2023 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival Announces Winners

Fifty-one films from around the world were screened at the 2023 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival April 14-16 at the Collins Road Theatres, 1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion, Iowa. Awards were handed out at the Saturday night Eddy Awards Ceremony, presented by Farmers State Bank, as well as following the Student Cinema Sunday screenings.

Eric Dean Freese, Festival Director is pleased by the quantity and quality. “Receiving 99 entries is super, but when we started looking through the films, we were excited by the high production values, the depth of the stories, and the diversity of subject and content. The majority were really well done, and the judges had their work cut out for them.”

Festival Director’s Awards for Significant Contributions to CRIFF and Iowa Filmmaking were presented to founder Scott Chrisman, with the festival since its inception in 2001; and Prescribed Films’ Mike Saunders and Jason Bolinger, having screened 23 films at CRIFF since 2005.

Eddy Award Winners

Student Freestyle

Gold – Heaven’s Ranch music video by Morgan Minear and Nate Kaiser, Loras College

Silver – The Edge, a group project by the Loras College Global Filmmaking Class of January 2020

Student Narrative Short Form Film

Gold – Alice by Matthew Williams, Loras College

Silver – (Un)alarmed by Logan Westin, Des Moines Central Campus

Student Documentary

Gold – A Spring for Ali by Katherine Eid, Maharishi International University

Silver – Kenosha: The Shooting of Jacob Blake by Jon Quinn, Loras College

Student Narrative Long-Form Film

Gold – The Way it Was by Jake Heelein and Nate Kaiser, Loras College

Silver – Exodus by Nathan Matthew Blizzard, Omaha

ProAm Freestyle

Gold – Black Excellence by Tone Da Boss by Josh Booth and Tone Da Boss, T1 Entertainment, Cedar Rapids

Silver – Strange Ballet by Carol Ann Montag, Cedar Rapids

ProAm Short Form

Gold – Letters by Eva Buenza, Sioux City

Silver – Dream Girl by Tristan Bennett, Cedar Falls

ProAm Documentary

Gold – Livestock on the Land by Nick Ohde, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames

Silver – Standing Strong: Elizabeth Catlett by Kevin Kelley and Marie Wilkes, New Mile Media Productions, Iowa City

ProAm Feature

Gold – You Should Have Killed Me by Michael James Minard, Cedar Rapids

Silver – To Live Again by Dr. Michael White and Shelby Hagerdon, Bitter Hipster Films, Sioux City

Professional Freestyle

Gold – The Voice in Isabell Fleiss’ Office by Jim Havercamp, written by Virgil Renfroe, Cedar Rapids

Professional Narrative Short Form

Gold – The King’s Eye by Tony Joseph Cross

Silver – Shout by Mason Greer

Professional Documentary

Gold – Greener Pastures by Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian

Silver – The Collins Story: Connecting the Moon to the Earth by Annette Juergens Busbee, Wired Production Group and the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association, Cedar Rapids

Professional Narrative Feature

Gold – Reveille by Film Farm Iowa – Michael Akkerman, Jorg Rochlitzer, Bernd WIttneben, Wellsburg

Silver – Between the Lines by Shelby Hagerdon and Michael White, Bitter Hipster Films, Sioux City

Collins Road Theatres $1000 Scholarship

PhD: Private High School Detective by Myles Strait, Oskaloosa

Iowa Connection Eddy Award

The King’s Eye by Tony Joseph Cross

Audience Choice Eddy Award

The Bridge by Courtney Ball, Cedar Rapids

Student Audience Choice Eddy Award

Zach Dies at Nine by Will Nachazel, University of Northern Iowa

THE EDDY AWARDS are named after Thomas Alva Edison who, among his many other pursuits, was a pioneer in motion picture technology. The term eddy is also defined as “a current moving contrary to the direction of the main current,” which is a suitable description for independent filmmakers, who often go against the current trends in mainstream cinema.

The Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival’s mission is to encourage independent filmmakers with Iowa ties to continue improving their craft, to provide a place to specifically showcase their films, present a unique cultural event to the community, and to offer networking opportunities for the purpose of building connections between Iowa-connected filmmakers everywhere.

For more information, visit www.crifm.org. You can also follow the fest on their Facebook page and other social media platforms.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for the latest news from the film festival circuit. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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