2020 AWARD WINNERS

See below our award winners and view their acceptance speeches! Read more about our 2020 Jury here.

BEST NARRATIVE FEATUREZORO’S SOLO
$1000 Cash Award

Judged by:
Cameron Swanagon –Oscilloscope Pictures
Kirk Honeycutt – Author/Film Critic/Journalist
Colette Freedman – Novelist/Playwright/Screenwriter

Director: Martin Busker
Writers: Fabian Hebestreit and Martin Busker
Producers: Kathrin Tabler and Martin Busker
Key Cast: Andrea Sawatzki, Mert Dincer, Laurids Schurmann

This film slowly grows on you and the third act completely envelopes you and wraps you in the cocoon of it’s story. The young actor is exceptional. The interior and exterior struggle are both beautifully written and executed. A special film.” – Colette Freedman

This is a film that sometimes manages to surprise you by going against convention. There are most appealing performances here.” – Kirk Honeycutt


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – TIE
MARGARET ATWOOD: A WORD AFTER A WORD AFTER A WORD IS POWER &
THE POLLINATORS
$1000 Cash Award

Judged by:
Dan Brawley – Cucalorus Fest Director
Tom Walters – Documentary filmmaker / SLO Film Fest Board Member
Pamela SeggerLunenburg Doc Fest Director, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Directors: Nancy Lang and Peter Raymont
Writer: Nancy Lang
Producers: Nancy Lang, Peter Raymont, Steve Ord, Peter Pearson

Beautifully presented film that just seems to hit all of the right notes.  A well-crafted story about a compelling writer and activist of great social significance with a nice balance of depth and humor. Fine editing, sound, cinematography and archival footage and having Margaret narrate much of it made you felt like you really knew her by the end. – Tom Walters

This was an incredible piece of filmmaking. A loving portrait. There was so much to like here. I think this was one of the films that nailed the pacing and kept me engaged the whole time.” – Dan Brawley

Director: Peter Nelson
Producers: Peter Nelson, Sally Roy, Michael Reuter

Remarkable access and exposure of some of the biggest stakeholders ups the credibility, stakes and intensity of this film and this issue! A visual treat to watch and I so appreciate the hopeful through-line — the ideas, actions, movements we can do to make a difference.” – Pamela Segger

I just love these beekeepers and their very practical perspective on a huge global issue. I feel like this film gives me a much better perspective on an important issue. And it makes me want to keep bees!” – Dan Brawley


BEST NARRATIVE SHORTBURQA CITY
$500 Cash Award

Judged by:
Jenelle Riley – Journalist/Celebrity Host
Victoria Condor-Williams – Former Gainesville Latino Film Festival Director
Michael Flores – Filmmaker / Film Studies Professor DePaul University, Chicago

“Hello everyone, I wanted to thank you warmly for this award. I am very proud for the film but also for the team. It is a subject that is not easy to deal with and I am delighted that the film can both make people laugh but also reflect. Thank you to the jury for this award and I hope to see you next time. See you soon, All the best” – Fabrice Bracq – Director of Burqa City

Director/Writer: Fabrice Bracq
Producer: Fabrice Préel-Cléach

This comedy short brings plenty of humor and builds a Arabic cultural view of women’s issues.” – Victoria Condor-Williams


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORTSUSTAINED OUTRAGE
$500 Cash Award

Judged by:
Sarah Linn– Local News + Arts Editor, Tribune, SLO
Sky Bergman – Filmmaker, Cal Poly Photography Professor
Jon Gann – Former DCShorts Fest Director

Director/Producer: Gabriela Cavanagh

This story about the vital nature of local journalism — and the tenuous state of the news media industry — hit pretty hard for me. But it’s not just the subject matter that makes “Sustained Outrage” a successful documentary. It’s also a well-crafted, smart film.” – Sarah Linn

Really liked this one, as the loss an independent press is one of the most important issues we face.” – Jon Gann


BEST STUDENT FILMTHE CHEF
$500 Cash Award

Director: Hao Zheng
Writers: Ithaca Yixian Deng and Vanessa Leqi Kong
Producer: Ithaca Yixian Deng

Really well-made and original film!” – Jenelle Riley


CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE

Judged by:
Skye McLennan – Associate Director of SLO Film Festival
Jody Nelson – Santa Barbara filmmaker

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY – AMAZING GRACE

Director: Lynn Montgomery
Producer: Alessio Morello

Beautiful and touching film. Strong production value. Nice use of found footage.” – Jody Nelson


BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY – REFORGING A LEGACY

Director: Bryan McLain
Producers: Peter Schroeder III, Matt Covington, Dan Weatherby, Bryan McLain

Excellently shot, pacing great, music excellent! Interesting too! “– Jody Nelson


BEST NARRATIVE SHORT – BLUE NOISE

Director/Writer/Producer: Jonah Moshammer
Producers: Suncé Franicevic, Bishal Dutta

High production value, strong acting and cinematography.” – Jody Nelson


BEST COMMUNITY FILM – LIFESAVER – THE SLO NOOR FOUNDATION STORY

Director: Bob Williams
Producer: Films for Good

I appreciate shining a light on this topic and especially in SLO county as I think many people can relate to it too. Some great interviews. I didn’t even know about the Noor foundation and it seems like a great resource.“– Skye McLennan


BEST STUDENT FILM – ROSIE

Director/Writer: Shanti Herzog
Producers: Shanti Herzog, Maximo Zhang

Creative, good production value and acting. Shot at Cal Poly too!” – Skye McLennan


Judged by:
Grace Tucker – Assistant to the Director
Tasia Trevino-Hill – Festival Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator

Best Film Made in Elementary School:
LITTLE PUG LOOKING FOR MUM
Filmmaker: Xiqian Yang
2 min. | China

Best Film Made in Middle School
BAD BABYSITTER
Filmmakers: Kai Monge, Ella Bates, Sophia Bates
5 min. | San Luis Obispo, CA

Best Documentary – High School
SENIOR SISTERS: NEVER TOO GREY
Filmmakers: Ahtziri Gonzalez, Ana Navarro, Jennifer Cordova
5 min. | Ross, CA

Best Narrative Film – High School
EARLY WORKS
Filmmakers: Ethan Ross, Nick Brady, Emmanuel Li, Devon Avery
8 min. | United Kingdom

Best Environmental Film – Presented by Pacific Wildlife Fund
NEVER TOO SMALL
Filmmaker: Mason Mirabile
5 min. | Virginia, USA

Best Animated Film
LIGNUM LOVE
Filmmaker: Gabi Bania
3 min. | Poland

Best International Film
THE BOY WITH A MOVIE CAMERA
Filmmaker: Amir Hossein Tabbat
9 min. | Iran