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Visionfest 11 Wraps & Reveals Award Winners!

Written by: FFT Webmaster | June 28th, 2011

CASSEROLE CLUB dishes out new Independent Vision Awards record
and walks off with 5 wins – including Outstanding Production & Direction!

STAGS writer/director, Jamie Greenberg, wins Special Jury Prize; Domani Vision Award for Emerging Talent – Filmmaker of the Year goes to Conrad Jackson for FALLING OVERNIGHT!
Multi-nominated THE ABSENCE crowned as Outstanding Short Subject and Skylar Gordon’s
experimental ONTOLOGICA! honored for script and original score.

New York City, (June 27, 2011) – VISIONFEST 11: The Other Festival (VF11), which ran June 22-26, 2011, at Tribeca Cinemas revealed its Independent Vision Award winners last night, during a ceremony, which ran a little over an hour and also unveiled the 5 digital shorts created this year for the festival’s ambitious initiative, the 5×5 NEW YORK STATE OF MIND DIGITAL PROJECT.

Steve Balderson’s THE CASSEROLE CLUB, took home 5 of the 9 statuettes for which it was nominated and managed to break the film festival’s record for most wins ever by a single film, coincidentally held by FIRECRACKER, one of the director’s earlier films, and Nyle Cavazos Garcia’s 2004 drama, CLEAN. The film’s director and producers were recognized for their achievements, with co-producer, Garrett Swann, and one of the film’s actors, Jennifer Grace, on hand to accept the awards on behalf of Steve Balderson, who had to fly back home a day shy of the ceremony. The festival’s social sites were buzzing with activity from Backstreet Boys fan clubs across the country when Kevin Scott Richardson, a former band member, was honored with an award for his stunning performance in the film. Co-star, Susan Traylor, took home one of two awards handed out in the female acting category, with Anna Moore landing the other statuette for her brilliant turn in FIGHTING FISH, in what is actually the festival’s only ‘tie’ since 2002, but the first ever in the acting categories. Rounding out the CLUB wins was Mr. Balderson’s achievement in Production Design, which gave the ‘60s period piece its uniquely elegant and colorful visual glory. Festival co-director, Frank Lewallen, described the film as “an amazing motion picture… looks like it was made for millions of bucks.”

The Domani Vision Film Society, the festival’s organizing entity, bestowed a Special Jury Prize award, which was co-sponsored by, on the film STAGS and its writer-director, Jamie Greenberg, whose audience-pleasing comedy was also the festival’s fastest selling screening, ultimately reaching ‘standing room only’ in both screening rooms of the Tribeca Cinemas. A second special award, not included in the categories with nominations, went to Daniel Stine’s short subject, GOD AND VODKA, which was singled out as the Audience Favorite, based upon a sampling report of the reactions and comments coming back from festival goers, as collected by specifically assigned fest reps and Domani Vision associates. The multi-award nominated, THE ABSENCE, by Alex DeMille, was chosen as the year’s Outstanding Short Subject, and two other short subject contenders, FLAGPOLE, by Matt Kazman, and AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL, by Jacob Chase, picked up wins for Most Promising Filmmaker and Best Short Form Screenplay respectively, with the latter going to acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute. The short doc BELOW NEW YORK by Matt Finlin was cited as the top of its category, and the experimental epic, ONTOLOGICA! by Skylar Gordon nabbed two awards: Writing & Original Score.

The festival’s Domani Vision Award for Emerging Talent – Filmmaker of the Year was assigned to Conrad Jackson for his narrative feature, FALLING OVERNIGHT, which also won the Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award for its lead, Parker Croft. Tech awards went to: VIRGIN ALEXANDER’s Charlotte Barret & Sean Fallon, for Editing; Michael Fimognari earned this year’s ASC-sponsored Abe Schrager Award for Cinematography for the feature drama, LEAVE; and Josh Roos was singled out for Sound Design on PHAROS. Throughout the evening, the festival’s 5×5 Project shorts were also screened and its authors and respective filmmakers were called up for acknowledgement.

The awards for the top three screenplays in the Feature Screenwriting Competition went to: James Poirier’s THE WHITE DEATH (1st place); Kevin Brodie’s SEASON OF MISTS (2nd place); and Nyle Cavazos Garcia’s THE FIGHTING IRISH, rounding out the top three. The 1st place winner, in addition to goods and services provided by, will receive a staged reading before an audience of industry guests, which will be followed by a gala reception, in Spring 2012.

The evening ended a little after midnight, following a very successful and animated after-party with music by DJ Illegal, organized by the fest’s new events coordinator, Paul Benjamin.

Following, is a complete list of nominees, with winning names/titles in bold italics.

Domani Vision Award for Emerging Talent
Alex DeMille (The Absence)
Conrad Jackson (Falling Overnight)
Skylar Gordon (Ontologica!)
Jamie Greenberg (Stags)
Charlotte Barrett & Sean Fallon (Virgin Alexander)

The Absence
The Casserole Club
Falling Overnight

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – Sponsored by & ASC.
Jamie Greenberg (Stags)

Alex DeMille (The Absence)
Steve Balderson (The Casserole Club)
Conrad Jackson (Falling Overnight)
Robert Celestino (Leave)
Jamie Greenberg (Stags)

Frankie Krainz (The Casserole Club)
Conrad Jackson & Parker Croft (Falling Overnight)
Skylar Gordon (Ontologica!)
Jamie Greenberg (Stags)
Charlotte Barrett & Sean Fallon (Virgin Alexander)

Short Subject Narrative
The Absence
After-School Special
God and Vodka

The Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award
David Gross (A Bridge to Bourne)
Jennifer Grace (The Casserole Club)
David Thompson (Flagpole)
Parker Croft (Falling Overnight)
Rick Faugno (Virgin Alexander)

Acting (Male Lead)
Kevin Scott Richardson (The Casserole Club)
Val Emmich (Fighting Fish)
Rick Gomez (Leave)
Eric Wheeler (Proposal)
Benim Foster (Stags)

Acting (Female Lead)
Sarah Paulson (After-School Special)
Susan Traylor (The Casserole Club) – tie
Emilia Zoryan (Falling Overnight)
Anna Moore (Fighting Fish) – tie
Jessica Faller (Stags)

The Abe Schrager Award for Cinematography
Dagmar Weaver-Madsen (The Absence)
Steve Balderson (The Casserole Club)
Doug Emmett (Fighting Fish)
Michael Fimognari (Leave)
Logan Roos (Pharos)

Erin Greenwell (The Absence)
Shanna Maurizi (How To Make It in Filmmaking)
Skylar Gordon (Ontologica!)
Jen Kozlowski (Pharos)
Charlotte Barrett & Sean Fallon (Virgin Alexander)

Original Score
Jonathan Zalben (The Absence)
Rob Kleiner (The Casserole Club)
Credit to be determined (God and Vodka)
Milosz Jeziorski (Ontologica!)
Jason Cummings & Ian Vargo (Pharos)

Production Design
Michael Bednark (The Absence)
Steve Balderson (The Casserole Club)
Jonathan A. Carlson (Leave)
Mc Graw Wolfman & Logan Roos (Pharos)
Monica Jacobs (Virgin Alexander)

Certificate of Award
Most Promising Filmmaker
Elan Golod (Exclusive)
Matt Kazman (Flagpole)
Daniel Stine (God and Vodka)
Eddie O’Keefe (The Ghosts)
Shanna Maurizi (How To Make It in Filmmaking)

Short Form Documentary
Animation: A Palette of Possibilities
Below New York
Slip Cue

Short Form Screenwriting
Neil LaBute (After-School Special)
Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby)
Eddie O’Keefe (The Ghosts)
Matt Kazman (Flagpole)
Drew Mylrea (Quarters)

Sound Design
Danny Langa (The Absence)
Chris Dickinson (Ontologica!)
Josh Roos (Pharos)
Ronnie Cramer (Sixty in 60)
Ben Wilkins (Waking Wallbauer)

Daniel Stine (God And Vodka)

1st Place: THE WHITE DEATH by James Poirier
2nd Place: SEASON OF MISTS by Kevin Brodie
3rd Place: THE FIGHTING IRISH by Nyle Cavazos Garcia

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