And They Lived Happily Ever After

March 15, 2017

Audience Awards Love Shorts contest is a wrap!

Our Love Shorts contest closed last month and the winning films were all over the genre map, from a period piece to a horror flick about cannibalistic children with razor-sharp teeth. Once again, Audience Awards is proud to provide a platform where filmmakers can fully express themselves, no matter how they perceive romance.

Watch HAPPILY EVER AFTER, by Carsten Kurpanek

Happily Ever After, which won 1st place jury prize, weaves every great romantic comedy from the ‘80s and ‘90s through one woman’s search for love. Its main character, Annie, a former homecoming queen on a quest for “the one,” tests the men she dates, handing each of them a script from a famous movie. Nancy Meyers and John Hughes are well represented, as is that famous prostitute-turned-good (with a tiny nod toward what the heck we were thinking, romanticizing Pretty Woman that way). Angela Sprinkle, who wrote and stars in the short, Angela Sprinkle, admits she’s a hopeless romantic. “I wanted kind of just a feel-good movie to bring back the nostalgic feel we had with the movies we grew up loving.” Happily Ever After did just that (which might say something about the age of our jurors?). This short was Sprinkle’s first writing effort and now she’s working on a full-length feature about Annie. We can’t wait to see what happens next!

Watch Melon Head, by Andy Fortenbacher

Second place winner, Melon Head has already won some awards. Filmmaker Andy Fortenbacher categorizes it as a romantic comedy, but don’t be fooled. Its premise hinges on a couple finding love at the exact moment they’re attacked by melon heads (you know, the cannibalistic children with razor-sharp teeth we mentioned before.)

Watch Digits, by Alexander Engel

Digits took home 3rd place jury. Its tagline tells it all: “Dude loses the last two digits of this girl’s number. Tries every combination to find her. It’s a comedy.” We loved this short and we’re so glad it was recognized by our esteemed jurors. The script and editing of the short were so clever, it may have been the only time any of us sat excitedly through the credits. Writer and director Alexander Engel admits, “Love and the pursuit of it has always been a big part of my life.” His next project, a full-length feature, is “about a guy trying to stop his girlfriend from leaving him. (Not based on personal experience.) It’s a comedy.”

Our audience chose some great submissions too. Breno Ferreira’s Walter took home first place. “The film tells the story of Walter, an old and grumpy man who suffers from loneliness and sees suicide as the only way out,” says Ferreira. A day in the life of this ultimately endearing protagonist proves that there may be another way out of loneliness for an old man in Copacabana.

Second place went to an ambitious period piece, My Dearest Jean, about young love in England in 1946. It happens to be based on the true story of filmmaker Christian Whittaker’s grandparents and how they met during World War II.

Alex Shandelman’s Turkey Bacon took home 3rd place audience award. During the contest, Shandelman was one of our featured filmmakers and we couldn’t be happier the audience shared the same affinity for this sweet film, which also happens to be based on his grandparents.

We wish all these filmmakers luck in love and with their film careers. We’re happy to be a part of giving their work support and exposure!


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