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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.
Best Feature 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.
Best Animation 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?
Best Comedy 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
Best Director 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!
Best Documentary 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.MRailroad 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.
Best Screenplay 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.


2011 Screenplay Competition Winners


Grand Prize Winners

  • 1st Place: See Me (Written by Noga Brienes)
  • 2nd Place: Adios Abayo (Written by Steven M. Hirohama)
  • 3rd Place: The Little White Kart (Written by Don Bastida)

Official Commendations

  • The Amazing Martin Greenbaum (Written by Jeffrey Pfeiffer)
  • Chief Red Iron: The Lakota Uprising (Written by Gregory Heitmann)
  • Jivetown (Written by Donna Ho)
  • Plume (Written by Teague Kennedy)
  • The Gambler (Written by Ignacio Quijada)

Official Finalists

  • Band of Angels (Written by Michael Baley)
  • Bay of Pig (Written by Roberto Marrero)
  • Implanted (Written by Bruce Golde)
  • Links: A Sports Spirit Quest (Written by Christopher Canole)
  • Mischief Makers (Written by Elise Jackson)
  • The Journal (Written by Braide Keyland)
  • The Legend of McCoy Mountain & The Gold 45 Revolver (Written by Elliot McGucken)
  • The Outcasts of Vandalore (Written by Paul Dupree)
  • The Way the Ball Bounces (Written by Gregory Heitmann)
  • Tusk (Written by Richard Rone)

Honorable Mentions

  • Burning Ice (Written by N.A. Bevins)
  • Halfway Home (Written by David Schroeder)
  • Overnight Hero (Written by Gary Wheeler)
  • Oyster Bay, NY (Written by John Andronikides)
  • Positive Action (Written by by Paa Kofi Mannoh)
  • Silence (Written by John Edward Flynt)
  • Take the Long Way Home (Written by Lee Olivas)
  • Teener Baseball (Written by Gregory Heitmann)
  • The Chinese Disco (Written by John Harris)
  • The Mountain of the Moon (Written by Jeffrey Ryback)
  • Transfer of Ownership (Written by Robert Mazzonna)

Short Script Competition

  • 1st Place: The Last Fairy Tale Chronicles (Written by Dadrea Heron)
  • 2nd Place: Appellation (Written by Jessika Satori)
  • 3rd Place: Wrigley & King (Written by Cornelius Murphy)

Television Writing Contest

  • Grand Prize: Miami Murder Club (Written by Curtis David Sackett)


2011 John Muir Awards


Animation Film Competition

  • Dissolving Destinies directed by Carlene Strathmann & Brandon Strathmann
  • Squash directed by Eliza Gardner

California Film Competition

  • Bachar Yerian directed by Cole Gibson

Documentary Film Competition

  • Career Courier: The Labor of Love directed by Kenton Hoppas
  • Genocide Revealed directed by Yurij Luhovy
  • Take A Seat: Sharing a Ride Across America directed by Dominic Gill
  • Turkish Passport directed by Burak Arliel
  • White Water, Black Gold directed by David Lavallee

Environmental Film Competition

  • Spirit of Place directed by Monty Hempel
  • The New Environmentalists directed by John Antonelli, Will Parrinello & Tom Dusenbery

Feature Film Competition

  • 2 Frogs in the West directed by Dany Papineau
  • The Italian Key directed by Rosa Karo

Music Video Competition

  • Ella directed by Nicky Cairney & Artemis Robison

Short Film Competition

  • Dreaming in a Time of Hate directed by Oscar Arvizo
  • Let Go directed by Conny Beneden
  • No Autographs directed by Bryan Buckley
  • Red Riders Lament directed by Jeremy Bessoff
  • Teardrop directed by Damian John Harper
  • The Audition directed by Matthew Toffolo
  • The Son of the Sea directed by Roberto Aznar

Student Film Competition

  • Amanda directed by Michael Tanner Cusumano
  • Der Struwwelpeter directed by Sabine Asanger
  • The Final Chapter directed by Carlos Julian

Television Pilot Competition

  • Chord directed by Ryan Atimoyoo


2011 Silver Sierra Award Winners


Animation Film Competition

  • Super Rangers and the Legion of Bugs directed by Martin Hamburger

California Film Competition

  • Good versus Evil directed by Kim Sheridan

Documentary Film Competition

  • Greenwashers directed by Bret Malley
  • Mountain Man directed by Rory Owen Delaney
  • The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley directed by DeSiree' Fawn
  • The Tal Qadi Stone directed by Chris & Maurice Micallef
  • Yes You Can directed by Nancy E. Germann

Environmental Film Competition

  • Bird Island directed by Sara Poisson
  • This Too Shall Pass directed by Marc Wiskemann

Feature Film Competition

  • Blackman, White Brother directed by Paa Kofi Mannoh
  • Carbon Public Enemy No 1 directed by Nicolas Koutsikas & Stephan Poulle
  • Farts of Fury directed by Andres Maimik & Rain Tolk

Short Film Competition

  • Challenging Impossibility directed by Natabara Mark Rollosson & Sanjay Rawal
  • Depth of Field directed by Aaron Straight
  • Highway Amazon directed by Ronnie Cramer
  • I Miss My Family directed by Leo Hylan
  • The Gift directed by WG MacMillan
  • The Wildlife Learning Center directed by Kenny Ballentine
  • V Something directed by Asako Ushio

Student Film Competition

  • Behind the Door of a Secret Girl directed by Janessa Starkey & Jack Kohler
  • Ecosystem directed by Michael Burke & Allen Murphy
  • The 36 directed by Nic Weinfeld


2011 El Capitan Award Winners


Animation Film Competition

  • Jimmy Paul The Pug Tooth Fairy directed by Beth Roose & Dave Moody

California Film Competition

  • One In Seven, The New Face of Hunger directed by Douglas Green

Documentary Film Competition

  • Age of Champions directed by Chris Rufo
  • Journey of the Universe directed by David Kennard & Patsy Northcutt
  • Patagonia Rising directed by Brian Lilla
  • Two in a Million directed by Cici Brown
  • Zeitgeist: Moving Forward directed by Peter Joseph

Environmental Film Competition

  • Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000 directed by Susan Edwards
  • One Ocean: Mysteries of the Deep directed by Elise Swerhone

Feature Film Competition

  • Victims directed by David Bryant

Music Video Competition

  • Yeku Remixed directed by Simon Lardie

Short Film Competition

  • A Planet in Peril directed by Greg Moller
  • Day At The Pool directed by Ian Douglass & Eric Fulford
  • Fortunes Mine directed by James Fox
  • Invoice directed by Adriane Little
  • Jinx No More directed by Geoff Reisner
  • Repercussions directed by Michael Shu
  • The Waterfall directed by Peta Carey

Student Film Competition

  • 10,000 Trees directed by Sarah Ginsburg & Sarah Berkovich
  • The Pickle Guys directed by Richie Siegel
  • Within directed by Lauren M. Walker