2017 Social Political Shorts Film Festival Winners

December 13, 2017

We asked our Audience Awards community to submit their short films calling attention to a social or political issue relevant to the controversial times in which we live. Here are the top three jury selected winning films from our Social Political Shorts Film Festival.

The first place film is The Sunshine Boy by Naaman Azhari. Inspired by real events, the film follows a mother’s realization of her son’s mental state moments before a school shooting.

Audience Awards asked Ahari what inspired him to make a film about the ongoing issue of school shootings. He responded,

I did a lot of research about past high school shootings, and when I was reading about Columbine I found a recent interview with one of the shooter’s mothers, Sue Klebold. She was an ordinary mom who raised her children with nothing but love and care until shock, horror and confusion clouded her mind after learning about her son’s terrible actions and suicide. I wanted the audience to hear the mother’s side of the story, an often underrepresented perspective.

In second place, Moon Child by James Mills, three generations of women come together to tell the story of Vina Schmitt, grandmother, mother, and self-proclaimed “Moon Child” of Oceanside, California. Sexually and physically abused by her step-father as a child, Vina’s forced loss of boundaries led her to pursue a life of hard living filled with surfing, skating, and booze that extended far into her mothering years. Now a grandmother, Vina’s daughter and granddaughter recollect the ways in which Vina’s life story and mental health has impacted their own, and wonder if the intergenerational trauma can be healed.  

In third place is Sink or Swim by Michael Cameneti. How would you choose to live your life truly knowing your days are numbered? Devin Broadbent is reminded of his mortality on a daily basis. Battling cystic fibrosis, Devin lets ENDPAIN take an inside look into the disease’s effects both physically and mentally and his process of living with it.

When asked about the making of the film, Cameneti told us,

This was a very difficult story to tell simply because of the nature of the film. Devin has a terminal illness, so really telling his story in a unique/captivating way was tough. You have to capture and tell the story so the audience truly understands the implication of cystic fibrosis, while also respecting Devin’s situation and his health. We filmed this current edit over the course of just 3 days. 

A huge thanks to our community of creatives and filmmakers who submitted, and hearty congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to seeing the top three films premiere at AudFest 2018! To stay up-to-date on our festival winners, visit: https://audnews.com/contests/winners

Audience Awards democratizes entertainment by connecting global filmmakers, fans and brands. We crowd-source mission-based, gorgeous branded content from our award-winning global filmmaker collective. Submissions are juried by the entertainment industry, influencers, and celebrities and voted on by the world. The top filmmakers receive prizes, distribution and festival screenings. Additionally, we host our annual live festival AudFest in LA, provide an internal submissions platform for brands and offer automated live event audience voting.


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