April 29--Films from Yuma and beyond took the top prizes in the Yuma Film Festival earlier this month.
Festival organizers gave out 12 awards in nine categories for the festival, which lit up the screen at the Historic Yuma Theatre April 19-20 (see list of winners below).
Best of Show and People's Choice went to "SLOMO" (www.slomothemovie.com), a documentary about a doctor who had everything but happiness. He quit his successful practice and moved to the beach, where he now glides on his inline skates all day, every day. The doctor, a neurologist, shows how the brain interprets lateral acceleration over time, regardless of speed, as the sensation of flying.
Isaac Russell, an organizer of the Yuma Film Festival, said "SLOMO" is "everything a short film should be," with beautiful production and great cinematography.
The film, which also won accolades at the SXSW Film Festival, isn't a local creation. But most of the 35 entries in the contest were shot by locals. In the Best of Yuma category, the high honor went to "A Virus Called Fear" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-VLHNpwju0), a documentary on the human condition and specifically, the place fear takes in our lives.
This was the second year for the festival. Another is planned for next year.
The film festival opened with a screening of "Into The Wild," which filmed scenes in the Yuma area. Saturday was the big day, with an all-day program of not just film, but art and music. ARTbeat, an annual outdoors art exhibit and sale, ran concurrently on Main Street with 38 entries from more than 80 artists around the region (see list of winners below).
Yuma Film Festival Awards
Best Male Acting -- Western X, Michael Flores
Best Female Acting -- Ellen Is Leaving, Michelle Savill
Technical Achievement, Video -- (TIE) -- Oh, Willy, Dorien Schetz AND Irish Folk Furniture, Tony Donoghue
Technical Achievement, Audio -- Sonnet 1, Inga Siebert
Best Direction -- The Muse, Brian Kiefling
Best Writing -- Catnip, Jason Willis
Best of Yuma -- A Virus Called Fear, Ben Fama Jr.; Honorable Mentions: Morning Joe, Arron Barragan AND Community Center Slaughter, Natus Ilingworth (from the Greenlight Film Festival)
Best of Show -- SLOMO, Josh Izenberg
People's Choice -- SLOMO, Josh Izenberg
Fine Art, Gallery Opening Awards
1st Place -- Judy Phillips, Waiting for the Titanic (fused glass)
2nd Place -- Lia Littlewood, Animal House (acrylic on canvas)
3rd Place -- Chris Bermudo, Hood Prodigy (photography)
Martin Ezree -- Best of Show
Holly Hendrick-Jones -- Artistic Journeys
Linda Willets -- Best Presentation
Erick Justice -- Rising Star (Honorable Mentions: Joan Kobles and Francisco Barajas)
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