The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019

VWIFF hands out filmmaking awards

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Award winners and participants in the first-ever Van Wert Independent Film Festival pose for the camera following a gala on Sunday. (photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

It was a memorable weekend for those participating in the first-ever Van Wert Independent Film Festival, which saw activities at various venues from Friday through Sunday.

The festival provided a showcase for a number of independent and student films, included informative breakfast presentations by independent filmmakers Glenn Berggoetz and Theodore James, and culminated Sunday with a gala awards program at the Van Wert Banquet Hall & Convention Center.

The festival also included showings of Berggoetz’ send-up film, The Worst Movie EVER!, and James’ documentary, Superheroes, which will also be shown on HBO.

Festival organizers and participants were pleased with the initial event, while organizers are planning for a second film festival next year, albeit likely with a different name and wider purview.

“We are rebranding as the Northwest Ohio Independent Film Festival, and we are doing that to let the community know that this is a northwest Ohio event,” festival founder and Executive Director Len Archibald said. “It will be something we can build and expand while bringing in community dollars and tourism.”

In addition to entertainment by former Miss Ohio contestant Shannon O’Neill, who emceed the gala, and Rachel Osting, winners of the various film awards were announced and presented.

Van Wert Independent Film Festival founder Len Archibald speaks during Sunday's gala awards ceremony.

A Lonely Place for Dying, a film about a deadly confrontation between a KGB mole and a CIA agent in a Mexican desert, took the majority of awards, winning the Grand Prix for best feature film, which includes $1,000 in cash, while Justin Eugene Evans won the award for Outstanding Direction, Ross Marquand was the winner of the Outstanding Actor award and Brad Stoddard won for Outstanding Film Editing.

Paradise Recovered, a film about a committed member of a fundamentalist Christian sect who questions her childhood faith after experiencing the world through the eyes of fellow health-food employees, won for Outstanding Screenplay (Andie Redwine) and Outstanding Actress (Heather Del Rio). The film was also the Audience Choice, which includes a cash award of $750.

Mortem, a French film about a woman who defies her own death, won for Outstanding Cinematography (Eric Atlan), while Kyle Malkin won for Outstanding Original Score for the movie Dinner with Fred, a film about Fred Conrad and “how the chickens saved his life” during World War II in Canada.

In the student film category, 12-year-old North Carolina student Tara Nicole Azarian won first place for her film, My Name is Anna, while Van Wert student Nate Simson earned second place and $200 for the film, The Diamond Rhino. Third place and $100 went to California student Matthew Evans, 17, for his film, Poetic Justice Project.

The outstanding short film was Jaybird, which won $500 for that distinction.

POSTED: 07/11/11 at 3:16 am. FILED UNDER: News