2014 Film Festival Awards

The Dragon Con Independent Film Festival awards ceremony took place on Monday, September 1st. Clips were shown from each of three finalists in the categories of Action, Animated Comedy, Animated Fantasy, Animated Science Fiction, Animated Surrealism, Comedy, Dark Comedy, Documentary, Fan Film, Fantasy, Horror, Horror Comedy, Science Fiction, Thrillers, as well as Feature. The finalists, as well as the winners, are listed below. Best Animated Short and Best Short Film were chosen from the 1st place winners in the genre shorts categories.  An Honorable Mention was given to a film that, due to particularly intense competition, did not place first in its category. The Spirit of Dragon Con was awarded to a film that embodied the overall essence of both the film festival and the convention.  This was a juried competition.

Best Short Film: Curio Shop: A Post Apocalyptic Acid Western Best Animated Film: Lessons Learned Honorable Mention: Recursion Spirit of Dragon Con: Of Dice and Men


1st Place: Curio Shop: A Post Apocalyptic Acid Western Mack Blaster – The World in the Crosshairs The Hunting

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Monkey Rag Bless You Fog of Courage

Animated Fantasy

1st Place: Lessons Learned In The Beginning Country of Wolves

Animated Science Fiction

1st Place: The Looking Planet Doctor Puppet: A Timelord Christmas Terraformin’

Animated Surrealism

1st Place: Leviathan Ages Hitori Collectors


1st Place: Logan Must Make Star Wars Star Drunk Losers

Dark Comedy

1st Place: The Lord of Catan Alejandrito and the Boogie Man M is For Mobile


1st Place: Rise of the eSports Hero

Fan Film

1st Place: Grayson: Earth One Batman Evolution Ruins and Reckoning


1st Place: Portal Jonah Cassandra


1st Place: Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse Butterfly Dust The Jigsaw

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Clean Break Ghosting Tasha and Friends

Science Fiction

1st Place: The Developer Recursion Into the Dark


1st Place: Dog I Owe You Job Interview

Feature Film

1st Place: Drew: The Man Behind the Poster Of Dice and Men Time Lapse

2012 Film Festival Awards

Best Live-Action: ‘Til Death
Best Feature: Strange Frame
Best Animated: The Narrative of Victor Karloch

Animated Comedy
Winner: Zing
Finalists: Cedric & Hope
Inner City

Animated Fantasy
Winner: Opening Day
Finalists: Fisher
Scrap Metal

Animated Horror
Winner: The Narrative of Victor Karloch
Finalists: Dark Vessel
The Old Man and the Old Woman

Winner: How to Get to Candybar
Finalists: Imminent Danger!
Pillow Fight

Dark Comedy
Winner: Twisted
Finalists: Blood on the Gaming Dice
Felix Graves

Winner: When the Zombies Come
Finalists: Devoted to the Dark Side

Fan Film
Winner: A Light in the Darkness
Finalists: To Catch A Predator

Winner: Wilt
Finalists: The Passage

Winner: ‘Til Death
Finalists: Baby-Sitting
Whom God Helps

Winner: Reverse Parthenogenesis
Finalists: The Post-Lifers
Werewolf in a Girls Sorority

Music Video
Winner: Old Man Cabbage
Finalists: Giant Mushrooms
Madly in Love

Science Fiction
Winner: D.N.E.: Do Not Erase
Finalists: 88:88
White Room: 02B3

Winner: No Rest For The Wicked
Finalists: Owen’s Hobby

Honorable Mention: Blood on the Gaming Dice

[Photos by Joe Lombardo]

2011 Film Festival Awards

The Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival awards ceremony took place on Monday, September 4th. Clips were shown from each of three finalists in 13 categories (Animated Comedy, Animated Drama, Animated Fantasy, Animated Surrealism, Comedy, Dark Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Horror Comedy, Music Video, Science Fiction, Thriller) as well as the four features in the festival. The finalists, as well as the winners, are listed below.

Best Animated Short was chosen from the 1st place winners in the four animated categories. Best Short Film was chosen from the 1st place winners in the nine live-action categories. An Honorable Mention was given to a film that, due to particularly intense competition, did not place first in its category. This was a juried competition.

Best Short Film: Invasion from Planet Schrump
Best Animated Film: Odokuro
Honorable Mention: The Lone Warrior

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Bedtime For Timmy

Animated Drama

1st Place: Gilded Age Gladiator
Junk Palace

Animated Fantasy

1st Place: Dream Giver
The Lady ParaNorma

Animated Surrealism

1st Place: Odokuro
5 Minutes Each


1st Place: Sudden Death
Bear Force One
Shadow Puppets

Dark Comedy

1st Place: A Cup of Tea
Abra Cadaver


1st Place: Invasion from Planet Schrump
The Lone Warrior
Triplets (Mitsugo)


1st Place: Time’s Up, Eve
Early Birds
My Good Fortune


1st Place: The Furred Man
Lamaze Of The Dead
Making Friends

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Plush
Get Off My Porch

Music Video

1st Place: Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury
I Just Want To (Dance)

Science Fiction

1st Place: James Vs Reality
Once Upon a Time in 1972


1st Place: Suffer
Easier Ways To Make A Living

Feature Film

1st Place: The Millennium Bug

2010 Film Festival Awards

And the award goes to…

Each film was placed into a judging category.  Three films were then chosen by the judges as the finalists in each category, with one going on to be given 1st place.  Below is listed the three finalists and the first place films.

Animated Comedy
1st Place The Bolt Who Screwed Christmas
The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger
Animated Fantasy
1st Place Yamasong
Bygone Behemoth
Animated Science Fiction
1st Place Tales from the Afternow: Little Rocks
One Small Step
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
Animated Short-Short
1st Place The Sacrifice
DemiUrge Emesis
1st Place Whaling and the Inherent Dangers Therein
Chase Thompson, a film by Chase Thompson
The Tedious Existence of Terrell B. Howell
Dark Comedy
1st Place Self-Inflicted
Elusive Man
1st Place The Pledge
Conventional Wisdom
1st Place The Tea Master
The Hatter’s Apprentice
Nothin’ Noble
1st Place Sunday Punch
One Night
Taylors Trophy
Magic Realism
1st Place Lorelei
Desert of the Real
1st Place Bottles
The Horseman
1st Place Alice Jacobs is Dead
8 Butterflies
Horror Comedy
1st Place The Necronomicon
Night of the Punks
Written By
Science Fiction
1st Place Mnemosyne Rising
Mister Green
The 3rd Letter
1st Place Doctor ‘S’ Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie
Born of Hope
Pushin’ Up Daisies

A Best Animated Film was chosen from the 1st place winners in the animated categories, and a Best Short Film was chosen from the winners in the live-action short film categories.

Best Animated Film: Yamasong

Best Short Film: Sunday Punch

Finally, four additional awards were presented for films/filmmakers that deserved additional recognition.

Cult Film
Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer
Honorable Mention
Elusive Man
Spirit of Dragon*Con Comcast Award
Mike Salva/Death Row Diet

2009 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Hector Corp.
Best Animated Film: Mythic Journeys: The Bone Orchard
Honorable Mentions: Animated American & The Price to Pay & Rosfeld

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Chroma Chameleon
Enter The Sandbox
Snuggle Time

Animated Fantasy

1st Place: Mythic Journeys: The Bone Orchard
The Peasant and the Root

Animated Science Fiction

1st Place: Theosaurology

Animated Short-Short

1st Place: X-Mess Detritus
Loser pays, Winner stays
Tiny Legs of Fire


1st Place: Interpretation
The Assassin Project


1st Place: The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives
Animated American
Be Good

Dark Comedy

1st Place: Hector Corp.
The Baby Shredder Song


1st Place: Striking Metal
Springbringer: Songs from the World of New Nature
Tree of Knowledge


1st Place: Bathtub to happiness
Death in the Garden
The Hunt For Gollum


1st Place: On Edge

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Death In Charge

Magic Realism

1st Place: That’s Magic!
In The Rope
Mrs. Brumett’s Garden

Science Fiction

1st Place: Enigma


1st Place: SHADOW.NET
First Kill
The Price to Pay

2008 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Al’s Beef
Best Animated Film: Paper Shepherd
Honorable Mention: Tie: Centigrade & The Procedure

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Max the Hero
Tofu the Vegan Zombie: Zombie Dearest

Animated Horror

1st Place: The Book Dealers
A Break in the Monotony
Getting Out

Animated Fantasy & Science Fiction

1st Place: Paper Shepherd
First Time Out
Invisible Master

Experimental Animation

1st Place: Transrexia
Destiny Manifest
Prometheus’ Garden


1st Place: Lowenstein’s a Terrorist
Booth Girls
Small Talk

Dark Comedy

1st Place: 3 Stories About Evil


1st Place: The Delivery
Lord of Dreams
Straighten Up And Fly Right

Dark Fantasy

1st Place: Winter’s Tale
Shamus the Myth


1st Place: Reflections
The Bug

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Harvest Moon
Casting Call of Cthulhu


1st Place: The Demise
In For a Penny

Science Fiction

1st Place: Outsource
The Glitch


1st Place: The Diary of Anne Frank of the Dead
300 Pounds
Hard Stapled


1st Place: By Appointment Only
Paint Shaker
This Is a Story About Ted and Alice


1st Place: Al’s Beef
Dead Bones


1st Place: Verboten
Leave You In Me
Safe House

Additionally, we presented one award determined by the attending filmmakers and three determined by the audience.

Filmmaker’s Choice: Al’s Beef

Audience Awards for films containing:
The Most Frightening: The Procedure
The Most spectacular Effects: Outsource
The Best Villain: Verboten

2007 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Jakob and the Angels
Best Animated Film: Operation: Fish
Honorable Mention: Thanksgiving With the Kranzes

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Whale
Clicker Clatter
Dr. Docatto’s Reprise!!!

Animated Drama

1st Place: When The World Goes Dark
Everything Will Be OK

Animated Horror

1st Place: Puppet
Georgie’s Wish
The Intruder

Animated Fantasy & Science Fiction

1st Place: Operation: Fish
Alien for Christmas
Art’s Desire

Action & Suspense

1st Place: Forged
Rest Stop for the Rare Individual
Roma Sub Rosa: The Secret Under the Rose


1st Place: Lullaby Crossing
The Laborer
Vengeful Spirit


1st Place: Monster Job Hunter
The Love Box
The Time Machine

Dark Comedy

1st Place: The Fifth
My Friend Sam


1st Place: Jakob and the Angels
The Henchman
Ordinary Angels


1st Place: Para-Normal
Iron Bird

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Zombie Love
Cannibal Flesh Riot
Night of the Hell-Hamsters


1st Place: 07
The Ring of Ultimate Power
Thanksgiving With the Kranzes

Magic Realism

1st Place: Enter the Dragonfly
Belinda’s Swan Song
Vanished Acres

Science Fiction

1st Place: D-I-M, Deus in Machina
Face Machine
Great Detective


1st Place: A Little Night Fright
Blue Dreams Downtown

Additionally, we presented five awards determined by the audience. The Filmmaker’s Choice award was given to the film receiving the most votes from attending filmmakers. The remaining four awards were voted on by the audience in general, and as the processes used for figuring festival audience awards can never stand up to rigorous inspection, we took things light from the start. The voting for these none-too-serious awards had no rules, and yet the results certainly made sense to us.

Filmmaker’s Choice:
Zombie Love

Audience Awards for films containing:
Insanely Brilliant Original Song: Zombie Love
Kick-Ass Fight: Forged
Deliciously Twisted Relationship: Daddy Why?
Overall Joyously Perverse: The Boy Princes: A Tragedie Most Monstrous

2006 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Oculus
Best Animated Film: Dragon
Honorable Mention: The Call of Cthulhu

Category finalists:

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Hazel’s Hips
Mercury Inspection
Uh-Oh: A Brief Encounter

Animated Fantasy

1st Place: Dragon
If I Had a Hammer
The Toll

Animated Horror

1st Place: From Beyond
The Masque of Ollock
The Pit and the Pendulum


1st Place: The Wright Stuff
And Now a Word from Our Sponsors


1st Place: Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills and Painted Nightmares
Cannes Do
The Curling Stones


1st Place: The Analyst’s Goodbye
Earthly Things


1st Place: The Greatest Story of All Time
Crooked Mick of the Speewah
Devil’s Rose


1st Place: Oculus
The Call of Cthulhu
The Mamtsotsi Bird

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Raven Gets a Life
Danger Zone
The Sparkle Lite Motel


1st Place: Bon Appetit
The Injured StormTrooper
Uh Oh Betty

Science Fiction

1st Place: Helix
The Key


1st Place: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

Peer Choice: Grace
Peer Choice—For Attending Filmmaker: Tell-Tale Art

2005 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Apartment 206
Best Animated Film: The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
Honorable Mention: Turn

Animated Comedy

1st Place: Rattus Pistofficus
Herman, The Legal Labrador*
The Love Train
Surly Squirrel*
Timmy’s Lessons in Nature: Lessons 1-3
To A Man With A Big Nose
Zombie Skunk Ghouls Preview

Animated Fantasy & Science Fiction

1st Place: The Mysterious Geographic
Explorations of Jasper Morello
Cold War
Joy Comes in the Morning
Knights in the Enchanted Museum*
Valley of Gwombi*

Animated Horror

1st Place: Little Dead Girl
Circle of Freaks
L’amour est…*


1st Place: Final Sale
I am Stamos
It’s About Time
Pirates Vs. Ninjas*
Prayers From Pelham
The Three R’s*

Extreme Horror

1st Place: Means To An End


1st Place: Apartment 206
The Babel Trunk
The Big Thing
Claang: The Origin
The Commission*
Nie solo seiN (Never even)
Rainbow’s End


1st Place: Colour Blind
Legion The Word Made Flesh*
I’ll See You in My Dreams
Stephen King’s Gotham Café
Thirty Five
We All Fall Down

Horror Comedy

1st Place: Pee Shy
Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day*
To Psigio (The Fridge)


1st Place: Confederate Zombie Massacre!
Imperial Chopper*
Jedi House*
Mosquito: Behind the Scenes Preview
Portrait of a Zombie
Teenage Superhero Pregnancy Scare

Science Fiction

1st Place: Cost Of Living
The Cost of Living
Farmer Brown
Into the Maelstrom
Star Wars: Revelations*
Terror In The Outer Zone


1st Place: D
Kyoto Nocturnes, Part I: Elegant Slaughter
Le Manian
The Neighborly Thing
One For The Road
Staring at the Sun*


The 2005 D*CIS Film Festival Jury consisted of:

Fran Burst-Terranella
An Emmy-winning filmmaker with over 700 credits, Fran is a founding member of IMAGE and Women in Film-Atlanta, has served on the Governor’s Film and Video Advisory Board, is currently on the Board of NATAS’ Southeast chapter, and has earned more than 100 national and international awards. She is also on the Digital Media faculty at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

Bob Coughlin
A professional writer and editor since 1967 as well as a long-time film festival director, Bob has produced film segments for Jon Ludwig’s Heaven Hell Tour and other projects at the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts, worked with Jim Henson on The Muppets Take Atlanta, and produced, written, and scored several short films, including the 1988 documentary Bob Smith and Howdy Too.

Doc Ezra
With a near-encyclopedic knowledge of bad action movies, and a superhuman capacity for cynicism and sarcasm, Doc joined the SDI fold at Needcoffee.com where he has been a contributor for nearly a decade, writing his own weight in DVD Reviews. He has also served as a former contributor to Corona’s Coming Attractions.

Matthew M. Foster
Your not-very-humble Festival Director and Film Critic.

2004 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Natural Selection
Best Animated Film: Rockfish

Screenings & awards for 2004:

Classic Animation

Al Roach: Private Insectigator (7 min)
Directed by Obie Scott Wade. James Garner stars as a roach P.I. in a film noir send-up.

Birdon (3 min)
Directed by Jackie Huang. A caged bird tastes freedom.

Don’t Feed the Book (2 min)
Directed by Robin Ator. No food or drinks in this store, please.

Duel (4 min)
Directed by Colin Elliott. Two wizards battle each other in a hand-drawn short.

1st Place Flyaway (11 min)
Directed by Danny Oakley. A wooden toy plane longs to soar. From the makers of the BAFTA nominee and last year’s winner, Dear, Sweet Emma.

Willis Sillim’s Tall Tale (7 min)
Directed by Steffen Vala. Animation, showing that it’s tough to be tall.

Object Aimation

1st Place The Devil & Manny Schmeckstein (7 min)
Directed by Jim Goodman. An old comedian dies onstage and goes to claymation hell.

The Ends of the Alphabet (9 min)
Directed by Eric Kurland. More film noir animation, this time with hand puppets.

Laundry Day (10 min)
Directed by Bryan Smith. A family of sock puppets fear the monster in their dryer.

Rex & Red (2 min)
Directed by Chad Meserve. Desktop toys wage epic battles.

The Robot & The Tree (4 min)
Directed by Daniel Robashkin. Object animation about a little robot that needs a battery.

Sci-Fi Animation

1st Place RockFish (9 min)
Directed by Tim Miller. A man and his little critter buddy go fishing in the core of a hostile planet.

Welcome To Eden (5 min)
Directed by Erin Condy. Two deep-space scientists make a cataclysmic error.


Argent Liquide (12 min)
Directed by Shaun Andrews. How a cash deposit is processed.

Big Time (29 min)
Directed by Geofrey Hildrew. A giant (Matthew McGrory, from Big Fish) wants to do standup, but is tricked into joining a circus by Zamboni (Curtis Armstrong).

1st Place Killing Kevin (16 min)
Directed by Jeanne Kopeck. Things go wrong at a meeting of the Victims of Kevin Costner support group.

The Perfect Proposal (4 min)
Directed by Brandon McCormick. The perplexing perils of proposing.

The Right Hand Man (18 min)
Directed by Simon Williamson. A rookie poker hustler is forced to learn a lesson.

Waiting For Maggio (10 min)
Directed by Jens Conway. He’s late for a meeting with the Don, and the Don is not happy.

Silly Works

The Accusation (4 min)
Directed by Tom Konkle. Shades on Monty Python! A very proper argument.

The End (2 min)
Directed by Tim Clayton and Rob Crowther. Don’t touch that globe! From the makers of Foley Street (Best Documentary in 2002).

First Kiss (1 min)
Directed by Varda Hardy. A young girl describes her very first kiss.

1st Place The Hero (10 min)
Directed by Michael Field. A desperate chase to stop a kidnapping.

Pinkerton’s Hair Club for Scientists (2 min)
Directed by Lewis D’Aubinv. A hair club infomercial for scientists.

The Secret to Happiness (7 min)
Directed by Tom Konkle. Congratulations after a wedding.

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (6 min)
Directed by Steve Desmond. A school bully faces death.


The Arsonist (15 min)
Directed by Myles Sorensen. A narcoleptic therapist avoids investigating the case of an arsonist.

1st Place Mindgame (22 min)
Directed by Jamie Neese. A sleazy con man tries to con his own partner in a psychic scam.

The Rules (29 min)
Directed by Laura Black. Two women decide to push the boundaries.

Seventy-Seven Below (26 min)
Directed by Aina Abiodun. A young man is asked to freeze his dying father.


1st Place The Absence of Emily (25 min)
Directed by D. Gillian Truster. His first wife mysteriously disappeared, and now his rich, second wife has gone missing.

The Crimson Hour (21 min)
Directed by Ryan Wick. A police detective hides information about the deaths of two women.

Wrong Way Up (11 min)
Directed by Gabriel Hardman. Tarantula smugglers try to cross the border from Mexico.

Horror Comedy

Photograbber (19 min)
Directed by Pascal Tosi. A henpecked toymaker gets a very special camera.

1st Place Roadside Attractions (16 min)
Directed by C.J. Roy. A quiet man has his own theories of justice.

Teenage Bikini Vampire (7 min)
Directed by Devi Snively. A lonely vampire surfer chick gets lucky.


1st Place (tie) Conversations (17 min)
Directed by Ben Rock. A mortician (Curtis Armstrong) has a solution that ends his loneliness.

1st Place (tie) Timed Call (15 min)
Directed by Matthew Macknamara. If you could make a phone call back in time, who would you call, and when?

Framed (18 min)
Directed by, Jeff Consiglio. The truth emerges, about her roommate’s suicide.

Bloody Horror

Little Ricky (23 min)
Directed by Michael Condro. A boy finds a desperate solution for his life with a happy, ol’ country family of cannibals.

1st Place Thanatos Road (25 min)
Directed by Edward Kishel. A girl is missing in Arizona.

There’s Something Out There (17 min)
Directed by Brian Pulido. A man, his wife, and his gnome.

Gothic Horror

The Man on the Side of the Road (14 min)
Directed by Bret Mix. A driver sees a guy by the side of the road.

The Ogre’s Wife (10 min)
Directed by Sean Regan. Reminiscent of silent classics, a young woman’s marriage sets in motion dark events.

The Silvergleam Whistle (25 min)
Directed by Mike Williamson. Starring Patty McCormack, it’s the return of the Train of the Damned!

1st Place Repossessed (9 min)
Directed by John Coven. A realtor (JoBeth Williams) shows a new listing to a client (Juliet Landau).


1st Place The Little Shtimmer (11 min)
Directed by Lilly Posner. A quiet boy copes during WWII.

Simone’s Labyrinth (15 min)
Directed by Ivan Sainz-Pardo. A little girl’s reality overlaps her dreams.

Three Keys (18 min)
Directed by Kristine Familletti. A financially strapped couple find a key, which leads to another.

Timeless (15 min)
Directed by, Wynn Padula. A grad student helps his professor decode the music of existence.

Walter (6 min)
Directed by Tamara Maloney. A woman finds a surprise in a swimming pool.

Magic Realism

Autopsy Turvy (14 min)
Directed by Gary Sales. Tech provides more than an autopsy.

1st Place (tie) The Bar (17 min)
Directed by Richard Stern. After failing as a standup comedian, this guy (Curtis Armstrong) goes into a bar…

1st Place (tie) Life is a Circus (11 min)
Directed by Max Hochrad. A man moves to London, in a quest to find a lost love.

Science Fiction

A Can of Paint (25 min)
Directed by Robi Michael. A treasure hunter ignores a cryptic warning on a can found in deep space.

E:D:E:N (14 min)
Directed by Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro. Human explorers find a new planet and decide to exterminate the dominate species.

Escape (6 min)
Directed by Patrick Keith. A desperate escape in deep space.

My Robot Baby (25 min)
Directed by Greg Pak. A robot baby tests the determination of potential parents.

1st Place Natural Selection (17 min)
Directed by Scott Leberecht. In 2097, genetic engineering has been outlawed, and gene poachers go after eggs.

Zero Prospect (47 min)
Directed by Hunter Cressall. Down-on-their-luck prospectors have to deal with asteroid claim jumpers in deep, deep space.

Sci-Fi Comedy

Future Shock (9 min)
Directed by R. Michael Chrisco. Leaving a time capsule can seriously backfire.

1st Place The Mazinga Paradox (28 min)
Directed by Joe Gressis. What if you could go back in time and grab your classic toys before you opened them?

Singularity (16 min)
Directed by Matthew Nix. He’s as self-centered as a black hole.


1st Place Hula (6 min)
Directed by Kurt Evans. A short history of the Hula Hoop.

2003 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Family Tree
Best Animated Film: Dear, Sweet Emma

Screenings & awards for 2003:


1st Place The Erl-King, 8 min, animation by Hannes Rall.  A stark and powerful version of Goethe’s classic tale of a father and his child traveling at night through a haunted forest.

2nd Place Rendezvous with Rama, 4 min, animation by Aaron Ross.  An extraordinarily detailed animation sequence, depicting key scenes from Arthur C. Clarke’s classic story.

Dandelion, 11 min, animation by Hal Forsstrom.  A soldier’s personal battle to survive in the wasteland of a future war, told in pen-and-ink and watercolor.

Destroy Old Things, 9 min, animation by Jeff King, Jim Fairchild, and Lewis D’Aubin.  A rocking anthem from the Consortium of Genius is matched by a vibrant mixture of animation techniques.


1st Place Dear, Sweet Emma, 6 min, 3D-animation by Rebecca Cernak. A sweet, little old lady is puttering around in her lemon-lime kitchen, as the radio announces that the search for her lost husband has been discontinued.  Then we learn more about the twinkle in her eye.

2nd Place Puphedz: The Tattle-Tale Heart, 27 min, puppet animation directed by Jurgen Heimann.  A Guignolesque re-telling of Poe’s classic tale, as told by a bizarre traveling puppet troupe.

A Pizza for Sprinkles, 2 min, animation by Hillary Clark.   Short delight, involving a pizza delivery made at an animal shelter, and the surprising tip given to the reluctant driver.

Project Mars, 15 min, directed and animated by Dug Ward.  A farce about the search for water on Mars, mixing silly live action with sillier animation.

Virtual vs. Real, 10 min, directed and animated by Jamie Pilarski.  A rivalry develops during a casting call when the auditioning actress finds that her competition is a computer construct.


1st Place Bluefish, 25 min, directed by Lucas Howe.  A friendship develops on a remote prison island.  Beautifully shot in black and white, this film combines harsh contemporary realities with mystical, other-worldly elements.

2nd Place Keys of Life, 13 min, directed by Jeremy Rall, produced by Rachel Curl.  During the worst day of his life, a locksmith learns an important truth.  Beautiful images within a harsh, ironic tale.

Anna’s Room, 20 min, directed by Patrick Boyton.  A cautionary tale, wherein a 16-year-old girl, with a controlling father, is lured into the world of a dangerous stranger.

Backfire, 23 min, directed by Ron Etemad.  Disaster results when a teenage boy attempts to win new friends and join a violent gang.

Eternal, 7 min, directed by Freddie Arnold Jr.  Dark, tightly edited images illustrate the tale of a young man trying desperately to help his brother deal with their abusive father.


1st Place Frazetta, Painting with Fire, 60 min, directed by Lance Laspina, produced by Jeremy DiFiore.  A richly detailed look at Frank Frazetta’s amazing life: his battles, his triumphs, and his incredible artwork.

2nd Place  UnWound, 45 min, directed by Jeff Cioletti.  A detailed look at classic toy robots, movie robots, and battling robots.


1st Place String of the Kite, 24 min, directed by Michael Fallavollita.  A grandfather teaches kite-flying and other lessons to his grandson.  An exquisite performance by John Schuck.

2nd Place Professional Courtesy, 27 min, directed by Mark Price.  The codes of conduct affect dealings between medieval thieves.  A delicate battle of wits in a lush forest setting.

Fantasy Comedy

1st Place Tea Time, 6 min, directed by Jay Bogdanowitsch.  A tasty bit of Pythonesque battlefield intrigue, centering on a gooey pastry.

2nd Place Red Wagon, 14 min, directed by Alison Marek.  A delusional woman finds a shipwrecked man on the beach, but will her sister let her keep him?

Time Copy, 11 min, directed by Matt Rosen.  Farce about an office boy who finds that the photocopier has a very special button, one that resets time.

General Comedy

1st Place Spidermen, 8 min, directed by Harry Kellerman.  A young boy adopts the guise of his favorite super-hero as he endeavors to find where his Mom hide his basket of Halloween candy.

2nd Place Getting Out, 21 min, directed by Aaron Fishman.  A California trust-fund dude tries everything he can think of to get rid of a stifling girlfriend.

Sticky Fingers, 19 min, directed by Douglas S. Jones.  Complications ensue when a bride finds her mate’s collection of porn, and calculates that he spent less on her engagement ring.


1st Place The Patchwork Monkey, 10 min, directed by Susan Bell.  A young boy receives a hand-made gift from his babysitter; his sister teases that it’s going to get him.  Little does she know.

2nd Place The Visage, 40 min, directed by Kirk Henderson.  A man is hired to watch the corpse of a spiritualist for three intense nights.

Endings, 12 min, directed by Danishka Esterhazy.  This dark, atmospheric film presents a young man meeting a young woman who can see when and where people are going to die.

Horror Comedy

1st Place No Witness, 10 min, directed by Michael Valverde, story by Steve Antczak. A crafty politician orders the hiring of a contract killer, with the stipulation that there be no witnesses.  Cross-cut storylines and handheld shots reflect the escalating chaos.

2nd Place Fun with Clones, 11 min, directed by Matthew Pristave.  In this heady farce, you can use clones to satisfy your desires to take revenge on teasing classmates, evil bosses, and teens blasting music.

Blood Shot, 22 min, directed by Dietrich Johnston, produced by Jacqueline Johnston.  The CIA’s top agent is a vampire, sent to wipe out terrorists, but he’s being stalked by a police officer.

Run, 5 min, directed by Katharine Leis, edited by Gary DeJidas.  A woman is stalked while jogging at night.  Tautly cut, filmed in low light, with a neat kicker.

Magic Realism

1st Place Family Tree, 36 min, directed by Vicky Jenson.  Inspired by Ovid’s tale of Baucis and Philemon, this film presents a bickering family’s celebration of Thanksgiving.  Harland Williams gives us the outsider’s perspective, as a man struggling to understand the quirky family he has married into.  Talia Shire and Ethan Phillips play the grandparents, in a uniformly excellent ensemble cast, all creating vivid characters who reveal life-long passions, rivalries, and frustrations in scenes laced with humor and warmth.  (Family Tree was Jenson’s first project since co-directing Shrek.)

2nd Place The Mother Tree, 27 min, directed by Shaeri Scholzman Richards, Sedona, Ariz.  Mysticism meets domestic abuse, as an orphaned boy encounters an African drum healer.

The Appointment, 16 min, directed by Earl A. Hibbert.  A businessman, pre-occupied with success, has to wonder, after an auto accident, if he has been sacrificing too much family time.

Science Fiction

1st Place Phoenix , 19 min, directed by Steven Bordelon.  Something is dangerously wrong in a school for telekinetic children—three failures lead to elimination.  Strong cinematic tale, with minimal dialogue.

2nd Place Circle, 13 min, directed by Whitney Hamilton.  An NSA agent discovers that extra-terrestrials are after him.  For once the men in black are not in charge, not by a long shot.

Night Cap, 16 min, directed by Brandon Kahn.  A beautifully filmed, scored, and paced tale of a perfect future, and one young man who discovers a book of poems and dares to think.

Sci-Fi Comedy

1st Place Untitled: 003 Embryo, 28 min, directed by Mike Goedecke.  An agoraphobic man receives a package containing an ultra-hi-tech helmet, that proceeds to capture other people’s dreams and promises to make his own dreams come true.  Ethan Phillips has an outrageous cameo.

2nd Place New Verdiform City, 13 min, directed by Brad Abrahams. In glorious retro black-and-white, this film presents a fantastical alternative version of 1952, where obsolete humans fight a robot takeover.

Stranded, 13 min, directed by Don Waters, produced by Franco Calabrese, Don Waters, Phil Mell, and Joel Austin.  After crashing on a strange planet, two bounty hunters wonder who’s on top of the food chain.

Mon Star, 10 min, directed by Glenn S. Abbott.  An absolutely unique sci-fi monster musical, with a truly bizarre creature and rousing battle songs.

The Mazinga Paradox, 28 min, directed by Joseph Gressis, produced by Michael D. Yates.  This film sends up every time travel story as the hero decides to go back in time and snatch his classic sci-fi toys before he could open them on Christmas morning.


1st Place I’ll Save You!!!, 6 min, directed by Damian Beurer.  When a purse is stolen in New York City , who comes to the rescue?  A veritable plethora of classic, head-knocking, Marvel super-heroes!

2nd Place The Convention, 12 min, directed by Georgia Clark.  It’s her son’s birthday, but a woman has to go to work, waitressing at a Superhero Banquet.

King Blade, 16 min, directed by John Stewart.  Part camp, part horror—the tale of an abused janitor who turns to the ghost of Elvis for advice, help, and inspiration.

2002 Film Festival Awards

Best Short Film: Dwindling
Best Animated Film: Mechbird

Screenings & awards for 2002:


1st Place Mechbird, 6 min, directed by Ashley Auld.  A clockwork baby bird learns to fly.

2nd Place The Day of the Subgenius, 8 min, directed by Chris Hopewell.  A British town is invaded by dinosaurs, flying saucers, and bloody big cooties.

Baby-Cue, 14 min, directed by Hazel Grian.  A bizarre stop-motion adventure done with toys, action figures, and Barbies.


1st Place Foley Street, 8 min, directed by Tim Clayton and Rob Crowther.  The man who puts sound into movies does some experimenting.

2nd Place Jack Pierce–The Man Behind the Monsters, directed by Scott Essman.  The life of Universal makeup legend Jack P. Pierce is told through narration, stills, and recreations of scenes from six famous Universal horror films.

Extreme Horror

1st Place Grasp, 18 min, directed by Brendan Donovan.  Two cops follow the trail of a bloody hand found in a laundromat dryer.

2nd Place Daddy’s Little Girl, 17 min, directed by Andrew Landesman.  A young woman finds a brutally murdered man.


1st Place Habirth, 13 min, directed by Martin Thorne.  After the apocalypse, a wanderer tries to stay alive and sane.

2nd Place Hope, 20 min, directed by Ron Brinkmann.  A young woman needs some serious help finding a little girl what has disappeared.

General Comedy

1st Place Only Joking, 17 min, directed by Michael Patrick Kelly.  The penultimate male chauvinist gets major payback.

2nd Place Quest for the Holy Porcelain, 8 min, directed by Ari Eisner.  A young boy has an urgent problem after 4 hours of monster movies and 4 bottles of lemonade.

C.O.G. vs. The Phantom, 30 min, directed by Lewis D’Aubin and Jim Fairchild.  The chronicles of the Consortium of Genius’s disastrous attempt to master the power of the Lost Book of the Dead.

Gothic Horror

1st Place August, 17 min, directed by Hoku Uchiyama.  A young girl wonders what happened to her little brother and who, or what, is crying under the house.

2nd Place SadoMannequin, 14 min, directed by Jim Torres.  It’s hell being a night watchman when the moon is full.

Shadowbox, 4 min, directed by Michael Malone.  Death stalks a mother and her baby.

Horror Comedy

1st Place The Boogerman, 10 min, directed by Jeff Eagle. If your finger goes up your nose, he must remove the finger you chose.

2nd Place Timmy’s Wish, 10 min, directed by Patrick Cannon.  Little Timmy wishes that his parents were dead.  Luckily, Jesus is always there to help.

Quiet, 33 min, directed by Sylvain White.  Junior’s ghost suggests how Daddy can avenge what Mommy did.

Magic Realism

1st Place Dwindling, 19 min, directed by Arnie Lerner.  A young boy deals with some puzzling changes in his family.

2nd Place Fate & Fortune, 16 min, directed by Keith Jefferies.  Strange things happen when Fate and Fortune are dealing the cards.

The Reckoning, 12 min, directed by Chris Barfoot and Robert Clother.

Science Fiction

1st Place The Machine, 18 min, directed by Michael Craft.  A man finds a machine which provides a wide range of experiences.

2nd Place Redemption: Episode I, 26 min, directed by Jay A. Kelley.  One disastrous rescue attempt in an asteroid field was enough, but now they have to go back.

Division Trade, 27 min, directed by Christos Chrestatos.  Survival is the key when violent industrial espionage drives the future.

Paranoia 3, directed by Cathy Raymond, Saif Ansari, and Nick Nigro.  A science fiction thriller about alien conspiracy.


1st Place Nerd Wars, 19 min, directed by Elton Sebastian.  A Star Wars fan discovers that Trekkies plan to destroy George Lucas.

2nd Place Dial “A” for Alphaman, 16 min, directed by Mike Jackson.  The world’s greatest hero meets his match, Dr. Cerebro

The Human BEEing, directed by Tony Shea.  An homage to 1950’s B-horror movies. It’s the story of an evil boss and a mad scientist who plan to get rich by turning all their employees at a typing company into worker bees.

Evilbusters, 6 min, directed by Aaron King.  Who are you going to call when you mess up with the Book of the Dead.