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10th Annual DTLA Film Festival Announces 2018 Filmmaker Awards

The 10th annual DTLA Film Festival, Oct. 17-21 at Regal L.A. LIVE in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, announced its 2018 Filmmaker Awards. The two big prize winners were the gender and genre bending contemporary ghost story, "Ocatvio Is Dead!," which picked up the Best Picture and the Best Director awards for Sook-Yin Lee, and Collin Schiffli's drama "All Creatures Here Below," which won the Audience Favorite award and captured the Best Actor prizes for Karen Gillan and David Dastmalchian.

Other winners included Best Music Documentary, Téo Frank music doc "Underdogs," an exploration of the origins of hip hop; Best Original screenplay for writer-director Sean McGinly's autobiographically inspired drama "Silver Lake"; Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director Amanda Sthers' drama "Holy Lands," based on her eponymous novel, and Best Director - Documentary Feature that went to co-directors Liza Meak and Kathryn Basiji for their poignant look at the phenomenon of teenage suicide clusters, "The Edge of Success."

In the short content categories, the Best Narrative Short Film went to "Caroline," Best Documentary Short Film was shared by "Redemption Square and "Let My People Vote," Best Webisode to "Who Killed Madam Silva" and Best TV Pilot to "Plural of Blood."

A complete list of Filmmakers Awards follows.


The 10th annual DTLA Festival screened more than 100 feature and short-content videos, selected by Director of Programming Karolyne Sosa. This year's festival presented its Independent Film Pioneer Awards to Mira Sorvino, who starred in the festival's Opening Night Film, Melora Walters' "Waterlily Jaguar"; to Rosanna Arquette, who starred in the festival's Centerpiece Film, "Holy Lands," and co-starred in "Octavio Is Dead!," and to Malcolm McDowell, who co-starred in Kayla Tabish's "Culture of Fear." The DTLA Festival Director is Greg Ptacek

This year's edition of the festival also marked the launch of Immersive, its VR-AR-Interactive programming showcase under the direction of Justin Polisky

2018 DTLA Film Festival Filmmaker Awards Winners

Best Picture: Octavio Is Dead! (Directed by Sook-Yin Lee)

Best Female Female Actor in a Leading Role: Karen Gillan (All Creatures Here Below)

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role: David Dastmalchian (All Creatures Here Below)

Best Original Screenplay: Silver Lake (Sean McGinly)

Best Adapted Screenplay (from her eponymous novel:) Holy Lands Amanda Sthers

Best Ensemble Cast: Rich Kids (Gerardo Velasquez, Justin Rodriguez, Michelle Magallon, Ulysses Montoya, Naomë Antoinette, Alessandra Mañon, Kenneth W. Bradley, Ricky Catter, Amelia Rico)

Best Music Documentary: Underdogs (Directed by Téo Frank)

Best Documentary: 16 Bars (Directed by Sam Bathrick)

Best Director: Documentary Feature: Liza Meak & Kathryn Basiji (The Edge of Success)

Best Director: Narrative Feature: Sook-Yin Lee (Octavio Is Dead!)

Best Cinematography: Régis Blondeau (Holy Lands)

Best Directorial Debut: Melora Walters (Waterlily Jaguar)

Best Foreign Film: Original Sin (Pecado Original)

Female Pioneer Award: Angela Matemotja (director of Elevate)

Breakthrough Performance: Khalil McMillan (What Death Leaves Behind)

Breakthrough Performance: Ana De Le Reguera (Collisions)

Jury Prize for Creative Vision - Feature: Amanda Kramer (Paris Window)

Audience Favorite Award: All Creatures Here Below (Director Collin Schiffli)

Best Film Editing: Birds Without Feathers (Susan LaMarca,Wendy McColm, Phillip Vernon)

Best Soundtrack: Moby and The Brilliance (Women Like Us)

Best Drama: River Runs Red

Best Comedy: Surprise Me

Best Experimental Feature: Joy Shannon


Best Narrative Short: Caroline

Best Narrative Short: American Nightmare

Best Documentary Short: Redemption Square

Best Documentary Short: Let My People Vote

Best Experimental Short: Jim

Best Experimental Short: Create

Best Animated Short: Intimity

Jury Prize for Creative Vision: I can only talk to you when I stand in shadows

Best Director: Nathan Mulroy for (Hey, Boy!)

Best Screenplay: Dan Bronfeld & Matthew Pancer for AKEDA (The Binding)

Best Cinematography: Alejandro Wilkins for (El Gallo)

Best Actress: Kase Pena for (¿Familia?)

Best Actor: Sachin Bhatt in Monogamish

Best Ensemble: The cast of One of These Days (Maynor Alvarado, Gisell Castillo, Gabriel Romero, Sonny James Lira, Mark Green, Frania Duenas, Elisa Nieto, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Robert Rivers, Donisha Brumfield)

Best Ensemble: The cast of Grit (Cameron Moore, Tristan Taylor, Jojo Gibbs, Brianna Cap)

Best Webisode: Who Killed Madam Silva

Best TV Pilot: Plural of Blood

The 10th annual DTLA Film is sponsored by Hotel Figueroa. Originally opened in 1926 as an exclusive women's hostelry, Hotel Figueroa begins a new chapter in 2018 with the unveiling of a comprehensive redesign of its public spaces and 268 guest rooms and suites; art program boasting Los Angeles-based artists and authors; and culinary experiences conceived by four-time James Beard Award nominee Chef Casey Lane along with craft cocktail mastermind Dushan Zaric. For more information or reservations, visit

Festival sponsors also include Mike's Hard Lemonade, Eaze, 101 Keys, Pixelogic, Champion Site & Sound, Oracle NetSuite, Zeiss, Ving Vodka, AT&T Audience and Regal L.A. LIVE.

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