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DIFF Filmmaker Award Winners

The Dallas International Film Festival honors the best in filmmaking with a series of Grand Jury Prizes, Audience Awards and curated awards.


2015 WINNERS

2015 Audience Awards
(presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Geoff Hawkes and Sheri Deterling)

Best Short Film – MELVILLE
Best Documentary Feature – BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
Best Narrative Feature – THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS

Narrative Feature Competition
Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize – RADIATOR
Special Jury Prize, Cinematography – SOME BEASTS
Special Jury Prize, Ensemble Performance – ECHOES OF WAR

Documentary Feature Competition
Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize – BARGE

Texas Competition (presented by Panavision)
Texas Grand Jury Prize – SACRIFICE
Special Jury Prize, Ensemble Performance – THE LOVE INSIDE

Shorts Competition
Short Grand Jury Prize – THE CHICKEN
Short Special Jury Prize – ONE HITTA QUITTA
Short Special Jury Prize – THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL
Student Short Grand Jury Prize – CAST IN INDIA

Animated Shorts Competition (presented by REEL FX)
Animated Short Grand Jury Prize – WORLD OF TOMORROW

Silver Heart Award (presented by Embrey Family Foundation)
Silver Heart Award – FRAME BY FRAME


2014 WINNERS

2014 Audience Awards (presented by Lascaux Films)
Best Short Film - VERBATIM
Best Documentary Feature - QUEENS & COWBOYS
Best Narrative Feature - NOBLE

Narrative Feature Competition
Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize - HELLION
Special Jury Prize, Directing - BRAZILIAN WESTERN
Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance - 1982

Documentary Feature Competition
Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize - THE SPECIAL NEED
Documentary Feature Special Jury Prize, Directorial Vision - EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL

Texas Competition (presented by Panavision)
Texas Grand Jury Prize - FLUTTER
Special Jury Prize - TOMATO REPUBLIC

Shorts Competition
Student Short Grand Jury Prize - A GRAND CANAL
Student Short Special Jury Prize - NI-NI
Short Grand Jury Prize - AFRONAUTS
Short Special Jury Prize - EASY

Animated Shorts Competition (presented by REEL FX)
Animated Short Grand Jury Prize - THE MISSING SCARF

Silver Heart Award (presented by Embrey Family Foundation)
Silver Heart Award - PRIVATE VIOLENCE
Special Jury Prize - ABOVE ALL ELSE


2013 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize—Narrative Feature: A TEACHER, directed by Hannah Fidell
Special Mention: THE DIRTIES, Directed by Matt Johnson
Special Mention: LAURENCE ANYWAYS, Directed by Xavier Dolan
Grand Jury Prize—Documentary: GOD LOVES UGANDA, directed by Roger Ross Williams
Special Mention: SMALL SMALL THING, Jessica Vale
Grand Jury Prize for the Panavision Texas Competition: PIT STOP, Directed by Yen Tan
Special Mention: GOOD NIGHT, Directed by Sean H. A. Gallagher
Embrey Family Foundation Silver Heart Award: TOMLINSON HILL, directed by Lisa Kaselak
Grand Jury Prize Animation—Presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT: HEAD OVER HEELS, Directed by Timothy Reckart
Grand Jury Prize Short: BLACK METAL, Directed by Kat Candler
Special Mention: MOVIES MADE FROM HOME #6 and #15, Directed by Robert Machoian
Special Mention: BOWL FOR FUN AND HEALTH, Directed by Manuel Branaa
Grand Jury Prize Student Short: THE FIRST HOPE, Directed by Jeremy David White

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: THE KINGS OF SUMMER, Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: THE CRASH REEL, Directed by Lucy Walker
Audience Award—Short Film: HEAD OVER HEELS, Directed by Timothy Reckart


2012 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize—Narrative Feature: FAITH, LOVE & WHISKEY, directed by Kristina Nikolova
Special Mention for Breakout Performance: Michael Rainey Jr. of LUV
Special Mention for Acting: Kim Kold of TEDDY BEAR
Grand Jury Prize—Documentary: TCHOUPITOULAS, directed by Bill and Turner Ross
Grand Jury Prize for the Panavision Texas Competition: WOLF, Directed by Ya’ke Smith
Special Mention: KID-THING, Directed by David Zellner
Environmental Visions Filmmaker Award: DIRTY ENERGY, Directed by Bryan D. Hopkins
Embrey Family Foundation Silver Heart Award: THE INVISIBLE WAR, directed by Kirby Dick
Grand Jury Prize Animation—Presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT: A MORNING STROLL, Directed by Grant Orchard
Grand Jury Prize Short: AARON BURR, PART 2, Directed by Dana O’Keefe
Special Mention: THE LOVE COMPETITION, Directed by Brent Hoff
Grand Jury Prize Student Short: NANI, Directed by Justin Tipping
Special Mention: GRANDMOTHERS, Directed by Afarin Eghbal

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: MY WAY, Directed by Kang Je-kyu
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: FIRST POSITION, Directed by Bess Kargman
Audience Award—Short Film: NANI, Directed by Justin Tipping


2011 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Documentary : ELEVATE, Directed by Anne Buford
Special Jury Prize: NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN, Directed by Joseph Mantegna
Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Narrative Feature: JESS + MOSS, Directed by Clay Jeter
Special Jury Prize for Acting: SURROGATE VALENTINE, Goh Nakamura
Honorable Mention: PARKED, Directed by Darragh Byrne
MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Awards: FIVE TIME CHAMPION, Directed by Berndt Mader
Special Jury Prize: WUSS, Directed by Clay Liford
Environmental Visions Filmmaker Award: IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, Directed by Marshall Curry
Grand Jury Prize—Animation, presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT: PATHS OF HATE, Directed by Damian Nenow
Grand Jury Prize Short: THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM, Directed by Jerome Sable
Special Mention, Directing: GREEN CRAYONS, Directed by Kazik Radwanski
Special Mention: WORST ENEMY, Directed by Lake Bell
Grand Jury Prize Student: THE ROBBERY, Directed by Johnny Ma
Special Mention Student Short: THE BIRDS UPSTAIRS, Directed by Christopher Jarvis
Silver Heart Award: ZERO PERCENT, Directed by Tim Skousen

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: SNOWMEN, Directed by Robert Kirbyson
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: WILD HORSE WILD RIDE, Directed by Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus
Audience Award—Short Film: THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM, Directed by Jerome Sable


2010 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Documentary: WASTE LAND, Directed by Lucy Walker
Special mention, editing: THUNDER SOUL, Directed by Mark Landsman
Special Jury Prize: THE LAST SURVIVOR, Directed by Michael Pertnoy, Michael Kleinman
Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Narrative Feature: THE DRY LAND, Directed by Ryan Piers Williams
MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Award: AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY, Directed by Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
Special Jury Prize: HARMONY AND ME, Directed by Robert Byington
Environmental Visions Filmmaker Award: CLIMATE REFUGEES Directed by Michael Nash
Grand Jury Prize—Animation, presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT: RUNAWAY, Directed by Cordell Barker
Grand Jury Prize Short: QUADRANGLE, Directed by Amy Grappell
Special Mention, Acting: JADE Directed by Daniel Elliot
Special Jury Prizes (3 films): VOICES ON THE LINE (Director: Kelly Sears), B.U.S.T. (Director: David Call), MONKEYWRENCH (Director: Chris Teague)
Grand Jury Prize Student: PROCESSION, Directed by Beth Spitalny
Special Mention: YOUNG LOVE, Directed by Ariel Kleiman

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: BROTHERHOOD, Directed by Will Canon
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: THUNDER SOUL, Directed by Mark Landsman
Audience Award—Short Film: MR. OKRA, Directed by T.G. Herrington


2009 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Narrative Feature: GIGANTIC, Directed by Matt Aselton
Special Jury Prize: AGAINST THE CURRENT, Directed by Peter Callahan
Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Documentary: PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI, Directed by Paul Saltzman
Special Jury Prize: SUDDENLY, LAST WINTER, Directed by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi
MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Award: ST. NICK, Directed by David Lowery
Current Energy Environmental Visions Award: CRUDE, Directed by Joe Berlinger
Grand Jury Prize – Short: PRINCESS MARGARET BLVD, Directed by Kazik Radwanksi
Special Jury Prize, Short: OIL CHANGE, Directed by Todd Luoto
Special Jury Prize, Short: NEXT FLOOR, Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Grand Jury Prize – Student Short: HUG, Directed by Khary Jones
Grand Jury Prize – Animation Short: CHICKEN COWBOY, Directed by Stephen Neary

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: SKIN, Directed by Anthony Fabian
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: ROCK PROPHECIES, Directed by John Chester
Audience Award—Short Film: LUCY: A PERIOD PIECE, Directed by Julie Sagalowsky


2008 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Narrative Feature: MERMAID, Directed by Anna Melikyan
Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Documentary: IRON LADIES OF LIBERIA, Directed by Daniel Junge and Siatta Scott Johnson
MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Award: COOK COUNTY, Directed by David Pomes
Special Jury Prize, Texas: CIAO, Directed by Yen Tan
Current Energy Environmental Visions Award: FIELDS OF FUEL, Directed by Josh Tickell
Best HD Feature, Presented by HDNet: TRACING COWBOYS, Directed by Jason Wulfsohn
Grand Jury Prize—Short: THE SECOND LINE, Directed by John Magary
Special Jury Prize, Short: A CATALOG OF ANTICIPATIONS, Directed by David Lowery
Grand Jury Prize—Student Short: LES VULNERABLES, Directed by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
Grand Jury Prize—Animation Short: KEY LIME PIE, Directed by Trevor Jimenez

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: AMAL, Directed by Richie Mehta
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: THE BLACK LIST, Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Audience Award—Short Film: A DAY’S WORK, Directed by Rajeev Dassani


2007 WINNERS

Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Narrative Feature: SHUT UP AND SHOOT ME, Directed by Steen Agro
Grand Jury Prize, Target Filmmaker Award—Documentary: NEW YEAR BABY, Directed by Socheata Poeuv
Special Jury Prize, Documentary: WHERE THE SUN RISES, Directed by Grace Phan
Grand Jury Prize—Texas: A LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR, Directed by Eric Chaikin
Special Jury Prize, Acting: EVE OF UNDERSTANDING, Directed by Alyson Shelton
Grand Jury Prize—Short: LITTLE FARM,  Directed by Calvin Reeder
Honorable Mention, Short: BITCH, Directed by Lilah Vandenburgh
Grand Jury Prize—Student Short:  REDEMPTION MADDIE  Directed by Aaron King
Grand Jury Prize—Animation Short:  ONE RAT SHORT  Directed by Alex Weil
Best HD Feature, Presented by HDNet: SHARKWATER, Directed by Rob Stewart

Audience Award—Narrative Feature: MUSIC WITHIN, Directed by Steven Sawalich
Audience Award—Documentary Feature: DARIOUS GOES WEST: THE ROLL OF HIS LIFE, Directed by Logan Smalley
Audience Award—Short Film: THE LITTLE GORILLA, Directed by Harry Kellerman


ABOUT THE AWARDS

Grand Jury Prizes

Films chosen for Grand Jury Prizes are selected by the Narrative Feature, Documentary, Texas, Shorts and Student Shorts Competition juries. The juries are comprised of filmmakers and film industry veterans.

Silver Heart Award

The Silver Heart award is bestowed on an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity. The winner of the Silver Heart Award receives a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Embrey Foundation.

Environmental Visions Filmmaker Award

Awarded to a film in the Environmental Visions Competition, as selected by the competitions jury. This competition highlights films and filmmakers that best communicate the importance of environmental conservation through the art of film.

Grand Jury Prize—Texas

Awarded to a film in the Texas Competition, as selected by the Texas Jury. This competition encourages and promotes Texas filmmaking by showing both short and feature films shot in Texas.

Grand Jury Prize-Animation presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT

The Grand Jury Prize is awarded to the film in the Animation Competition as selected by a panel of jurors from REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT along with the Texas Avery Animation Award recipient.

Audience Awards

Narrative Feature, Documentary and Short Film are determined by ballot vote after screenings.

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2016 DIFF

The 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival runs April 14-24, 2016.

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2016 DIFF

The 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival runs from April 14-24, 2016.

Visit #DIFF2016 here! »

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