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Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2021: Winners Announced

Films ULTRA SOUND, SOCIAL, and LARRY FLYNT FOR PRESIDENT are fest favorites

The  7th  Annual Mammoth  Lakes Film Festival (MLFF) announced this year’s juried and audience award winners at the Closing Night Award Ceremony in Mammoth Lakes on Sunday, September 26, 2021. The festival, held from September 22-26, screened over 75 feature and short films. Over $40,000 in awards and cash prizes were presented to the winners.

“This year’s festival will not only be remembered as a gathering of amazing filmmakers with truly remarkable stories to tell,” said Shira Dubrovner, Festival Director and Founder, “but brought us back together as a community. At the heart of what we do is make connections as humans, and the restorative effect of being with each other in person was transformational.”

Gary Champion (actor) and Miles Triplett (director, actor) of SOCIAL – Audience Award Winner for Best North American Feature at Mammoth Lakes Film Festival – photo: Joseph Marrone

Films winning the top awards from the jury included “Ultrasound,” directed by Rob Schroeder and written by Conor Stechschulte, for Best North American Narrative Feature, and “Isaac,” directed and written by Jurgis Matulevičius, for Best International Narrative Feature.

The feature-length documentary winners were “Larry Flynt for President” directed by Nadia Szold for Best North American Documentary and “The Renegades” directed by Lisa Maria Hagen and Mariam Noori for Best International Documentary. Both “Isaac” and “Larry Flynt for President” also won the Audience Award in their respective category, as did “Social” (Best North American Narrative Feature) and “Beautiful Idiots” (Best International Documentary Feature).

WHAT JOSIAH SAW was one of the most talked-about films at Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2021.

The full list of Juried and Audience Awards is below.

The ensemble cast of WHAT JOSIAH SAW, directed by Vincent Grashaw received an honorable mention for their work in film.

Jury Awards Best North American Narrative Feature:

ULTRASOUND directed by Rob Schroeder. Written by Conor Stechschulte.

  • $1,000 cash award, $10,000 Panavision Camera Rental Grant, and $13,500 LightIron Postproduction Package

o Special Mention: the ensemble cast of WHAT JOSIAH SAW, directed by Vincent Grashaw. Written by Robert Alan Dilts.

Best International Narrative Feature:

ISAAC directed and written by Jurgis Matulevičius.

  • $1,000 cash award

Best North American Documentary Feature:

LARRY FLYNT FOR PRESIDENT directed by Nadia Szold.

  • $1,000 cash award

Best International Documentary Feature:

THE RENEGADES, directed by Lisa Maria Hagen and Mariam Noori.

  • $1,000 cash award
  • Special Mention: EVERYONE WANTS TO BE THE NEXT WEISMANN, directed by Alberto Triano.
Actor, screenwriter, Beau Brians won the award for Best Screenplay for MR. COOL screenplay. – photo: Joseph Marrone

Best Screenplay: MR. COOL by Beau Brians

• $1,000 cash award

Best Narrative Short: MANAUS HOT CITY, directed by Rafael Ramos

  • $500 cash award

o Special Jury Mention for Creative Vision: PROGRESSIVE TOUCH, directed by Michael Portnoy

o Special Jury Mention for Screenwriting: DEVEK, directed by Uriya Hertz

o Special Jury Mention for Episodic: KHAKI IS NOT LEATHER, directed by Ray Smiling

 

Best Documentary Short: A MAN IN CHAIN, directed by Alireza Mirasadullah

  • $500 cash award

o Special Mention to VAGALUMES (Fireflies), directed by Leo Bittencourt

Best Animation Short: HUMAN NATURE, directed by Sverre Fredriksen

  • $500 cash award

o Special Mention to MILLENNIAL PRINCE, directed by Julie Fliegenspan

Best Music Video: SINK IN by Tirzah, directed by Leah Walker

  • $500 cash award

o Special Mention to HOUKOU by Satomimagae, directed by Nonowe Akihitoo

  • Special Mention to ROOM WITH A VIEW by Rone, directed by (La)Horde: Brutti, Debrouwer, and Harel

Audience Awards Best North American Narrative Feature:

SOCIAL, directed and written by Miles Triplett.

  • $1,000 cash award and $5,000 Panavision Camera Rental Grant

Best International Narrative Feature:

ISAAC, directed and written by Jurgis Matulevičius.

  • $1,000 cash award

Best North American Documentary Feature: LARRY FLYNT FOR PRESIDENT, directed by Nadia Szold.

  • $1,000 cash award

Best International Documentary Feature: BEAUTIFUL IDIOTS directed by Michael Ginthoer. Written by Michael Ginthoer and Christos Chassapis.

  • $1,000 cash award

Mammoth Film Festival Bravery Award 2021 was presented to Nancy Wagoner for her demonstrated extraordinary kindness and compassion, empathy and grit, as a pillar to her community. Through their actions depicted in the film “Fearless,” Nancy and James Reyna transformed a boxing gym into a space for encouragement and growth for kids who needed it most.

The 2021 Jury Members: Allison Amon (Producer), Devin Digonno (Producer), Shali Doré (Variety), Caleb Hammond (MovieMaker Magazine), Brian Welk (The Wrap), Rebecca Keegan (The Hollywood Reporter), David Massey (independent filmmaker), Ana Souza (Programmer, Sundance), Kimberley Browning (Tribeca Film Festival & Hollywood Shorts), Jacques Thelemaque (Los Angeles filmmaking collective), Sarah Diamond (Slamdance), Elegance Bratton (director and producer), Breven Warren (Angaelica), Summre Garber (Slamdance), and Bojana Sandic (NewFilmmakers Los Angeles).

On Saturday, September 25, producer Allison Amon, producer Devin Digonno, Shali Doré (Variety), Caleb Hammond (MovieMaker Magazine), Rebecca Keegan (The Hollywood Reporter) and filmmaker David Massey participated in a panel moderated by Festival Director and Founder Shira Dubrovner, where they discussed the changing state and future of the industry amid COVID-19.

For information on the 8 the annual festival taking place in 2022, visit  www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com. 

About the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, held in the scenic and majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra region of California, brings together world-class cinema, emerging filmmakers, industry veterans, and audiences from around the world to celebrate films with thought-provoking stories. The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is a non-profit 501 (c)3 under the Eastern Sierra Arts Alliance, which has contributed to the arts and culture of the area for the last 14 years through theatre and film festival programming. Visit www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com for more information or connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 2021 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Sponsors include Panavision, Tambour Foundation, LightIron, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mono County Mammoth Lakes Recreation and more.

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