FilmDayton Festival: The Award Winners

This was our second year as a submission based festival and we wanted to honor filmmakers with audience choice awards from our various shorts blocks during the festival. Members of this weekends audience  participated in the awards process by voting for their favorite films.

The first group of awards presented tonight are the SUN DOG AWARDS
These awards are presented to our newest and youngest film makers who participate and compete in the annual Sun Dog film festival for Junior High and High School students. The top 4 student short films were shown at the beginning of our feature films. These award winners are in no particular order as follows:


SunDog winner Carly Vagedes, a FilmDayton volunteer, Ohio Shorts winner Cody Brown and Sam Manavis. Photo by W. Stuart McDowell.

“Surrounded” (Brian Ferenchik – Hilliard Davidson)
“Run from Risk” (Khari Anthony – Centerville High School)
“5 Seconds” (Kylee Griffin and Grace Brooks – Southern Middle School)
“Julian” (Carly Vagedes – Stivers School)

Flick My Clip, curated by Ryan Singer
Poker Noir –  By B-side comedy, a film that takes Friday night poker games to an extreme.
Accepting for the film were Caz Finnegan and Max Cothrel.

International Shorts 
Whose Afraid of The Big Black Wolf, by Janez Lapajne, Slovenia. A film set in the Alps in 1944 as a multicultural triangle between a shepherd boy and two officers from opposite sides with two tunes and one flute.

Ohio Shorts
Sinner Victim Saints, directed by Moses Flores,
Upon meeting a stranger claiming to have supernatural powers at his wife’s funeral is feted the opportunity to exchange his life for hers. receiving the award is Cody Brown and Gregory Kennedy

US Shorts 
Personal Day,directed by Philip Jessen,
The story of two disgruntled office workers who, by complete coincidence, choose the same day to bring guns to work and “resign”.

The Filmmaker Award—to honor career achievement of excellence in filmmaking - Jim Klein208259_1032329977767_1833_n
An excerpt from the nomination by Shayna McConville

“I have the great pleasure of knowing Jim as a friend, colleague and an integral part of Dayton region’s educational and creative economy. A filmmaker, film advocate and film editor for over forty years, his work has encouraged audiences to look at political and social issues through smart, important and engaging documentary filmmaking.

An educator at Wright State, Jim has impacted the careers of countless emerging filmmakers. His work has been recognized, collected and nominated by such agencies as the Library of Congress, the Academy Awards and the Emmys. Jim is also the co-founder of New Day Films, which strives to deliver “dynamic, provocative storytelling to educational institutions…ensuring access to a wide range of contemporary and classic films. Considering Jim for the Filmmaker Award this year is a great testament to his Salazarb and issues that impact our contemporary lives.

Enjoy the video retrospective produced by local filmmaker Andrew Fiscus:


The Key Award—to honor special service to the filmmaking community – Jonathan McNeal

Highlights about Jonathan from the nomination from Ann Rotalante

“Many people know Jonathan because of his “day job.” For over a decade, he has managed The Neon, Dayton’s only independent movie theater.

But many people don’t realize that Jonathan is also a talented, award-winning filmmaker in his own right. He is a 1996 graduate of Wright State University’s prestigious motion picture production program. His documentary short The Rubi Girls is a joyous, uplifting chronicle of the professional men behind the comedic, charity-driven, Dayton-based drag troupe. The Rubi Girls premiered at the 2003 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and went on to win Audience and Best of Festival Awards at the Fire Island Film & Video Festival and the Out on Film Festival in Atlanta.

Each year Jonathan seeks out new, innovative, and interesting films to program here in Dayton by attending the Toronto International Film Festival, where he screens the latest independent films premiering on the festival circuit. While traveling, he writes a daily online blog to give his readers a little sneak peek to some of the films that will eventually be programmed at The Neon. His blog also allows those back home in the Miami Valley to live vicariously through his marathon movie-watching sessions, Q&A’s with filmmakers and stars, and the occasional industry party where he rubs elbows with celebrities.

Jonathan is also an ardent supporter of filmmaking and filmmakers in the Miami Valley. He offers his time and expertise on professional and student productions. He works closely with local filmmakers who need to have test screenings or local premieres of their finished work at The Neon. Jonathan volunteers his time to support FilmDayton, and has taught film production classes at both Stivers School for the Arts and Wright State University, inspiring the next generation of filmmakers.

Perhaps most notably, Jonathan McNeal is the founder and programmer of the the Downtown Dayton LGBT Festival. This festival takes place each October and will celebrate it’s ninth year in 2014. This popular festival screens the very best in contemporary LGBT cinema and offers something for everyone in the community-at-large.”

Video montage produced by local filmmaker Andrew Fiscus:

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