Best of the Midwest Awards Winners Announced; Mossman Wins Best Director

The Midwest Film Festival hosted an unforgettable evening celebrating the remarkable talent of Midwest filmmakers at the 2023 Best of the Midwest Awards (BMAs) last night, on Tuesday, November 2nd. The event, held at CineCity, brought together industry professionals, film enthusiasts, and award-winning filmmakers for a night of connection, celebration, and recognition. 

The excitement began with a vibrant networking reception at 7:00 pm, where guests enjoyed mingling with fellow attendees, industry experts, and passionate film lovers. The atmosphere was electric as guests indulged in delicious Italian fare from Beyond Catering, sipped on refreshing beverages from the open bar sponsored by CineCity, and grooved to the beats of DJ Mo Mami. 

At 8:00 pm, the spotlight shifted to the much-anticipated awards ceremony. Hosted by the dynamic duo of Erica Duffy and NK Gutiérrez, with award announcers Shane Snow, Mary Kay Cook, Patrick Wimp, Derek Dow, Dana Anderson, Angie Gaffney, Jonah Zeigler, Joe ‘Jody’ Williams, Ms. Masequa Myers, and Pemon Rami, the ceremony showcased clips from each nominated film, building anticipation amongst the audience. The winners were revealed, and the stage came alive with heartfelt acceptance speeches that left attendees inspired and in awe of the Midwestern visionaries. 

The 2023 Best of the Midwest Award Winners are: 

Grand Prize: “Fraser Syndrome & Me” by Kyle Anne Grendys 

Best Director: John Mossman for “GOOD GUY WITH A GUN” 

Best Cinematography: Edward Tran for “Life After Her” 

Best Editing: Ben Kurstin for “The Sleight” 

Empowerment Award: “Greener Pastures” by Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian 

Best Actress: Allison Torem as Lou for “ROAD HEAD” 

Best Actor: Rikki Lee Travolta as Ron for “The Sleight” 

Best Sound Design: Joel Benjamin & Noisefloor Ltd for “Hibernation” 

Best Production Design: Maegan Batson for “Exquisite Things” 

Best Wardrobe: Abigail Searls & Taylor Zielinski for “Exquisite Things” 

Erica Duffy, executive director of the Midwest Film Festival, expressed her excitement and pride in the event, stating, “The Best of the Midwest Awards is a testament to the incredible talent and creativity that exists within the Midwest filmmaking community. It was an honor to host this celebration of our talented filmmakers, and we are grateful for their contributions to the film industry.” 

Carlos Rogelio Diaz, MFF event coordinator, described the Best of the Midwest Awards as “an extraordinary testament to the unwavering passion and dedication of our Midwest filmmakers. It was a joyous celebration of their distinctive storytelling and artistic vision.” Diaz expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the event volunteers and all those who made the night possible, stating that their contributions were instrumental in creating an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 Best of The Midwest Awards included Beyond Catering, CineCity, Lamborghini Downers Grove, Lamborghini Gold Coast, Method & Madness, Noisefloor, O’Connor, Periscope, and Purple Photo Group.

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