Marley Morrison’s ‘Sweetheart’ wins jury honors at Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBTQ Film Festival

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Marley Morrison’s “Sweetheart” won Best Narrative Feature and Best Ensemble at the 34th edition of Out on Film, the Oscar-qualifying, Atlanta-based LGBTQIA+ film festival. [Courtesy photo]

Out on Film, presented by WarnerMedia, announced the filmmaker awards for the recently concluded 34th edition of the Oscar-qualifying, Atlanta-based LGBTQIA+ film festival.

Marley Morrison’s “Sweetheart” was a jury favorite, winning Best Narrative Feature and Best Ensemble. T.J. Parsell’s “Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” won both the jury’s Best Documentary honor as well as the Audience Award for Best Documentary, and filmmaker Lauren Hadaway earned jury nods for Best First Feature for her film “The Novice” as well as capturing the Best Director prize.

Sharing the Jury Prize for Best International Feature were Kun-Young Park’s “A Distant Place” and Henrika Kull’s “Bliss.” Also sharing their Audience Awards were Peter Reebane’s “Firebird” and Nathan Hale Williams’ “All Boys Aren’t Blue” (Best Narrative Feature Film) and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee,” Alessandro Guida and Matteo Pilati’s “Mascarpone” (Best International Film). William T. Horner and Stacey Worlfel’s “Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way” was the Runner-Up for the Best Documentary Audience Award.

“This year’s award winners spanned styles, genres, and inspirations, as we recognized the work of both veteran filmmakers and relative newcomers with our awards. It really was an inspiring mix and rightly deserved group that received both jury and audience nods this year,” said Out on Film Festival Director Jim Farmer in a statement.

Additional jury awards included Mat Johns’ “Inertia” as Best Drama Short Film as well as a Special Award for Excellence in Cinematography for “Flames’” Director of Photography, Edward Martinez. The Jury Prize for Best Screenplay went to “My Fiona’s” Kelly Walker.

This year’s Out on Film jury included producer Christopher Racster (“Cured,” “Spork”), actor/director Doug Spearman (“From Zero to I Love You,” “Hot Guys with Guns”), film critic Edward Adams (Atlanta Film Critics Circle), journalist Rich Eldredge (Atlanta Magazine, Eldredge ATL), Kat Setzer (Director of Programming, Image + Nation Film Festival), Lisa Rose (Festival Director, Queer Screen – Mardi Gras Film Festival), Andria Wilson (Director, “ReFrame”), actor Lisa Cordileone (“Freelancers Anonymous,” “The Virgin of Highland Park”) and Joe Bilancio (Program Director, Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival).

Additional audience awards include ties between Faraz Arif Ansari’s “Sheer Qorma” and Luciana Bitencourt’s “As Simple as That” for best Narrative Short Film, and Stuart Ruston’s “Together Again” and Richard O’Connor’s “My Aunties” for Best Animated Short Film.

Best Comedy went to Wes Hurley’s “Potato Dreams of America,” and Best Comedy Short went to Matt Porter’s “Flex,” while Roberto Pérez Toledo ‘s “Before the Eruption” won Best Trans Short Film, and the audience thought C.J. Arellano’s “Griffica” delivered the scares for Best Horror Short.

Quinlan Orear’s “Over My Dead Body” won Best Local Short Film, and Lyrik London’s “Black Boi Majik” and Deondray Gassfield and Quincy Le Near’s “Flames” tied for the runner-up spot in that category. Denis Theriault’s “I am Syd Stone” won Best Web Series.

Following an almost exclusively virtual edition last year, Out on Film returned to theaters highlighted by the opening night southeastern premiere screening of Rebane’s “Firebird” and the closing night world premiere of William T. Horner and Stacey Woelfel’s “Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way.” The latter screening also featured Out on Film’s first team-up with GLAAD, which cam onboard to celebrate that film and others as an appreciation for the film festival’s work and standing in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Additional world premieres included Out on Film alumni Jan Miller Corran’s “Along Came Wanda,” Antony Hickling’s “Down in Paris,” and Jade Winters’ “One Four Three,” as well as the art installation of Matthew Terrell’s “The Hate Shield Project.” Amanda Bearse’s virtual acceptance of the 2021 Trailblazer Award was a hit, as was the care taken to record thoughtful Q&As and talks on film with the vast majority of this year’s filmmakers.

“While we enjoyed great success last year with our virtual presentations, there is still nothing like being live and in-person with our filmmakers and enjoying their work on the big screen with our film fans here in Atlanta. Adding that to the virtual presentation has continued our growth as a film festival and it was gratifying to hear the appreciation and enthusiasm from our filmmakers following this year’s edition. We’re already looking forward to 2022,” Farmer said in a statement.

For information on Out on Film, go to outonfilm.org.

T.J. Parsell’s “Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” won both the jury’s Best Documentary honor as well as the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 34th edition of Out on Film, the Oscar-qualifying, Atlanta-based LGBTQIA+ film festival. [Courtesy photo]

The 2021 Out on Film Award Winners

Jury Awards

Best Narrative Feature
“Sweetheart” (Director: Marley Morrison)

Best Documentary
“Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” (Director: T.J. Parsell)

Best International Film (TIE)
“A Distant Place” (Director: Kun-Young Park)
“Bliss” (Director: Henrika Kull)

Best First Feature
“The Novice” (Director: Lauren Hadaway)

Best Drama Short Film
“Inertia” (Director: Mat Johns)

Special Award for Excellence in Cinematography – Short Film
“Flames” (Director of Photography: Edward Martinez)

Best Director
Lauren Hadaway (“The Novice”)

Best Screenplay
Kelly Walker (“My Fiona”)

Best Ensemble
“Sweetheart”

Audience Awards

Best Narrative Feature (TIE)
“Firebird” (Director: Peter Reebane)
“All Boys Aren’t Blue” (Director: Nathan Hale Williams)

Best Documentary
“Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” (Director: T.J. Parsell)
Best Documentary Runner-up
“Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way” (Directors: William T. Horner, Stacey Worlfel)

Best International Film
“Flee” (Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
Best International Film Runner-up
“Mascarpone” (Directors: Alessandro Guida, Matteo Pilati)

Best Comedy
“Potato Dreams of America” (Director: Wes Hurley)

Best Narrative Short Film (TIE)
“Sheer Qorma” (Director: Faraz Arif Ansari)
“As Simple as That” (Director: Luciana Bitencourt)

Best Comedy Short Film
“Flex” (Director: Matt Porter)

Best Horror Short Film
“Griffica” (Director: C.J. Arellano)

Best Animated Short Film (TIE)
“Together Again” (Director: Stuart Ruston)
“My Aunties” (Director: Richard O’Connor)

Best Local Short Film
“Over My Dead Body” (Director: Quinlan Orear)
Best Local Short Film Runner-up (TIE)
“Black Boi Majik” (Director: Lyrik London)
“Flames” (Directors: Deondray Gassfield, Quincy Le Near)

Best Trans Short Film
“Before the Eruption” (Director: Roberto Pérez Toledo)

Best Web Series
“I am Syd Stone” (Director: Denis Theriault)

-BAM

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