to where filmmakers should send their films. For more information, go to http://filmcolossus.com/requests/