LOS ANGELES, CA (NOVEMBER 15, 2020)HollyShorts Film Festival is thrilled to announce the 2020 winners of their “Sweet 16” year. 40 industry leaders and storytellers served on this year’s Jury to award 36 short films and screenplays out of over 400 official selections from the virtual festival. Of the 36 awards, three were honored with the top prize of becoming qualified for the 2021 Academy Awards.


1, 2, 3, ALL EYES ON ME from director Emil Gallardo went home with the Oscar-Qualifying Grand Prix award which comes with a $15,000 Camera Package from Panavision. Both Best Live Action WELCOME BACK by Tiffany K. Guillen and Best Animation o28 from Otalia Caussé, Geoffroy Collin, Lousie Grardel, Antoine Marchand, Robin Merle, and Fabian Meyran will also qualify for the upcoming Oscars. Student Academy Award Winner Karishma Dube won this year’s Best Director for her acclaimed short BITTU.

Prizes for this year’s awards are from Panavision, Seattle Film Summit, Kodak, Film Augusta, 88th Street Productions, BECiNE, Klio Studio’s Producer Software for a majority of the winners, Final Draft, Color Space Finishing, DUST, ALTER, Circle of Confusion, and Bitpix distribution for all 2020 short films.

This year’s virtual Awards Ceremony was hosted by television presenter Amy Paffrath and pre-recorded at The Artists Project LA. The show included guest presenters and HollyShorts alumni Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison, The Way Back’s Janina Gavankar, Money Heist’s Luka Peros, 2019 Grand Prix Winner Jeremy Merrifield and an in memoriam tribute to HollyShorts alumni Chadwick Boseman and director David Rodriguez. As announced previously, BAD HAIR director Justin Simien received the 2020 Indie Maverick Award.

HollyShorts is excited to announce their first Festival Replay, where all opted-in 2020 official selections will be screening for a discounted price, along with the first annual HollyShorts Film Market, from November 16 – 22, 2020 on Bitpix.

Complete Winners List (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Best Action: Twin Turbo by Caity Lotz
    • Prize: Circle of Confusion meeting
  • Best Animation (Oscar-Qualifying Category): o28 from Otalia Caussé, Geoffroy Collin, Lousie Grardel, Antoine Marchand, Robin Merle, and Fabian Meyran
    • Presented by Money Heist’s Luka Peros
  • Best Cinematography: Kai Dickson for Eyes of Eidolon
  • Best Comedy: Basic by Chelsea Devantez
    • Prize: Trip to Augusta, GA from Film Augusta
  • Best Commercial: Lyon E-Sport by Gaetano Naccarato
  • Best Director: Karishma Dube for BITTU
    • Presented by HollyShorts alum and Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison
  • Best Drama: November 1st by Charlie Manton
    • Prize: Trip to Augusta, GA from Film Augusta
  • Best Documentary: USA vs. Scott by Ora DeKornfeld and Isabel Castro
  • Best Editing: Stella Heath Keir for End-O
    • Prize: Color Space Finishing Color Correction
  • Best Female Short Screenplay: Hello I Must Be Going written by Sara Hallowell
    • Prize: $1K from HollyShorts, BECiNE Camera Rental Package, Final Draft Software
  • Best Horror: The Fourth Wall by Kelsey Bollig
    • Prize: Distribution Deal from ALTER
  • Best International: Alive by Jimmy Olsson
  • Best LGBTQ+: Query By Sophie Kargman
  • Best Live Action (Oscar-Qualifying Category): Welcome Back by Tiffany K. Guillen
    • Presented by HollyShorts Alum and The Way Back’s Janina Gavankar
  • Best Midnight Madness: Inferno by Bishal Dutta
  • Best Music Video: Adventure by Monster Rally, directed by Zak Marx
  • Best Producer: Julia Retali for Aio Zitelli
  • Best SAGIndie Award: Sunday’s Child by Maisie Richardson-Sellers
  • Best Sci-Fi: Hekademia by Gloria Mercer
    • Prize: Distribution Deal from DUST
  • Best Student: A Beautiful Nightmare by Kevin Lee Maxwell
  • Best Television Pilot: Small Fry Pilot ‘Six Pack’ written by Madeline Mack, Michael Lincoln
    • Prize: 88th Street Productions Option, Final Draft Software
  • Best Thriller: An Uninvited Guest by Richard B. Pierre
  • Best TV: The World Between Us by ChunYang Lin
  • Best VFX: Automaton by Krzysztof Rost
  • Best Web Series: All-American Sex Offender by Chloe Lenihan
  • Festival Honorable Mention: Nahjum by Sebastian Torres Greene & Manuel Del Valle
  • Grand Prix (Oscar-Qualifying Category): 1, 2, 3 All Eyes On Me by Emil Gallardo
    • Presented by 2019 Grand Prix Winner Jeremy Merrifield
    • Prize: $15,000 Camera Package from Panavision
  • Indie Maverick Award: Justin Simien
  • Screenplay 1st Place Grand Prize Winner: The Problem With Time Travel written by Mike Kearby
    • Prize: $10,000 Production Grant from Seattle Film Summit to produce the film and the completed film will screen at the 2021 HollyShorts and receive distribution on Bitpix, Final Draft Software
  • Screenplay 2nd Place: Christopher and the Bug written by Vanessa Esteves
    • Prize: Final Draft Software
  • Screenplay 3rd Place: Rice written by Omar Kamara
    • Prize: Final Draft Software
  • Shot on Film Award presented by Kodak: Birthday Girl by Portia A. Buckley
    • Prize: $1.5K of film stock and processing from Kodak
  • Shot on Film Honorable Mention presented by Kodak: David by Zach Woods
    • Prize: $500 of film stock and processing from Kodak
  • Shot On Film Super 8 Winner presented by Kodak: “World Premiere Video” – The Music Video that survived after Music Television didn’t by Mike J. Nichols
    • Prize: $1K of film stock and processing from Kodak
  • Social Impact Award: Black Boys Can’t Cry by Victor Gabriel
  • Special Jury Award: The Van by Erenik Beqiri
  • Women in Film Award: The Birth of Valerie Venus by Sarah Clift

HollyShorts Film Festival will hold their first-ever Drive-In Celebration on Monday, November 16th at Electric Dusk Drive-In in Glendale, CA (236 N. Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91203). Tickets are available for purchase here.

The first annual HollyShorts Film Market takes place after the 16th annual HollyShorts (November 16 – 22, 2020) virtually on Bitpix. Over 40 film market selections to coincide with the festival replay of over 300 films from all over the world. For Film Market tickets visit: hollyshorts.com

The 2021 HollyShorts Film Festival will be held from August 12 – August 21, 2021. Submissions are now open on FilmFreeway here: filmfreeway.com/HollyShortsFilmFestival

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