April 24May 1, 2019
April 24May 1, 2019


independent film festival boston

IFFBoston 2018 Award Winners

IFFBoston was proud to award an array of shorts and features, both narrative and documentary, at the 2018 festival.


Audience Award: THREE AUGUST DAYS, directed by Madli Lääne


  • Joosje Duk — Director, NIGHT (IFFBoston2017)
  • Jeff Ryan — Director, YOUTHMIN (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Brighid Wheeler — Short Programmer, Indie Memphis Film Festival

Grand Jury Prize: HAIR WOLF, directed by Mariama Diallo

Wildly original and beautifully executed, HAIR WOLF discusses incredibly relevant issues in today’s America in an inventive and cinematic way. This film resonated with us, the jury, because it shines a light on a timely and sensitive topic without ever being on the nose or heavy-handed. Entertaining from beginning to end due to its terrifying humor, funky aesthetic and outrageous tone, we believe this film truly deserves this year’s Narrative Short Grand Jury Prize.

Special Jury Prize: BLIND AUDITION, directed by Andreas Kessler

We, the jury, fell in love with BLIND AUDITION’s beautifully paced storytelling from scene one. The film takes you on a personal journey through relationship tensions amidst a couple choosing between professional and personal life choices. The film stands out among the crowd through its cinematic storytelling, top-notch performances, and heart-felt passion. We’re grateful to award such a worthy film with this award.


Audience Award: BLINDSPOTTING, directed by Carlos López Estrada


  • Arielle Cimino — Director, YOUTHMIN (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Jason Cortlund — Director, BARRACUDA (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Sarah Wisner — Director, ASTER AND SIDNEY (IFFBoston 2016)

Grand Jury Prize: LEAVE NO TRACE, directed by Debra Granik
LEAVE NO TRACE is a beautifully grounded and honest film; an empathetic yet clear-eyed portrayal of characters torn between the desire to withdraw from society and the innate need for human kindness. The seamlessness of craft is enthralling from the quietly powerful central performances to the thoughtful and verdant locations.

Special Jury Prize: WE THE ANIMALS, directed by Jeremiah Zagar
WE THE ANIMALS is a unique and tender approach to emerging childhood sexuality. An empathetic family drama that embraces the complexities of gender and class, with impressive and genuine performances; visually audacious and beautifully captured.


Audience Award: REWALK, directed by Philip Shane & Michael Lesser


  • Amy Augustino — Director, RICH MAN DAN (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Laura Longsworth — Director, THE GLORIOUS FUTURE (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Michele Meek — Director, IMAGINE KOLLE 37 (IFFBoston 2017)

Grand Jury Prize: THEY COME HOME, directed by Rowena Potts

In a field of compelling stories, we were captivated by the  understated story of two men whose friendship is grounded in a shared passion that few truly understand or appreciate. We were impressed with both the artistry and discipline of the filmmaking, which gave us an intimate glimpse into a unique world. Not only is the film visually beautiful with a well-crafted aesthetic, the director allows the characters to be themselves without pushing an agenda. The subjects love and care for creatures some would consider unloveable, but that they see as a way of life. We give the Grand Jury Documentary Short Award to THEY COME HOME.

Special Jury Prize: COMMUNITY PATROL, directed by Andrew James


Audience Award: GODFATHERS OF HARDCORE, directed by Ian McFarland


  • Vatche Arabian — Creative Content and Social Strategy, FLIR Systems
  • Will Lautzenheiser — Subject, STUMPED (IFFBoston 2017)
  • Maria Marewski — Program Developer, Coolidge Corner Theatre

Grand Jury Prize: CRIME + PUNISHMENT, directed by Stephen Maing
CRIME + PUNISHMENT depicted for us, the jury, an infuriating misuse of institutional power, directed toward minority officers within the New York City Police Department, as well as toward the minority communities in which those officers work. It depicted, too, with uncommon empathy, people taking a stand against such misuse. It’s a sweeping story, and yet it’s told intimately. We were struck by the courage of the individual subjects, and by their unwavering humanity in the face of such terrible odds and uncertain outcomes. We were inspired by their idealism and by their commitment to personal excellence and integrity within systems designed to discourage idealism. We were moved, too, by CRIME + PUNISHMENT’s artful combination of picture and sound: its images beautifully reflect the themes as well as the scope of the story. As current news cycles seem to indicate an erosion of the values of civility, justice, and truth, so it becomes all the more vital and necessary to shine a light on the brave people who resist both as whistleblowers and as champions of victims. CRIME + PUNISHMENT does that, and reveals an important and timely story, told cinematically, with memorable force. We are pleased to recognize it with the Grand Jury Prize.

Special Jury Prize: THE WORLD BEFORE YOUR FEET, directed by Jeremy Workman

Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing: TRE MAISON DASAN, edited by Carlos Rojas

2019 Presenting Sponsors

With additional thanks and gratitude to all of our sponsors for this year's festival.

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