GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich International Film Festival announced its inaugural award winners at the opening night party held at Restoration Hardware last week.
A total of 31 films were screened at the festival, and 24 were entered into competition.
Each winner earned a cash prize, with shorts filmmakers winning $2,500 and feature filmmakers winning $10,000.
“We are thrilled to honor these five award-winning films from such powerful, emerging filmmakers from all over the world. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off our inaugural year. These filmmakers will always be a part of the GIFF family,” said GIFF founders Carina Crain, Colleen deVeer and Wendy Stapleton Reyes in a statement.
The Narrative Shorts winner was French filmmaker Alexis Michalik's “Grounded (Au sol),” which focuses on keeping your humanity when dealing with protocol in an international airport.
Luke Lorentzen, a Brunswick graduate, won Documentary Shorts Program honors with “Santa Cruz del Islote,” a look at the lives of fishers and the community relying on their work. (Read more about him and his film, which premiered at the festival, here at the Daily Voice.)
German filmmaker Frederik Steiner's “Zurich (Und Morgen Mittag bin Ich Tot)” earned the Narrative Feature award. The feature concerns a young woman with cystic fibrosis trying to die with dignity.
“The Russian Woodpecker (Orosz Harkály),” from Chad Gracia, won the Documentary Feature competition. Gracia profiles Fedor Alexandrovich, a Ukrainian artist who believes the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was a cover for an antenna intended to interfere with Western frequencies.
Lastly, “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets,” from Marc Silver, won the the Bill & Anne Bresnan Social Impact Award. The documentary recounts the murder of African-American teenager Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn, a white, middle-age man. Silver focuses on Dunn's trial, Davis' family and friends and Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law.
The film also won a special jury award earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.
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