CineYouth Fest Honors 14 Young Filmmakers

CineYouth Fest Honors 14 Young Filmmakers

Cinema/Chicago’s 14th annual CineYouth Festival culminated on Sunday, April 22 with an awards program honoring exceptional work in 14 categories. Held at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, CineYouth opened Friday April 20 with a screening of Bing Liu’s “Minding The Gap,” produced by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, and continued Saturday April 21 and Sunday, April 22 with 11 diverse programs. More than 1,700 people attended the free, three-day festival. The 14 prize-winning short films will be screened in a program during the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival, October 10–21, 2018.

“Our jury selected 14 award-winning films from the more than 60 films that were screened during the festival,” said Cinema/Chicago’s Education Program Manager Lauren Ponto. “The talent of the winners demonstrates the remarkable skill and creativity of these young filmmakers and we are excited to see the work they will produce as their careers progress.”

Filmmakers were presented with an array of prizes, including scholarships to Flashpoint Chicago, A Campus of Columbia College Hollywood (for their Presidential Scholarship) valued at $2,500, to the Digital Media Arts Summer Camp valued at $1,950, and to Prodigy Film Camp for their week-long summer intensive film camp valued at $1,500. WTTW presented one CineYouth documentary filmmaker with a summer 2018 production internship.

The top prize, Best Overall Film, went to Unforgotten, directed by 19-year-old Alexander Wilson-Flynn from Ireland. The film tells the story of an elderly man in a nursing home whose door to the past is reopened by the arrival of a new occupant. The prize partner for this category is Cinema/Chicago.

The Best Foreign Film Prize went to Wild Beasts from 22-year-old Norwegian filmmaker Sverre Kvamme, which follows a young boy and his friends as they come across an abandoned house in snow-covered Norway and the boy’s attraction to his best friend as the day progresses. The prize partner for this category is Byron Pollock.

The Chicago Award went to We’re Here We’re Queer, directed by 20-year-old Chicago resident Connor O’Keefe, about a student-led drag show at DePaul University. The Award Partner for this category is Allstate Insurance Company.

CineYouth is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company, Flashpoint Chicago, A Campus of Columbia College Hollywood, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Other prize winners are as follows:

REEL WOMEN AWARD: Yasamin

Julia Elihu | San Diego, CA | Age 20

Award Partner: Flashpoint Chicago, A Campus of Columbia College Hollywood

EMERGING TALENT AWARD: Prom Mom

Keyonne Barnes | Chicago, IL | Age 18

Award Partner: The Chicago International Film Festival Associate Board

BEST ANIMATION FILM: Mary and Marsha in the Manor of Madness

Kris Theorin, Kurtis Theorin | Landenberg, PA | Ages 20

Award Partner: Flashpoint Chicago, A Campus of Columbia College Hollywood

BEST COMEDY FILM: I Love My Robot Boyfriend!

Sariah May | Provo, UT | Age 22

Award Partner: Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: Curious Kaleo

Judie Muhrez, Shana Kheradyar | Orange, CA | Ages 22

Award Partner: Bloomberg Philanthropies

BEST DRAMA FILM: Degüello

Luis Treviño, Jaime Herrera, Jr. | Chicago, IL | Ages 20, 21

Award Partner: Loyola University Chicago School of Communication

BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM: TASTE OF LOVE

Paul Scheufler | Austria | Age 19

Award Partner: Byron Pollock

OUTLOOK AWARD: Sylvia in the Waves

Giovana Olmos | Canada | Age 22

Award Partner: Corbin Horn

WTTW AWARD: Pilsen

Andres Aurelio | Chicago, IL | Age 18

FLASHPOINT CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: Pilsen

Andres Aurelio | Chicago, IL | Age 18

FLASHPOINT CHICAGO PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: Why is there so much gun violence?

Amarion Garrett | Chicago, IL | Age 18

PRODIGY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: We Exist

Anabelle Martinez | Colorado Springs, CO | Age 17