Gasparilla International Film Festival Announces Winners

Suncoast Credit Union’s Gasparilla International Film Festival wrapped up its week in Tampa Bay, Florida. GIFF began on March 20 with the urban musical “Stuck,” and ended Sunday with a closing night gala screening of the documentary “Brothers in Arms.”

GIFF Board member Joseph Alexander said:

“This year’s line-up was an exciting one with strong films in every category, challenging our jurors and delighting our audiences. We thank our filmmakers for sharing their films with us and remain committed to bringing another fantastic line up to next year’s 13th year.”

The festival also included a special screening of the new film “Best F(r)iends,” with Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau in attendance.

The various juries announced their selections for awards. The winners were announced Tuesday. GIFF’s juries included the following participants:

The Grand Jury members were selected across various areas of the entertainment field.  For the US Narrative section, the jurors include actor James Burns (“Transformers”); filmmaker Marcus Ovnell; and Veteran film studio executive, producer, director, talent manager, author and lecturer Ellen Pittleman.

Members of the International Narrative jury include Andres Castillo, Programmer at the Borscht Film Festival; film critic Carlos Aguilar; and producer Debbie Vandermeulen.

The Documentary Feature jurors include Kevin Hartman, Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts’ Festival and Industry Relations Specialist; Rachel Gregg, Executive Director of the Big Sky Film Institute; and Aaron Walker, filmmaker and Assistant Professor at the University of Tampa.

Jurors for the Short Film category comprised of film executive Benjamin Scott; Tamara Nemirovsky, Faculty member at University of San Francisco’s School of Art and History; and filmmaker Gianluca Sodaro.

Jurors of the Florida Production category were actor and filmmaker Joe Davidson (Netflix’s “Stranger Things 2”); founding member of the Florida Film Critics Circle Steve Persall; and casting director Rose Rosen.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Grand Jury Best US Narrative Feature: “Class Rank” by Eric Stoltz

Grand Jury Best International Feature: “Killing Jesus” by Laura Mora

Grand Jury Best Documentary Feature: “No Man’s Land” by David Byars

Grand Jury Best Florida Production: “Between Waves” by Joe Herbert

Grand Jury Best Short Film: “The Tables” by Annie Pace

Grand Jury Best Animated Short: “Arnie Johnstone and the Vulva Tree” by Jesse Swenson

The jury also announced a Special Mention for the animated short film “Plush Assassin,” directed by Anca Mihai

Grand Jury Best College Short Film: “Plush Assassin” by Anca Mihai

Grand Jury Best Performance U.S. Narrative: Olivia Holt from “Class Rank”

Grand Jury Best Performance International Narrative: Rossy de Palma from “Madame”

Audience Award Best US Feature: “Quest” by Santiago Rizzo

Audience Award Best International Feature:  “BORG vs McENROE” by Janus Metz

Audience Award Best Documentary Feature: “Pick of the Litter” by Don Hardy and Dana Nachman

Audience Award Best Short Film: “The Tables” by Annie Pace

Audience Award Best Florida Production:  “St. Pete Unfiltered” by Caroline Smith

Audience Award Best College Short Film: “Pickle” by Grant Moore

Audience Award Best University of Tampa Short: “Devin” by Haley Ricciari

The special jury prize Executive Directors Award for Most Buzzworthy Film was awarded to “Best F(r)iends” by Greg Sestero

The mission of Gasparilla International Film Festival “is to provide year-long support for film screening, production, and education throughout the Tampa Bay Region.”