for photochemical work: ENGRAM OF RETURNING by Daïchi Saïto
for astounding cinematography and locations: FOCUS ON INFINITY by Joerg Burger
for best portrait film: HEAVY FOG TONIGHT by Nathan Reich
for outstanding performance: Jules David Bartowski for PASTOR PAUL
for most profound evocation of unnamable feelings: ANOTHER CITY by Lan Pham Ngoc
for best new voice: I REMEMBER NOTHING by Zia Anger
Jury Statements and Awards:
For BEST FEATURE, a film of exploitation and transformation, based on the work of Paul Bowles, who wrote, “I’ve always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geography and spiritually.” THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS by Ben Rivers
in a category of BEST SELF-HELP FILM we recognize a film so totally singular with its weave of leftist history lessons, new wave and new age, like psycho-spiritual guerrilla warfare, the writing, the music, the models all come together to blow away the hybrid category that it creates for itself. CHUMS FROM ACROSS THE VOID by Jim Finn
In the category of BEST ESSAY FILM, we were struck by how the simplest of materials and gestures made its theoretical groundings come to life, the philosophical arguments made experiential. So much more than the sum of its minimal parts. 6500 by Lisa Truttmann.
In the category of BEST PHOTOGRAPHY we reward a film that creates a riveting, kinetic experience from a hard, immobile truth of the medium. As Susan Sontag wrote, “Photographs are a way of imprisoning reality… One can’t possess reality; one can possess images. One can’t possess the present, but one can possess the past.” VINTAGE PRINT by Siegfried Fruhauf
In the category of BEST COMEDY We were struck by how weird and dry this film was, the acting, dialogue and plot turns all equally depending on each other to create a unique but believable, funny but achy world. SAVASANA by Brandon Daley
In a category of BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM, we selected a film that plays like the Land Without Bread of animal documentaries, examining the line between fantasy and reality. To quote Luis Bunuel, “Fantasy and reality are equally personal, and equally felt, so their confusion is a matter of only relative importance.” THE MASKED MONKEYS by Anja Dornieden & Juan David Gonzalez Monroy
The MADE IN CHICAGO AWARD goes to an amazing premise that shouldn’t be startling, told with straightforwardness and charm. We have endless respect for her political commitment as much as her sensibilities in her long career as both an artist and a thoughtful mentor to many, CRYSTAL LAKE by Jennifer Reeder.
The festival AUDIENCE AWARD went to Booger Red, directed by Berndt Mader. The film is a narrative/documentary hybrid starring Onur Tukel as a reporter investigating an alleged child sex ring in Texas.