2011 Award Winners
The Yosemite Film Festival proudly announces the top prize winners of the 2011 Festival.
Grand Jury Award
Life! Camera Action... directed by Rohit Gupta
To be born with a personality is an inherent gift from our parents, but to live as a personality, is an achievement of our own and a return gift to our parents.
Special Jury Award
One Revolution directed by Amanda Stoddard
One Revolution opens as dawn breaks atop Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Etched within every movement, Chris Waddell, makes the weighty knowledge that this will be his last chance to transcend disability, last chance to transcend sport, last chance to have the world see that people like himself not as something less, but equals and possibly as something more. If he makes the summit the world will know his message, if he fails he will be just another guy in a wheelchair.
Special Jury Award
Endgame directed by John Ruby
'Endgame' tells the story of Bennett Dale, an unemployed, engaged man, who is struggling to find meaning in life. With no job prospects and constant fighting with his girlfriend, Bennett's at the end of his rope. But when, through a chance encounter, he befriends a chess player in the park, things start to change. around again.
Special Jury Award
Nancy, Sid and Sergio directed by Craig Pickles
When God and the Devil go on a rock climbing weekend in Wales it's down time, a chance to call a temporary truce. But, when they discover Nancy slumped at the bottom of a cliff, old rivalries soon surface when she joins them for a day of adventure.
Special Jury Award
Extinción II - La Cuadratura de Los Círculos directed by Fernando Usón Forniés
Life is too brief to be wasted in quarreling.
The Floating Shadow directed by Dongshuo Jia
Late at night, a prisoner Han pointing fearfully at fellow inmate Lu, and screaming repeatedly,'murderer!' What was she doing? The police officer Ping takes on the case. She begins by reviewing Lu's incarceration murder case file. Just from the materials on file, it appears to be a very normal murder case. From her contact with Lu, she learns that despite her mild and powerless appearance, she has another very aggressive personality.
Courageous Crustaceans directed by Dayan Paul
Two prehistoric shell fish caught in an underwater arms race find that there is more to survival that being the fittest. These bottom feeding buddies prove to be some of evolution's longest and strongest survivors. Who would expect these hard headed heroes to be a match for the primeval oceans predatory leviathans?
Mary and Bill directed by Andrew Napier
A documentary following two elderly athletes, Mary Stroebe, a 90-year-old triathlete, and Bill Wambach, an 83-year-old high jumper. Mary hopes to complete the Lifetime Fitness triathlon and Bill will attempt to win 1st place and set the record for high jump at the National Senior Olympics. Through their amazing commitment, both Mary and Bill prove that age is just a number
Angels directed by Zachary Kerschberg
An American Family in the 1930's is rattled by the home birth of a severely disabled child. When the young daughter, herself disabled, sees her father's disappointment, she attempts to fix the baby in the barn.
Best First-Time Director
Orient Top Town directed by See-yuen Wong
Visual artists from different corners of China end up living in an empty luxurious real estate development, forming an unusual community amongst the high lending, booming property market in Shanghai.
Best Action Sports Film
Winter directed by Steve Bellamy
is a deep narrative of some of the most talented, people in mountain sports performing some of the most incredible feats ever attempted. The film features the world record quarter pipe jump by Simon Dumont as well as his insane crash at Park City. Julian Carr front flips a 210 footer in Switzerland. Kris Holm rides on the lip of a 2500 foot cliff on his unicycle with no ropes or parachute. The film goes to the top of Mt Everest, Baffin Island, Norway, Switzerland, Mammoth Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb and incredible places all around the world. It features wingsuit flying, paragliding, speedflying, climbing, hucking and of course tons and tons of amazing skiing!
The Hollow Tree directed by Daniel J. Pierce
Vancouver's most iconic structure, the Hollow Tree, a thousand-year-old shell of a Western Red Cedar, has been mythologized and immortalized by a century of photographs. But in 2006, when a severe windstorm swept through the park, the Hollow Tree's fate hung in the balance. How do you keep a big hollow tree standing on its own two feet?
Best Educational Film
What's for Dinner? directed by Yi Jian
Meat is now central to billions of people's daily meals. The environmental, climate, public health, ethical, and human impacts are enormous and remain largely undocumented. 'What's for Dinner?' explores this terrain in fast-globalizing China through the eyes of a retired pig farmer.
Best Environmental Film
The Last Wild Race directed by Brian J. Leitten
56 adventurers from across the globe converge on Chilean Patagonia for the 9th edition of the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race. For 10 days, 14 teams will test themselves in an unforgiving wilderness of fierce winds, icy rivers and impenetrable forests. This 44 minute film follows the teams as they trek, kayak and bike over 600 kilometers in the last wild race on the planet.
Best Foreign Film
Meherjaan directed by Rubaiyat Hossain
Meherjaan gives away with the unitary masculine narrative in order to usher in emotional multiplicity of feminine emotion and sensibility. This film critiques certain pitfalls of nationalism that create conditions to justify war, killing and violence. Finally, Meherjaan attempts to offer an aesthetic solution to war and violence by taking refuge in love and spiritual submission.
Best Music Video
Demolition Disco - Big Mama directed by Maximilian Gerlach & Jessica Benzing and KRONCK
Railroad Station Zoo in Berlin, Germany... a trashed wasteland destined to become a magical place! Somewhere between the Matrix and a urinal, this abandoned kingdom is brought back to life by a crowd of eccentric characters from Vikings to sweet Death.
Best Nature Film
Picking Up America directed by Marie Wicht & Michael Burke
In March of 2010, four idealistic young people left Maryland and began a three-year trek across the country picking up roadside trash every day. Filmmakers Michael Burke and Marie Wicht capture the challenges and the joys that these kids face as they work to promote a zero waste America.
Nocturnal After Hours directed by David Mejias
DJ Caesar is a favorite in the Brooklyn warehouse rave scene, but he is about to get his big chance. His manager arranged for Caesar to perform at Halcyon music store and at the House of Yes rave to meet a record label executive. At Halcyon, Caesar meets a potential girlfriend, but her violent and abusive boyfriend interferes and threatens to ruin Caesar's big chance at a record deal and finding love.
Best Short Film
Quirk of Fate directed by Marco J. Riedl
A quirk of fate leads Luke Hallow to risk violating his parole and losing his newly won freedom. He has to save the life of his nine-year-old daughter, Noel, who urgently needs a donor heart. Only a miracle keeps him from losing everything forever.
Best Television Pilot
StarTrip Chattabago directed by Ansje Germann
A unique reality entertainment chat show, produced on the road, with a comedy double act for presenters and members of the public as guests.
Best Student Film
I'm Too Young To Buy A Prius directed by Max Greenwald
An inspiring story about one town's journey to preserve their bike path after a catastrophic flood. For young people who do not have the resources to make BIG changes; you can still make a difference by "thinking small" about environmental efforts.