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Award Winners: Past Festivals
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We are proud to recognize our past festival award winners!

Best Animated Film: The Present
Best Short Film: Winter Light
Best Student Short Film: The Loyalist
Best Documentary Feature: Landfill Harmonic
Best Short Documentary: Flight of the Refugees
Best Environmental Films: Stink! (Documentary) and Oddball (Narrative)
Best Foreign Film: In Harmony
Best Feature DRAMA: Despite the Falling Snow
Best Feature COMEDY: Is That A Gun In Your Pocket? ...
Best Humanitarian Film (narrative): Mustang
Best Humanitarian Film (documentary): Omo Child: The River and the Bush
Best Independent Spirit (narrative): Stevie D.
Best Independent Spirit (documentary): The Student Body
Best Independent Spirit (short): Welcome
Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award: The Adderall Diaries
Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking: Once Upon a Dream and Still Dreaming

Best of Fest: Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago
Best Feature Comedy (tie): Is That A Gun In Your Pocket? ... and Dating Daisy
Best Feature Drama: Reparation
Best Foreign Film: Marina
Animated Film: The Present
Student Short: Ocean Stories: Wyland
Short Film - Drama (tie): STUTTERER and Almost Home
Short Film - Comedy: The Fake
Environmental: When Giants Fall
Documentary: The Ataxian
Documentary Short: First Degree

Lifetime Achievement: Elliot Gould
Person of Influence and Humanitarian Award: Mike Farrell

Best Animated Film: Macropolis
Best Short Film: Till Then (Bis Gleich)
Best Student Short Film: Heritage
Best Documentary Feature (tie): SlingShot and Marmato
Best Short Documentary: Myanmar: Bridges to Change
Best Environmental Film (tie): Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story and Roaming Wild
Best Foreign Film: Healing
Best Feature DRAMA: Copenhagen
Best Feature COMEDY: Frank vs. God
Best Humanitarian Film (narrative): Unsound
Best Humanitarian Film (documentary): Gardeners of Eden
Best Independent Spirit (narrative): Dig Two Graves
Best Independent Spirit (documentary): Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl
Best Independent Spirit (short): Long Way
Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award: Diplomacy
Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking: Keep On Keepin' On

Best Feature Comedy: Attila Marcel
Best Feature Drama (tie): Like Sunday, Like Rain and Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind
Best Foreign Film: Marie's Story
Animated Film: Macropolis
Student Short: Hands of Flame
Short Film - Drama (tie): Till Then (Bis Gleich) and Birthday
Short Film - Comedy: In the Clouds (En Las Nubes)
Environmental: The Starfish Throwers
Documentary Short: Pie Lady of Pie Town
Documentary (tie): Capturing Grace and Keep on Keepin' On

Lifetime Achievement: Richard Dreyfuss
Heart of the Festival Award: Rita and Peter Gendron
Lifetime Appreciation: Sheila Jackman

Best Animated Film: Blue
Best Short Film: Adonis
Best Student Short Film: Into the Silent Sea
Best Documentary Feature (tie): Life According to Sam and Toxic Hot Seat
Best Short Documentary: Ice
Best Environmental Film: Bringing It Home
Best Foreign Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Best Feature DRAMA: The Rocket
Best Feature COMEDY: Girl on a Bicycle
Best Humanitarian Film (narrative): The Rocket
Best Humanitarian Film (documentary): Waiting for Mamu
Best Independent Spirit: The Activist
Best Independent Spirit: 3 Mile Limit
Best Independent Spirit: Mad Ship
Best Independent Spirit: Bridegroom
Best Independent Spirit: For the Birds
Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award: Short Term 12
Activism Award: The Joe Show
American Spirit Award: The Only Real Game
World Cinema Award: We Will Make It Right

Best of Fest (top festival award): The Letters
Best Feature Comedy: Le Chef
Best Feature Drama: Wish You Well
Best Foreign Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Animated Film: Grounded
Student Short: Into the Silent Sea
Short Film (3-way tie): Match Made, Young Americans and Mirage at Zabul Province
Environmental: Lion Ark
Documentary Short: Waiting for Mamu
Documentary (tie): Burzinski: Cancer is Serious Business, Part II
and Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory

Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking: Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory
Heart of the Festival Award: David and Alice Goodhart
Lifetime Achievement: Susan Sarandon
Lifetime Achievement: Shirley Knight
Lifetime Achievement: Stefanie Powers
Humanitarian Award: Pushpa Basnet
Person of Influence Award: Mariel Hemingway
Screenwriting Excellence: Jeremy Leven

Best Drama: Any Day Now
Best Comedy: (tie) Liberal Arts and One Small Hitch
Best Foreign Film: Lore
Best Documentary Feature: Stolen Seas
Best Documentary Short: Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert
Best Environmental Film: (tie) Bidder 70 and Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey
Best Student Short Film: Green Acres
Best Short Film: (tie) Stalled and Boo!
Best Animated Film: Bunny
Best Independent Spirit Award (Feature): Common People
Best Independent Spirit Award (Short): Peoria
Best Humanitarian Film: Anyone Out There
Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award: Last Will. & Testament
Best Drama: (tie) Chittagong and Least Among Saints
Best Comedy: Fanie Fourie's Lobola
Best Foreign Film: Shun Li and the Poet
Best Documentary Feature: Trash Dance
Best Documentary Short: The Highest Cost
Best Environmental Film: Go Ganges!
Best Short Film: Pear
Best Animated Film: Wolf Dog Tales
Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking: Downtown Express
Heart of the Festival Award: Vectors of Autism: A Documentary About Laura Nagle
Lifetime Achievement: Joan Collins
Lifetime Achievement: Lee Meriwhether
Outstanding Actor: Griffin Dunne
Outstanding Actor: David Strathairn
Person of Influence Award: Marianne Williamson

2012 Directors’ Choice Awards:
Best Arts Film: The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz
Best Made-in-Arizona Film: More Than Frybread
Best Environmental Film: You’ve Been Trumped
Best Documentary Short: The Mono Lake Story
Best Documentary Feature: Wolves Unleashed
Best Student Short Film: Thief
Best Short Film: Sailcloth
International Spirit Award: Acquainted With the Night
Best Independent Spirit Award: Cellmates
Best Humanitarian Film: Close to Me
Bridging Cultures Award: Jun-Ai
Best Foreign Film: Happy, Happy
Best Feature – Drama: Elena
Best Feature – Comedy: The Women on the 6th Floor
Bill Muller Excellence in Screenwriting Award: Digital Dharma
2012 Audience Choice Awards:
BEST OF FEST OVERALLThe Women on the 6th Floor
Jun-Ai (Best Feature Film)
Shuffle (Best Feature Film - Runner Up)
Being Elmo (Best Documentary Feature)
Nicky’s Family (Best Documentary Feature Film – Runner Up)
So Right So Smart (Best Documentary Feature - Runner Up)
In Times Of War: Ray Parker’s Story (Best Documentary Short - Tie)
From The Ground Up (Best Documentary Short - Tie)
Cataplexy (Best Short Film)
Good Luck, Mr. Gorski (Best Short Film - Runner Up)
Play By Play (Best Short Film - Runner Up)
Homecoming (Best Student Short)
Grandmothers (Best Animated Film)
2012 Special Achievement Awards
Lifetime Achievement: Peter Bogdanovich
Lifetime Achievement: Paul Sorvino
Lifetime Achievement: Don Black
Humanitarian Award: Kevin Clash
Outstanding Actress: Lea Thompson
Lifetime Achievement – Screenwriting Award: Bobby Moresco
Lifetime Achievement and Festival Dedication: Frank Warner

2011 Directors’ Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: “The First Grader”
Best Documentary Feature: “Leave Them Laughing”
Best Short Film: “The Butterfly Circus”
Best Foreign Film: “Poetry”
Excellence in Screenwriting: “Queen to Play”
Best Independent Spirit: “Hearing Radmilla”
Best Documentary Short: “Power in the Pristine”
Best Environmental Film: “Bag It”
Best Animated Film: “Bait”
Best Cinematography: “Close to the Sun”
Best Independent Spirit Award: “Thanks”
Best Family Film: “First Dog”
Best Period Drama: “The Vintner’s Luck”
Best Comedy Feature: “Exporting Raymond”
Best Story of Inspiration: “Anita”
Best Celebration of the Arts: “They Came to Play”
Best Made-in-Arizona Film: “Hearing Radmilla”

2011 Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: “The First Grader”
Runner-up Best Feature Film: “Face to Face”
Best Documentary Feature Film: “Waste Land”
Best Short Film: “The Butterfly Circus”
Runner-up Best Short Film: “A Son’s War”
Best Foreign Film: “Close to the Sun”
Best Documentary Short: “Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story”
Best Animated Film: “My Dog Tulip”
Runner-up Best Animated Film: “Thought of You”

2011 Special Achievement Awards
Humanitarian Film Award: Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good
Humanitarian Award: Gary Sinise
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jonathan Winters
Lifetime Achievement Award: Rip Torn
Outstanding Achievement Award: Nicolas Cage
Outstanding Acting Award: David Rasche
Outstanding Comedic Excellence: Phil Rosenthal
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: Rita Rudner
Bridging Cultures Award: Professor Huang Shixian (Beijing Film Academy)

2010 Directors’ Choice Awards:
Best International Feature Film: "A Shine of Rainbows"
Best Independent Feature Film: "The Red Machine"
Best Foreign Language Film: "Troubled Water"
Best International Documentary Film: "Sergio"
Best Independent Documentary Film: "The Elephant in the Living Room"
Excellence in Screenwriting: "In the Loop"
Best Animation: "Prayers for Peace"
Best Short Film: "Ronan's Escape"
Best Student Short Film: "Kavi"
International Spirit Award: "Ana's Playground"

2010 Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: "Hachiko: A Dog's Story"
Best Documentary Film: "Paddle to Seattle: Journey Through the Inside Passage"
Best Documentary Film (runner up): "Dive!"
Best World Documentary: "A Sea Change"
Best International Film: "Patrik, Age 1.5"
Best Animation (Tie): "Prayers for Peace" and "Distraxion"
Best Short Film (Tie): "Ana's Playground" and "She's a Fox"

2009 Director's Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: "Gospel Hill"
Best Documentary Film: "They Killed Sister Dorothy"
Best International Film: "Revanche"
Excellence in Screenwriting: "Speed of Life"
Best Cinematography: "Mermaid"
Best Animation: "Daniel Finds His Walking Stick"
Best Short Film: "Charlie Thistle"
Best Foreign Short Film: "Gone Fishing"
Best Student Short Film: "The Wall"
International Spirit Award: "15-40"

2009 Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: "Like Dandelion Dust"
Best Documentary Film: "Flow"
Best International Film: "Fighter"
Best Animation: "Sebastian's Voodoo"
Best Short Film: "Gone Fishing"
Most Thought-Provoking Documentary: "The Suicide Tourist"

2008 Directors' Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: "Ripple Effect"
Best Documentary Film: "Semper Fi, One Marine’s Journey"
Most Compelling Documentary and Excellence in Screenwriting: "Fields of Fuel"
Best Animation: "Papiroflexia (Origami)"
Best Humanitarian Short Film: "In the Wake"
Best Humanitarian Film: "The Human Experience"
Best Foreign Short Film: "The Kolaborator"
Best Foreign Language Short: "VODA (Water)"
Best Short Film: "Validation"

2008 Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature: "The Flyboys"
Best Documentary (tie): "Water Flowing Together"
Best Documentary (tie): "Standing Silent Nation"
Best Short Film: "Milk Bum"
Best Animation: "Papiroflexia (Origami)"

2007 Directors’ Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: “Islander”  
Best Feature Film: “Canvas”
Best Documentary Film: “War/Dance”
Best Humanitarian Film: “Beyond the Call”  
Best Short Film: “Shipwrecked”
Best Foreign Language Short Film: “Bawke”
Best Animated Film: “Delivery”
Discovery Film Award: “Local Color”

2007 Audience Choice Awards:
Best Feature Film: “Coffee Date”
Runner Up - Best Feature Film: “Away From Her”
Best Documentary Film: “Beyond the Call”
Runner Up – Best Documentary Film: “The Cats of Mirikitani”
Best Student Short Film: “Rundown”–
Best Short Film: “Eramos Pocos” –
Best Animated Film: “First Flight”

2007 Special Recognition Awards:
Oustanding Actor and Humanitarian Award: Joe Pantoliano
Outstanding Directing: George Gallo, “Local Color”

2006 Audience Choice:
Best of Festival: “Sweet Land”
Best Feature: “The Sisters”
Runner Up - Best Feature: “A Relative Thing”
Runner Up - Best Feature: “Expiration Date”
Best Documentary: “The Trials of Darryl Hunt”
Runner Up -  Best Documentary: “39 Pounds of Love
Special Mention - Best Documentary: “Favela Rising”
Best Short Film: “Spin”
Runner Up - Best Short Film: “Full Disclosure”
Runner Up - Best Short Film: “Artistic License”
Special Mention - Outstanding Short Film: “Quadrilateral”
Special Mention - Outstanding Short Film: “Hope”
Best Animated Film: “The Legend of Black Tom”
Runner Up - Best Animated Film: “Emelia”

2006 Directors’ Choice
Best Feature: “Fetching Cody”
Best Documentary: “The Trials of Darryl Hunt”
Best International Film: “The Beauty Remains”
Best Short Film: “Spin”
Best Short Film: “Cries From Ramah”
Best Student Short Film: “Once Broken”
Best Student Short Film: “Thermopylae”
Outstanding Achievement in Animation: “The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation”
Best Animation: “Paper Willy”
Outstanding Directing and Acting in a Short: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, “Shade”

2006 Special Recognition Awards:
Best Ensemble Cast: “Whiskey School”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Lainie Kazan, “Whiskey School”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ned Beatty, “Sweet Land”
Humanitarian Award: Alan Cumming, “Sweet Land”
Outstanding Director: Ali Selim, “Sweet Land”
Outstanding Producer: Carolyn Chambers, “The Sisters”
Best Supporting Actress: Elizabeth Banks, “The Sisters”
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Culp, “The Sisters”

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