OTHER WORLDS AUSTIN ANNOUNCES 2016 AUDIENCE AWARDS, MARY SHELLEY WINNER AND CTHULHIES
Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival wrapped up its third season today by announcing the 2016 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 third-year festival. A passionate and engaged audience ultimately had to choose from 15 features and 31 shorts, all Austin premieres.
The Best Feature Audience Award winner for OWA 2016 is the World Premiere of DOMAIN, written and directed by Nathaniel Atcheson. The post-apocalyptic film follows survivors of deadly virus who wait alone in self-sustaining bunkers while the threat runs its course. Able to communicate through a networked video interface, their fragile social ecosystem is shattered when, one by one, they start mysteriously disappearing from their bunkers.
Nathaniel Atcheson packs his tiny bunkers with so many well-developed characters and ideas that you forget it's the classic one location set-up,” says Bears Fonté, OWA Founder and Artistic Director. “He also reminds us that SciFi can explore psychological science as much as physical science, which in many ways is more thought provoking. How many people do we really need in our lives to feel part of the world? With a great script and a fantastic ensemble cast, DOMAIN deserves to play every genre festival out there. We are so overjoyed that it starts its journey here with us and that our audience saw fit to send it off with this prize."
The Best Short Audience Award winner for OWA 2016 (sponsored by Film Colossus) is MONSTERS, written by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman and directed by Steve Desmond. The thriller follows Jenn, who lives in an underground bunker, protected from the monsters that daily ravage the world—until she ventures outside…
"Steve Desmond's film builds a complete world only to pull it out from under not once, but twice, in only 12 minutes, says Fonté. “Add to that a truly standout performance from Caitlin Carmichael, a star in the making, and this is easily one of the best shorts I've seen all year. I am proud to have it represent Other Worlds Austin."
The Best Feature Audience Award 2016 winner receives a $500 cash prize. The Best Short Audience Award 2016 winner receives a $250 cash prize.
The Mary Shelley Award winner for the most innovative and most original vision for 2016 is Erin Li, director of the short film KEPLER X-47. The dark, thought-provoking film follows a woman fetched from Earth as a perfect specimen, who adjusts to her new reality in a human zoo on an alien planet. "The jury is unanimous. We award the Mary Shelley prize to Erin Li for her original vision, rigorous world-building, and creative storytelling in her impressive short film, KEPLER X-47. We look forward to seeing Erin grow as a bold new voice in the SciFi genre.” The winner was selected by a special jury of female film industry professionals: Anne Chaisson, Executive Director Hamptons International Film Festival; Alysia Reiner, Producer/Founder Broad Street Picture (EQUITY - Sundance Jury award winner), actress (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, SIDEWAYS, EQUITY); and Sarah Adina Smith, writer/director BUSTER'S MAL HEART, THE MIDNIGHT SWIM. To qualify, nominated films were either written/directed by a female or featured complex female protagonists driving the narrative and leading the action. Special Mentions were given to ALLHALLOWTIDE writer/director Tia Salisbury for a comic take on a known genre & spectacular writing and to THE TRIBE director Roxy Shih for outstanding ensemble acting.
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 2016 are:
Andy Mitton, WE GO ON
Roxy Shih, THE TRIBE
Aden Young, THE UNSEEN
Britt Lower, DOMAIN
Martin Gschlacht, STILLE RESERVEN
Yftah Paul Shoshan, OMG I'M A ROBOT?!
Feature Score or Music
Jay Woelfel, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS
Matt Hoffman, VIRTUAL REVOLUTION
Feature Production Design
Lauren Fitzsimmons, DOMAIN
David Gaddie, Steven Kelleher, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
Ben Leonberg, BEARS DISCOVER FIRE
Jamie Pigott, POPULACE
Jo Armeniox, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
Russell Gleeson, BLIGHT
Xavier Pijuan, MARIA FERNANDA IN TIME
Short Score or Music
Jared Dymbort, JOHN THE CARPENTER
Aaron Rovner, RAE
Short Production Design
Francois Dickes, QUENOTTES