CSU Humboldt holds 45th Annual Film Festival
“Better than Sundance!”, announced judge John Coda to the large audience gathered for closing night’s Best of the Fest Award Night at the 45th Humboldt Film Festival. Known as the oldest student-run international independent short film festival in the world, the festival concluded its week-long event at Humboldt State University, on April 21.
The week-long event, themed “The Power of Film”, concluded Saturday night with the judges announcing winners in each genre, including one overall “Best of Fest” award.
Top honors went to:
Best in Animation–Another Dress, Another Button by Lyn Elliot of the USA “a stop-motion animation exploring the plight of the spare buttons: carefully saved, but never used.”
Honorable mention went to The Quiet Life, by USA’s Timothy Hittle, a clay-mation film 10 years in the making.
Best in Experimental–The Olympian by Gerald Pesta, USA, inter-cutting an 1894 Edison film of Eugene Sandow with a 1996 video of Dorian Yates, offering insight into the evolution of body-building and the motion picture art form over 102 years.”
Best in Documentary–USA’s Chithra Jeyaram’s Mijo “an evocative portrayal of a mother and a child’s intimate relationship in the midst of life-altering medical events”. Honorable mention: local filmmaker Owen Roth for his documentary “about the growing slack line community in Humboldt County”, titled Humboldt Slackers. (The sport was a YouTube sensation after Madona featured professional slackliner “Slacker Andy” Lewis–founding member of Humboldt Slackers and Valedictorian of Humboldt State’s 2008 graduating class–doing gymnastic stunts on a slackline during her Super Bowl performance.)
Best in Narrative– Queen directed by USA’s Adam Rose: the story of Nikki Holiday, masterfully acted by Ryan Eggold–who also wrote, directed, and produced another finalist in the narrative category– a drag queen cabaret star, who “looks to fill the void in her life. . .after her plans to start a family fall apart”.
Honorable mention went to German entry Ab Morgen by Raphael Wallner and Stefan Elsenbruch about a critically ill man who receives the kidney of a living donor and now “fights the circumstances of being responsible for the donor’s death”.
Best of Fest–Austrian Peter Bruenner’s film In Our Hands, about “a train ride from L.A. to San Diego. . .each passenger has a different story, but they are all headed for the same abrupt end.” Along with Mr. Coda, BMI award winning (“That’s So Raven” theme song) musical composer for film and television, the event was judged by Directors Guild of America Award winning director/producer Tasha Oldham. Ms. Oldham is known for her Emmy Nominated documentary film The Smith Family. Both judges described the films as “outstanding” and the overall event experience as one not to be missed. “Humboldt is garnering some of the best talent from around the world”, stated Ms. Oldham.
Past judges of the film fest include, Alexander Payne (director of the Academy Award nominated movie The Descendents), and Marcia Lucas (1978 Best Film Editing Oscar winner for Star Wars:Episode IV–A New Hope.)
The festival is held every spring and submissions are taken beginning September.