HollyShorts Film Festival announces 3 Oscar-Qualifying Winners among 36 awards


The HollyShorts Film Festival recognized 36 winners at its Closing Awards ceremony on August 14 at the Harmony Gold theater in Hollywood, at its landmark 15th anniversary.

Three of the festival’s films officially became qualified to be in the running for an Academy Award in 2020. This year marked the biggest prize packages for filmmakers as well, including prizes from Impossible Dream, Studio 21, Film Augusta, Seattle Film Summit, Buffalo 8, Stampede Ventures, Kodak, Panavision, PaperChase Films, ISA and more. This year, out of more than 6,000 submissions, 400 official selections screened over 10 days at the landmark TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

“Balloon,” starring PEN15’s Jonah Beres and The League’s Paul Scheer, took home the Best Short Film Grand Prix.

Last year’s winner in this category, “Skin,” famously went on to win the Academy Award for in 2019. “The Orphan” received the Oscar-Qualifying Best Live Action award and “SISTER” snagged the Best Animation award which rounds out the qualifying categories.

“Homesick” was recognized with two top prizes including Best Director and Best Grand Jury Impossible Dream Award, which will be turned into a feature courtesy of Impossible Dream Entertainment and is notably one of the biggest prizes of the night. “Mum’s Hairpins” took home the Best International Award which includes a generous roundtrip to London and badges to C21’s Content London, courtesy of Studio 21; at the conference they will have the opportunity to pitch their shorts as a series. Best Screenplay is sponsored by Seattle Film Summit for the second year in a row and the winner “Desmond’s Not Here Anymore” will see the script made into a short and premiered at HollyShorts 2020.

Film Augusta will be flying out both Best Comedy “Adams” and Best Drama “The Neighbors’ Window” to Augusta, Georgia to meet with Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. and the Augusta Film Commission. “Esta Es Tu Cuba” won the Best Panavision Future Filmmaker Award and will receive $15K Camera Package from Panavision. Stampede Ventures awarded “Tangles and Knots” the Best Female Director Award, “STARBOY” went on to win Revry’s Distribution deal for Best LGBTQ+, “The Old Wolves Club” was awarded the PaperChase Film PitchFest Award, and “T A L K” won the ISA Story Award.

Digital LA founder Kevin Winston hosted the awards, rapidly awarding the 36 awards in about an hour.

The Full List of Awards Winners Are (in alphabetical order):

● Best Action – Mama Bear
● Best Animation – SISTER
● Best Cinematographer – On The Border
● Best Comedy – Adams
● Best Coming of Age – Now You Know
● Best Director – Homesick
● Best Diversity – Catch A Girl
● Best Doc – Lazarus
● Best Drama – The Neighbors’ Window
● Best Editing – For The Love I Show
● Best Female Director – Tangles and Knots
● Best Grand Jury Impossible Dream Award – Homesick
● Best Horror – Oscar’s Bell
● Best International – Mum’s Hairpins
● Best LGBTQ+ – Starboy
● Best Live Action – The Orphan
● Best Music Video – Pa’lante
● Best Narrative – Lady Parts
● Best Panavision Future Filmmaker Award – Esta Es Tu Cuba
● Best Period Piece – The Legend of Grayson Crockett
● Best Producer – Piel Canela
● Best Romance – Evelyn x Evelyn
● Best Sci Fi – Storm
● Best Screenplay – Desmond’s Not Here Anymore
● Best Short Film Grand Prix – Balloon
● Best Shot On Film – Spin Cycle
● Best Student – Tree #3
● Best Thriller – Shehita
● Best TV Category – Rainbow Ruthie
● Best VFX – The Shipment
● Best Web Series – Black Girls Guide to Fertility
● Honorable Mention – A Million Eyes
● ISA Story Award – T A L K
● PaperChase Films Award – The Old Wolves Club
● Screenplay Runner Up – Fireflies
● Screenplay Runner Up – Meadow Valley Dollhouse Competition

HollyShorts thanks to all of the Awards Sponsors: Alter, Becine, Buffalo 8, Circle of Confusion, Color Space Printing, Dust, Film Augusta, Final Draft, Impossible Dream, ISA, Jungle Software, Kodak, Klio Studios, Panavision, Revry, Rita House, Seattle Film Summit, Stampede Ventures, Studio 21.

The HollyShorts Special Jury included: Sharon Lawrence, Matthew Modine, Anthony Russo, Weiman Seid, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Laura Fischer, Jimmy Jean-Louis, and Brooke Keesling.

The 16th Edition of the HollyShorts Film Festival will take place August 13-22, 2020, the fest’s Sweet 16.

About HollyShorts (HSFF) #HSFF2019. The annual Academy Awards® Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival will celebrate its 16th year in August 2020. HollyShorts (HSFF) brings together top creators, industry leaders, and companies and has launched many filmmakers into the next stages of their careers. HollyShorts, a regular on the MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, also engages its community and spotlights short films year-round through monthly screenings, panels, and networking events.