17th Calgary Underground Film Festival

June 22-28, 2020 Streaming Online
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2020 CUFF Awards

 

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

Audience Award Best Narrative Feature – NOBADI (Director Karl Markovics)

Audience Award Best Documentary Feature – MY NAME IS CLITORIS (Directors Lisa Billuart Monet and Daphné Leblond)

Audience Award Best Canadian Short – ROMI (Director Robert Cuffley) 

Audience Award Best International Short – HOW TO RE-CAULK YOUR TUB (Director Sean Pierce)

 

 

JURY AWARD WINNERS

 

Narrative Feature

Jury Award Best Narrative Feature – A DOG'S DEATH (Director Matías Ganz)

With its confidence in visual storytelling, and its unsettling dark tone, A DOG’S DEATH is our jury’s top choice. This absurd and tension-filled portrayal of a middle-class veterinarian embroiled in controversy after a mistake at work feels like an all-too-real cinematic reflection of the globe’s current social and political climate.

Special Jury Mention – UNCLE PECKERHEAD (Director Matthew John Lawrence)

UNCLE PECKERHEAD deserves special recognition for its mix of character-driven comedy, gory horror, and terrific indie punk rock vibe. This is a movie that shows the filmmaker's love and knowledge of both genre film as well as the music scene. Also, the catchy tunes from DUH will keep you humming long afterwards.

 

Documentary Feature

Jury Award Best Documentary Feature – NARROWSBURG (Director Martha Shane)

The jury would like to congratulate NARROWSBURG for Best Documentary. Director Martha Shane was able to provide audiences with a fresh take on an interesting subject in the documentary world. The construction of the film using archival footage was perfectly executed. We believe the film really embodies the overall CUFF underground spirit.

Special Jury Mention – HOUSE OF CARDIN (Directors P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes)

We would also like to acknowledge the runner-up, HOUSE OF CARDIN directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes. Both Ebersole and Hughes took notes from the living legend Pierre Cardin and delivered a film that is quick, glossy and innovative. 

 

Best Canadian Short (sponsored by William F. White)

Jury Award Best Canadian Short – JESSE JAMS (Director Trevor Anderson) 

Trevor Anderson's short doc, JESSE JAMS, paints a poignant and beautifully executed portrait of mumble punk's indigenous trans visionary, Jesse Jams. Anderson and his crew push the documentary form forward, creating a low-fi-lush texture, atmosphere, and aesthetic that captures and complements the music of Jesse Jams and the Flams and the journey of this unique and persevering young musician.

Special Jury Mention – THE MOTHER (Director Kaytlyn Turner) 

Special mention goes to Kaytlyn Turner's haunting and visually stunning narrative, THE MOTHER, a mini-masterpiece in tension-building that delivers a powerful first nations' indictment of colonialism's violent past.

 

JURORS

Best Narrative Feature

John Allison: Festival Director, Feature & Short Film Programmer, Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival (SFFF)
Sean Cisterna: Feature Film Producer and Director
Elodie Dupont: Film Programmer North Bend Film Festival & Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF)

 

Best Documentary Feature

Opal H. Bennett: POV Shorts Producer
Brent Hodge: Director & CUFF alumnus
Lily Zepeda: Director & CUFF alumnus 

 

Best Canadian Short Film

Greg Jeffs: CSR Coordinator, Emerging Filmmakers/Digital Content; William F. White (Toronto) & Director/Producer
Nicole McControversy: Director of Programming, Boston Underground Film Festival
Andrew Murphy: Director of Programming, Inside Out LGBT Film Festival

 

ABOUT OUR JURORS 

John Allison: Festival Director, Feature & Short Film Programmer, Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival (SFFF)
John is the Festival Director for the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival (SFFF) as well as a Feature and Short Film Programmer for the festival. Prior to founding the SFFF in 2009, John wrote about movies and the movie going experience for most of a decade on his own movie site Film Grotto, as well as the movie blogs Movie Patron and Row Three. John is a dedicated film fan who loves movies with strong stories and interesting characters. 

Opal H. Bennett: POV Shorts Producer
Opal has been a festival Programmer since 2014. She curates for DOC NYC and Athena Film Festival and is Shorts Producer at POV.  Starting out as a festival volunteer for the first Sundance London Film Festival, she now curates film year-round. Opal joined Athena Film Festival, where she is Senior Programmer, in 2016 and DOCNYC, as Shorts Programmer, in 2015. In January 2020, she became Shorts Producer at American Documentary's POV. She has also worked with IFP, Aspen ShortsFest, Over-The-Rhine Film Festival and the March on Washington Film Festival. A Columbia Law grad, Opal holds a Masters in Media Studies from the LSE, and received her B.A. from New York University.

Sean Cisterna: Feature Film Producer and Director
Sean Cisterna is a multi award-winning filmmaker who recently directed FROM THE VINE (2019), an international coproduction set around the world of Italian wine, starring Emmy winner Joe Pantoliano. Cisterna directed the critically acclaimed teen cancer drama KISS AND CRY (2017), as well as FULL OUT (2015), a gymnastics film starring the iconic Jennifer Beals, both on Netflix worldwide.

Elodie Dupont: Film Programmer North Bend Film Festival & Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF)
Elodie worked for 8 years as a festival agent at The Festival Agency where she used to manage the French offices. She’s currently a programmer at Paris International Fantastic Film Festival and North Bend Film Festival. She continues to help filmmakers on the festivals circuit and is currently working on her first short movies.

Brent Hodge: Director & CUFF alumnus
Brent Hodge is an Alberta born filmmaker specializing in comedy and pop culture documentaries. He is best known for A BRONY TALE (Netflix / CUFF 2014), I AM CHRIS FARLEY (Paramount), PISTOL SHRIMPS (NBC) FREAKS AND GEEKS: THE DOCUMENTARY (A&E / CUFF 2018), and WHO LET THE DOGS OUT (Hulu / CUFF 2019).

Greg Jeffs: CSR Coordinator, Emerging Filmmakers/Digital Content; William F. White (Toronto) & Director/Producer
Greg Jeffs has spent the past decade producing award-winning short and web content, for which he has been awarded multiple filmmaking grants from organizations including Telefilm, Telus Optik, Telus Storyhive and Bravofact. Greg’s current work with William F. White Int’l combines his vast knowledge of Canadian independent filmmaking with the world of professional filmmaking equipment and support. He actively develops long-lasting relationships with emerging and established content creators at all stages of their production to provide mentorship and advisement.

Nicole McControversy: Director of Programming, Boston Underground Film Festival
Since 2012, Nicole has been the Director of Programming at the Boston Underground Film Festival; she's also Beyond Fest's dedicated shorts programmer. Once upon a time she covered arts and entertainment for The Hollywood Reporter and Boston.com and has a deep and abiding love for gremlins, psychedelic nightmares, and tacos.

Andrew Murphy: Director of Programming, Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
Since 2012, Andrew Murphy has served as Director of Programming at Inside Out. While leading the artistic direction for the Toronto and Ottawa LGBT Film Festivals as well as year-round initiatives, he helped launch the organization's Industry program, including the world's first LGBTQ film financing forum. Prior to Inside Out, Murphy was Programming Manager for the Atlantic Film Festival and ViewFinders International Film Festival for Youth for more than a decade. Murphy has previously served on the jury for the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award and for Cardiff's Iris Prize among other film and financing juries.

Lily Zepeda: Director & CUFF alumnus 
Lily is an LA-based filmmaker whose most recent documentary feature, MR TOILET: The World’s #2 Man, won the Docs for Schools Students Choice Award and played at CUFF.Docs 2019. She is a Diversity Fellow and Accelerator Lab grantee from Chicken & Egg Pictures as well as a Hedgebrook Lab finalist. As as a producer, writer and director with international experience, Lily spent over five years capturing the challenges and triumphs of global change makers while filming in Singapore, China, India and US. She has also been invited to festival panels and pitch sessions at DOC NYC, Hot Docs, Big Sky FF and Sheffield FF.