SFFILM Announces Golden Gate Award Winners at 60th San Francisco International Film Festival

Winning Films in 12 Categories Announced at GGA Celebration on Sunday April 16


San Francisco, CA — This afternoon the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 5–19), presented by SFFILM, announced the winners of the juried Golden Gate Award (GGA) competitions at an event held at the Lab (2948 16th Street). This year the Festival awarded nearly $40,000 in prizes to emerging and established filmmakers.

For 60 years, the Festival's Golden Gate Awards have honored deserving filmmakers and their projects, heralding unsung excellence and exposing local and international audiences to unique and innovative filmmaking. Among the most significant awards for emerging global film artists in the United States, the Golden Gate Awards embody SFFILM's commitment to global storytelling and independent filmmaking.  

The Golden Gate Awards New Directors jury was composed of Village Voice film critic Bilge Ebiri, Austin Film Society's Head of Film & Creative Media Holly Herrick, and last year's New Directors Prize winner, filmmaker Philippe Lesage.  

GGA New Directors Prize winner: Everything Else, Natalia Almada (Mexico/USA/France)
    •  Receives $10,000 cash prize  

In a statement, the jury noted: "For its humanism, its consistency of vision, its formal rigor, and its remarkable blend of fiction and non-fiction, we give the New Directors award to Natalia Almada and her film Everything Else."  
The GGA Documentary feature competitions jury was comprised of journalist and film programmer David Ansen, film editor Nels Bangerter, and Founder of Abulante and No Ficción Elena Fortes.   

McBaine Documentary Feature Award Winner: Brimstone & Glory, Viktor Jakovleski (USA)
    •  Receives $10,000 cash prize  

The jury noted in a statement: "Spectacular and visceral, dangerous and spiritual, this high-flying documentary transports us into the ecstatic rituals of a Mexican town."  

McBaine Bay Area Documentary Feature Award: The Force, Peter Nicks (USA)
    •  Receives $5,000 cash prize  

The jury noted: "For it's timely and in-depth examination of the relationship between the police and the community, unafraid to show the complex humanity of all sides of this fraught subject, we give this award to Peter Nicks' gripping and finely crafted documentary."  

Special Jury Prize: School Life (formerly In Loco Parentis), Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane (Ireland/Spain)  

The jury noted: "The jury would like to give a special jury prize to a movie that take us into an eccentric and idyllic world with intuitive grace and a richly empathetic vision."  

The GGA Short Film jury consisted of Vimeo Senior Curator Jeffrey Bowers, journalist Inkoo Kang, and film curator David Reilly.  

Best Narrative Short winner: Univitellin, Terence Nance (France)                  
    •  Receives $2,000 cash prize

Special Jury Prize for Narrative Short: A Brief History of Princess X, Gabriel Abrantes (Portugal/France/UK)  

Best Documentary Short winner: The Rabbit Hunt, Patrick X Bresnan (USA)
    •  Receives $2,000 cash prize  

Best Animated Short winner: Hot Dog Hands, Matt Reynolds, (USA)
    •  Receives $2,000 cash prize  

Best New Visions Short winner: Turtles Are Always Home, Rawane Nassif (Qatar/Lebanon/Canada)
    •  Receives $1,500 cash prize  

Bay Area Short First Prize winner: In the Wake of Ghost Ship, Jason Blalock (USA)
    •  Receives $1,500 cash prize  

Bay Area Short Second Prize winner: American Paradise, Joe Talbot, USA.
    •  Receives $1,000 cash prize  

The Family Film jury consisted of Common Sense Media Editor-in-chief Jill Murphy, author Jim Averbeck, and educator Alexandre Petrakis.   

Best Family Film winner: Valley of a Thousand Hills, Jess Colquhoun (South Africa/UK)
    •  Receives $1,000 cash prize  

The jury noted: "This film is a moving, refreshing, and unexpected portrait of a section of the culture of South Africa, feeling so far away geographically but so easy to relate to emotionally. We were drawn into the ease and dynamics of the kids' friendships. The authenticity of the storytelling from its young subjects helped create a deeper connection to the audience. It was hopeful, inspiring, reassuring, and visually stunning. We feel audience members of a wide range of ages can walk away with a lasting impression that captures the simplicity of childhood layered with life lessons on focus, respect, and friendship."  

Special Jury Prize for Family Film: Summer Camp Island, Julia Pott (USA)  

The jury noted: "We want to see more of this and wish it could be turned into a series. We love the quirky originality of the story, animation, and characters."  

The Youth Works jury was comprised of bay area high school students Ethan Bresnick, Shamaurea Sanford, and Melinna Equihua, with adult supervisor Jill Shackleford, Associate Producer of KQED's Film School Shorts.

Best Youth Work winner: Cycle, Caleb Wild (USA)                  
    •  Receives $1,000 cash prize  

The jury noted: "Cycle presented an honest portrait of a young man coming-of-age that examined his character beyond the typical tropes of masculinity, offering viewers an engaging journey that felt personal and surprising with strong cinematography."  

The Google Breakthrough in Technology Award jury was comprised of members of Google's Computer Science in Media and Industry Relations teams, including Courtney McCarthy, Women's & Kids Lead Strategist in Computer Science in Media, and Julia Hamilton Trost, Content Partnerships Lead, Google VR.  

Google presents the Breakthrough in Technology Award for the best use or display of technology and innovation. The award honors filmmakers who go the extra mile to highlight the use of computer science and technology to solve a problem and make the world a better place, and aspires to promote diversity in tech while disrupting negative stereotypes in STEM fields.  

Google Breakthrough in Technology Award winner: N.O.VI.S., Arthur Rodger 'Harley' Maranan (Phillipines)    
    •  Receives $500 cash prize donated by Google Inc.  

Access photos from the Golden Gate Awards event here (starting noon 4/17).
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60th San Francisco International Film Festival The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities. The 60th edition runs April 5-19 at venues across the Bay Area and features nearly 200 films and live events, 12 juried awards with close to $40,000 in cash prizes, and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.   

SFFILM Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round nonprofit organization delivering screenings and events to more than 100,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 10,000 students and teachers annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.