Hearty congratulations go out to three more short filmmakers whose work not only made a profound impact at the recent Florida Film Festival, but continues to make waves on the fest circuit worldwide. At the just completed 49th (!) San Francisco International Film Festival, Karina Epperlein's PHOENIX DANCE, a beautiful doc about one-legged ballet dancer Homer Avila, won the Golden Gate Award for Bay Area Documentary Short. Also reaping rewards at San Francisco was Christine Spindler from Florida State University for SIRAH, her sensitive portrayal of a young Muslim girl in the US dealing with peer pressure. One of the real gems at the "Best of Brouhaha" program in the FFF, the film won the Golden Gate Award for Work for Kids and Families.
And word from Sian Heder, director of MOTHER--this year's Grand Jury Award winner for Best Narrative Short--is that the film has been accepted into the "Cinefoundation" competition at the Cannes Film Festival. This terrific short (scheduled to be developed into a feature, hopefully sooner than later) is, according to the filmmaker, the first AFI film to get into this section of Cannes. So congrats again and best wishes to all of you as your films make their mark outside of the Sunshine State.