Cape Filmmakers Reap Awards at Woods Hole Film Festival
By: Elise Hugus, August 6, 2012
ELISE HUGUS - Beth Murphy of North Falmouth accepts the "Best of the Fest" award from the Woods Hole Film Festival on Saturday night for her documentary "The List."
The 21st Woods Hole Film Festival ended on a high note on Saturday, August 4, with awards for filmmakers and screenwriters near and far.
Over the course of the eight-day festival, audiences packed various Woods Hole venues to see more than 100 feature films, documentaries, and animated and narrative shorts.
“It was a huge success. It felt to me like there was a lot of support in local community and a lot of direct connection with things happening right in our back yards,” said festival director Judy Laster, noting the festival tie-ins with research being done at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Sea Education Association, and NASA’s outreach programs for children.
Drawing filmmakers from as far away as Germany and Scotland and as close by as the villages of Falmouth, awards were given based on audience and jury ratings in an awards ceremony at WHOI’s Redfield Auditorium on Saturday night.
Locals in the spotlight
Beth Murphy of North Falmouth received the “Best of the Fest” jury award for her documentary, The List, which follows a Michigan man’s quest to bring Iraqis that worked with the US military to safety in the United States. She also earned a standing ovation from the audience at her screening earlier in the week.
Bookended by the birth of her daughter and the death of her father, Murphy said The List holds intense personal meaning in her portfolio of award-winning documentaries. In her comments on Saturday, she credited the Woods Hole Film Festival with helping bring the film to a wider audience through its collaboration with the international news website, GlobalPost.com.
Several local and regional filmmakers earned awards from the festival, including a jury award for best narrative feature for Booster, directed by Matthew Ruskin of Boston. Surviving Family, a family drama directed by Laura Thies of Germany, was runner-up in that category.
Basia Goszczynska of Falmouth took home the best animation or experimental short audience choice award for her stop-motion animation, Dziad i Baba. Goszczynska works as a video animator and editor at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.
The Festival Directors Awards for Cape Cod films went to Everything is Gray by Ohio-based Patsie Varkados. Runners-up included Tay Kitts, a Falmouth High School senior, for her short comedy If I Can Forget and to East Falmouth native M. Connor Leahy for his short film, Gretel.
Frank Papsadore of Sandwich won the 2012 Cape Cod Screenwriter’s Competition for his screenplay Sperm Burglars. Hortense Gerardo, of Boston and Woods Hole, placed third in the "Sci-Fi, Horror & Thriller" feature category. The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives, written by Brendan Hughes with Jeff Zinn tapped as producer, placed second in the feature drama category.
The audience rated Into the Gyre, a documentary about plastics in the ocean filmed aboard the SEA sailing research vessel, with second place in the documentary feature category.
For the Love of Music, a film about the Cambridge folk scene of the 1960s featuring archival footage from a Cotuit resident, earned third place.
Beyond the awards, the festival provides an important platform for independent filmmakers to screen their work and make connections with others in the field, said Laster, whose underlying mission is to create a stronger local filmmaking community.
“Filmmaking is less dependent on location as it has been in the past. For me, that signifies that we can keep creating a filmmaking community and support the idea of making films here on Cape Cod,” she said.
Additional jury awards
- Best Documentary Feature: “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself”; Runner Up: “Trash Dance”
- Best Narrative Short: “Admissions”; Runner Up: “The Man at the Counter”
- Best Documentary Short: “The Last Ice Merchant”; Runner Up: “Carbon for Water”
- Festival Director’s award for Best Cinematography: Stephen Maing's “High Tech, Low Life”
Additional audience choice awards
- Best Dramatic Feature: “In Montauk”; Runners Up: “Hitting the Cycle” and “Eye of the Hurricane”
- Best Comedy Feature: “Missed Connections”; Runners Up: “The Selling” and “Breakfast With Curtis”
- Best Documentary Feature (Personal or Artistic): “Trash Dance”; Runners Up: “Ashbash” and “Her Master’s Voice”
- Best Documentary Feature (Journalism or Historical): “Bay of All Saints”
- Best Dramatic Short: “Admissions”; Runners Up: “Bra-et Al Routh” and “And Winter Slow”
- Best Comedy Short: “Happy Voodoo”; Runners Up: “I’m Coming Over” and “Statue”
- Best Documentary Short: “Eric Carle, Picture Writer”; Runners Up: “24 Hours at the South Street Diner” and “Performance Anxiety”