Awards from Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

MAMMOTH LAKES, CA – May 31, 2015 – The inaugural Mammoth Lakes Film Festival announced. the feature and short film recipients of this year’s awards in the Audience and Juried Categories. The award winners were announced at the festival’s Awards Ceremony at the Sierra Events Center in Mammoth Lakes, CA, hosted by festival sponsors Paul and Kathleen Rudder.


Juries of leading industry experts and esteemed filmmakers determined the MLFF Jury Awards for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, and Short Film categories. Audience Awards were also bestowed.

“Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural edition of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, and to all of this year’s participating filmmakers. We were thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to present such an outstanding selection of new independent films, and by the enthusiastic response from our local community,” stated Shira Dubrovner, Executive Director of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.

“A fantastic group of filmmakers created a great community with local film lovers, sponsors and festival staff,” stated Paul Sbrizzi, Director of Programming. “Congratulations to all of our filmmakers for sharing their personal vision and connecting with audiences and jury members in Mammoth Lakes.”


Audience Award for Narrative Feature: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, directed by Perry Blackshear
Suspecting that people are transforming into malevolent shape-shifters, Wyatt flees to New York City to seek out his estranged childhood friend, Christian. As the mysterious horrors close in on Wyatt, he questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or himself. A genre-bending story about love, loyalty and living nightmares.
The award winner was granted a GoPro camera.

Audience Award for Documentary Feature: OMO CHILD, directed by John Rowe
For many generations people in the Omo Valley (southwest Ethiopia) believed some children are cursed and that these ‘cursed’ children bring disease, drought and death to the tribe. The curse is called ‘mingi’ and mingi children are killed. Lale Labuko, a young, educated man from the Kara was 15 years old when he saw a child in his village killed, and also learned that he had 2 older sisters he never knew who had been killed. He decided one day he would stop this horrific practice. Filmed and beautifully shot over a five year period, we follow Lale’s journey along with the people of his tribe as they attempt to change an ancient practice.
The award winner was granted a GoPro camera.


This year’s MLFF Narrative Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Andrew Lazar, Kristanna Loken, and Larry Meistrich.

Jury Award for Narrative Feature: DIAMOND TONGUES, directed by Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson
“A masterful fusion of comedy and poignant drama and comedy, rooted in a disturbed but somehow very relatable character played with a remarkable intensity by Leah Goldstein.”
The award winner was granted a $1,000 cash prize and a $10,000 credit from Panavision toward the rental of camera equipment.


This year’s MLFF Documentary Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Allison Amon, Yana Gorskaya, and Kathleen Kinmont.

Jury Award for Documentary Feature: AUTISM IN LOVE, directed by Matt Fuller
“The Feature Documentary award goes to a film that took our breath away with its lyricism, emotion and beautiful construction.”
The award winner was granted a $1,000 cash prize and a RED camera valued at $20,000.

Jury Bravery Award for Documentary Feature: CARTEL LAND, directed by Matthew Heineman
“The jury would like to recognize one film at this year’s festival that simply cannot be ignored. A film that astounded us with its access and its artistry. A film made with unbounded courage and skill.”


The below Short Film Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Kimberley Browning and Breven Angaelica Warren.

Jury Award for Narrative Short: UNA NIT, directed by Marta Bayarri
“With rich and layered performances, sharp editing and a constantly evolving tone, this emotionally complex narrative repeatedly makes us laugh, turns us on and ignites genuine fear.”
The award winner was granted $500 cash and a GoPro camera.

Jury Honorable Mention for Narrative Short: TOURIST TRAP, directed by Alana Purcell
“In this very innovative short we are offered a unique POV of a most intimate story. The stunning cinematography, stylized colors and textures, paired with an emotionally driven soundtrack shares a fresh portrait of a familiar city.

Jury Award for Animation or Documentary Short: UPON THE ROCK, directed by James Bascara
“This animation is innovative in its use of sound and technique to transport us into a surreal journey. It is cleverly full of visual surprises and complexity in storytelling.”
The award winner was granted $500 cash and a GoPro camera.

Jury Honorable Mention for Animation or Documentary Short: THE TIDE KEEPER, directed by Alyx Duncan
“A classic story most creatively mixing mediums, blending them seamlessly with incredible precision. This timeless tale is masterfully crafted with complete originality and a beautifully executed vision.”

About the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
MLFF is a 5 day Film Festival committed to raising consciousness of film as an art form, emphasizing unique, personal, innovative filmmaking. It’s a forum to present quality independent films in the beautiful setting of Mammoth Lakes, California — a perfect backdrop for an independent film festival as well as a premier tourist destination in its own right. Because of its destination resort location, MLFF has strong allies within the entertainment industry and has included highly esteemed directors, producers, artists and craftspeople for its Juries in the categories of Narrative Feature Films, Documentary Feature Films, and Short Films.

2015 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Sponsors include RED Digital Cinema, Panavision, Paul & Kathleen Rudder, Mineral Wines, Sierra Nevada Resort, Town of Mammoth Lakes Measure U, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mono County, Blue Moon, GoPro and Suddenlink. Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and push the boundaries of independent filmmaking.

Additional information about the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is available at

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