AUSTIN, TX -- Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival wrapped up its second season today by announcing the winners for its Best Feature Audience Award, Best Short Audience Award (sponsored by Film Colossus), the inaugural Mary Shelley Award, and the Cthulhies awards for 2015.
Nearly 300 films were submitted to the second-year festival. A passionate and engaged audience ultimately had to choose from 13 features and 20 shorts, all Austin premieres.
The Best Feature Audience Award winner for OWA 2015 is NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT, written and directed by Mark Sawers. The film is an alternate history deadpan mockumentary which follows 37-year-old Andrew Myers, the youngest man still alive. With women able to reproduce without men since 1953, they’ve stopped giving birth to male babies entirely. Working as a housekeeper for a family of women, Andrew finds himself at the center of a battle to prevent men from going extinct. Men have gathered onto reservations, and the idea of a romantic relationship with one would be laughable. This brilliant, politically-charged film asks: what would the world be like if women were in charge?
“I love having our audience as our jury,” says Bears Fonté, OWA Founder and Director of Programming. “Sitting in the crowd during the screening of NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT, it was clear the film was resonating with them as more than just a piece of entertainment. It stirred up conversations between attendees all weekend, which is the point of great SciFi, to allow us to look at our own world in a new way”
The Best Short Audience Award winner for OWA 2015 is ADEN, written and directed by Gary H. Lee. In this ambitious film, a man stays one step ahead of nefarious forces in the race to find a child who may hold the key to mankind’s future.
With its engaging storyline and breathtaking special effects, ADEN made quite an impression on the OWA programming team. “ADEN was a rare one,” says Jordan Brown, Programmer and Director of Submissions, “in that a) it had just as much substance as it had style and b) we all agreed on it right away as programmers (this does NOT happen as often as you'd think!). I’m not surprised that our audience loved it as much as we did!”
"ADEN had this really cool balance of a gritty, noir-ish anti-hero facing off against a Rubik's Cubed-headed robo-monster,” says Chris Lambert, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Film Colossus. “There's immediate action and mystery. By the end of the movie, we're left wondering what kind of world we were just a part of and why there isn't more of it. ADEN actually made me feel like I had travelled back in time to July 1997 when I was ten years old and in the theater losing my mind over MEN IN BLACK, completely blown away by how awesome movies can be."
The Best Feature Audience Award 2015 winner receives a $500 cash prize. The Best Short Audience Award 2015 winner receives a $250 cash prize.
Mary Shelly Award
As part as its continuing effort to discover and celebrate female voices working in the genre field, Other Worlds Austin launched the inaugural Mary Shelley Award for SciFi Filmmaking, awarded to the best film that furthers the involvement and representation of women in the SciFi genre. This award is sponsored by Canine Productions, producers of award winning indie shorts, music videos and documentaries.
The Mary Shelley Award winner for 2015 is Claire Carré, co-writer and director of EMBERS, an atmospheric tone poem in a post-apocalyptic wasteland which captures the human condition, stripped away of everything but personality and instinct. In the wake of a global neurological epidemic, those who remain search for meaning and connection in a world without memory. Five interwoven stories explore life without recollection in a future that has no past.
Statement from the jury: “We are delighted to present Claire Carré with the Mary Shelley Award for her work on EMBERS. Carré shows great promise with her directorial feature debut as she uses poetic imagery to string her characters through a desolate land exploring the relationship between memory and identity. We look forward to seeing what’s in store next for this talented director and want to show our support by awarding her the inaugural Mary Shelley Award. Our hope is this award will inspire the work of many other women wanting to explore traditionally male dominated genres.”
“Canine Productions would like to congratulate Claire Carré on winning the inaugural Mary Shelley Award at the Austin Other Worlds SciFi Film Festival,” says Ilona Rossman Ho, Producer. “Writer/director/editor Claire Carré’s feature film debut reveals a beautifully shot blue-gray, gritty world sparsely populated with haunting characters. EMBERS is well-directed, well-structured, and thought-provoking with a unique take on what makes us human. We are eager to see what’s next from this talented filmmaker.”
The Mary Shelley Award is named for the author of “Frankenstein.” the original SciFi novel – a work that examines the human condition and the positive and dangerous possibilities of science. The award will grant $500 to one filmmaker (of either a short or a feature) which played the Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival 2015.
To qualify, the films must either:
* Be written and/or directed by a female, or
* Feature complex female protagonists driving the narrative and leading the action.
Nominees from this year’s programming were identified by the OWA programming team and the winner was determined by a special jury of female film industry professionals:
* Marjorie Baumgarten, Film Critic and Senior Editor at the Austin Chronicle, and member of the Association of Women Film Journalists
* Kristy Breneman, Creative Director and Programmer for the Atlanta Film Festival, one of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country
* Mynette Louie, Independent Spirit Award-Winning Producer and President at Gamechanger Films, the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women
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 2015 are:
Mark Sawers, NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT
Rolf van Eijk, T.I.M. THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE
Patrick Gilmore (Andrew Myers), NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT
Greta Fernandez (Miranda), EMBERS
Martijn van Broekhuizen, T.I.M. THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE
Mark Sawers, NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT
Feature Score or Music
Timo Pierre Rositzki, BOY 7
Neil Rowe, RECONNOITER
Feature Production Design
William Hatch Crosby, JACKRABBIT
Maximillian Stenstrom, THE TAKER
Willem Kampenhout, THE SURFACE
David Lee Hess (Donald), PACT
Carole Brana (Amy) and (Meredith), REPLIKA and ON/OFF
Davey Gilder, THE PIG CHILD
Serban Georgescu, REPLIKA
Emerging Score or Music
Chris Ruenes, THE TAKER
Gary H. Lee, ADEN
Emerging Production Design
Ashley Cook, THE SURFACE
About Other Worlds Austin
Other Worlds Austin took place Dec 3-5, 2015 at the Galaxy Highland 10 Theatre. Many filmmakers were present for Q&A’s, including Mary Shelley Award winner Claire Carré.
Other Worlds Austin is dedicated to bringing the best of SciFi to Austin, Texas. The festival programming team looks past budgets or the Hollywood push to find great stories and give them an Austin premiere. Other Worlds Austin was founded by Bears Fonté, formally director of programming for Austin Film Festival 2012-2014.
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/
About Canine Productions
Award winning indie shorts, music videos and documentaries. We're enthusiastic about making a difference in how women and girls are portrayed in media. We actively support women in front of and behind the camera and the men who collaborate with them. Canine Productions is located in Seattle – home to outstanding indie filmmakers.
Contact: Don Elfant