#WSIFF: And the Winner is…


Last night, was the Awards Ceremony for the White Sands International Film Festival. The Oscars of Independent Film, if you will. While sitting in my seat at the historic Rio Grande Theater and in the company of so many deserving filmmakers, I marveled at everyone gathered in celebration of a shared “Love of the Lens.”wsiffaward

The who’s who of the festival all showed up in attendance (and by that, I mean all of the filmmakers) and conversations around me between directors, writers, actors and more flooded the air with anticipation and excitement. Discussions of films, sharing of best practices, divulging of dreams…these were some of the topics among both veteran and virgin filmmakers alike who all were waiting and looking forward to the revealing of the list of winners.

Camera flashes went off as the auditorium of the Rio Grande theater (the oldest two-story adobe theater in the country) welcomed the WSIFF board accompanied by special guest Lou Diamond Phillips. I didn’t want the evening to end, but knew that it would. but not before the winners would be announced. With mics tested and nerves calmed, the ceremony began with WSIFF President Rob Sharp thanking all involved with supporting the week’s festivities.Rio Grande

The White Sands International Film Festival presents awards for the following categories:

  • Best Student Short
  • Best Narrative Short
  • Best Director
  • Best Documentary
  • Audience Choice
  • Grand Jury (Best Feature)

This year also had a few additions to the awards in that (1) there were Runner-Ups in every category and (2) the 48-Hour Film Frenzy award was also given to the winner and runner-up of the first annual competition.

Below are your list of winners. Congratulations to all.

  • Best Student Short: Ritz and Spitz (Runner Up: Breathe Life)
  • Best Narrative Short: Rose, Mary and Time (Runner Up: A House, A Home)
  • Best Director: Adam Rifkin for Reality Show (Runner Up: Sparrow’s Dance)
  • Best Documentary: From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe (Runner Up: Running for Jim)
  • Audience Choice: Running For Jim (Runner Up: Against the Grain)
  • Grand Jury: The Retrieval (Runner Up: Mad Ship)


For more official information on the winners, look for the updates at the festival’s official website HERE as they become available.IMG956081

Congratulations once again to all the participants and winners, including Lou Diamond Phillips and the additional cast and crew members of the movie Sanitarium that showed earlier that day.sanitariumcrew

The festival isn’t over yet! Today you can watch each of the winners and all of the shorts as they are scheduled to play today in the final showings of the festival beginning at 10am. Don’t miss them. Several of the winning selections I was able to review. You can look to read about them HEREwsiffblogger

Thanks for reading! Happy watching.

Terrence Faulkner, a.k.a. “TheFocusedFilmographer”

Up next: More reviews and interviews/spotlights of films from the festival. The festival may be ending but my coverage continues. Stay tuned.


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