Hollywood Film Festival Announces Winners
HOLLYWOOD, CA – The 2015 Hollywood Film Festival culminated under a Blood Red moon on the outdoor patio of Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, with a celebration highlighting the top films in six categories. The festival stayed true to its exciting global direction and its “See Good / Do Good / Feel Good” mission anchored in social impact under its new team: CEO & Executive Producer Brad Parks and Executive Director Rod Beaudoin.
Best Narrative Feature was split between two films.
Forward. Side. Close! / Austria (Director: Alexander Peter Lercher) tells the story of a neurotic cynic who suffers from obsessive compulsive behaviors and lives in a remote castle with his two servants. His life undergoes a dramatic restructuring when his excitable friend surprises him on his 70th birthday weekend with the intention of turning his life upside down.
Waffle Street, / US (Director: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms) The true story of Jimmy Adams, a V.P. of a $30 billion hedge fund, who loses his job and winds up working as a waiter at a waffle shop. Amidst the greasy madness of the 24-hour diner, Jimmy befriends Edward, an ex-con grill master who serves up hard lessons about life, finance, and grits.
Best Documentary Feature: Among the Believers / Pakistan, US – (Director: Hemal Trivedi, Mohammed Ali Naqvi) An unsettling and eye opening exploration into the spread of the radical Islamic school Red Mosque in Pakistan, which trains legions of children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war, from a very young age.
Best Narrative Short: Pony / US (Director: Candice Carella) Claudia, a hardworking single mom, has to go out of town on an important last minute business trip, forcing her to leave her 5 year old daughter, Miko with uncle Jeff, a rock musician in his 50’s who is still running on fumes of his glory days.
Best Documentary Short: The Birth of an Artist / Ukraine (Director: Natasha Babenko) A short documentary about a disabled Ukrainian girl who, despite all the odds, lives the life of a prolific artist.
Emerging Filmmaker went to Alexander Peter Lercher, Director of Forward. Side. Close! And Candice Carella, Director of PONY.
Best Social Impact Film went to Right Footed / USA (Director: Nick Spark) Jessica Cox was born without arms as a result of a birth defect, but managed to overcome many physical and emotional challenges to become fully independent. She learned to type with her toes, drive a car with her feet, and amazingly — fly an airplane with her feet. Right Footed follows Jessica as she transforms from a motivational speaker to a mentor, and eventually into a leading advocate for people with disability.
“The response to our social impact direction and focus from the Hollywood community and major companies worldwide has been overwhelming,” says Brad Parks. “Our mission of “See Good / Do Good / Feel Good” has been well received and our programming and success mirrors that. I look forward to taking this vision global this year and in years to come.”
“Hollywood attracts amazing story tellers,” adds Rod Beaudoin. “We are lucky to have showcased some of the best in the world of social impact filmmaking this year. We will continue to program these films which are, at their core, in the line with our mission while providing first-class entertainment to the entertainment capital of the world.”