Somerville International Film Festival 2019 Awards

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The Somerville International Film Festival has announced the award winners for the 2019 edition.

The award for the best narrative feature film went to No Really, It's Fine. (United States) by Rebecca Dobyns. Why don't women speak up? Why is it difficult to be disruptive about the big things? Equally concerning, why is it often difficult for women to openly discuss the simplest small truths in their own lives. No Really, It’s Fine, examine these exact questions through the female perspective. Made entirely by women, NRIF explores one woman’s suppression of self, manifested through three relationships in her life. The film replays Rachel’s last day in town before moving away, spent with her Boyfriend, Best Friend, and Coworker. Interweaving these scenarios, No Really, It’s Fine, dives into the unspoken inner life of a woman who shifts who she is to please those around her.

The prize for the best feature documentary film was for The Weight of Success (United States) by M. Douglas Silverstein. The Weight of Success is a “warts and all” documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Angela Lauria, one of the fastest rising stars in the self-help and life coaching industries. Five years ago she was broke, she started a business to teach aspiring life coaches and self-help authors how to write a book that “makes a difference.” Now she is a multi-millionaire living in a castle and has helped over 500 authors complete their goal to finish writing their books. While her fans and supporters believe she may become the next Oprah Winfrey, her rapid success has cost her friendships, colleagues and strained family relationships. Is Life Coaching a Scam? Do they help or do they hurt? This documentary aims to inspire the audience to answer for themselves: are Life Coaches modern prophets or are they just concerned with profits? You decide.

Best Narrative Short Film award went to Open Spaces (Denmark) by Thomas Elley. There is 21 years in age between Freja and Albert who are forced to keep their romance secret from the small, but curious community on a remote Danish island.

Time Machine (Poland) by Jan Bujnowski was awarded as Best Documentary Short Film. A lonely 55-year-old street artist from Poland lives in London. His parents decide to visit their son after many years of separation. A man wants to take advantage of the chance to resolve an old conflict with his father, not realizing that the real problem is much deeper.

The Best Animated Film award went to Matter Out of Place (United States) by Oona Taper. Intimate portrait. Blurred line. Exploration of presence and absence. An Experimental Animation.

Best Underground Film award went to Exile on A Street (United States) by Henry Dane. An independent writer and consultant with a very private existence relocates from a quiet, suburban community to an inner-city artists' co-operative. "Exile on A Street" explores the pleasures and purgatories brought on by his move.

All Clear (United States) by Billy Palumbo won Best Experimental Film. A three-minute tornado siren test provides a moment of uneasy but serene reflection on place, space, and color.

Aiming to inspire, motivate and award new talent, The Somerville Film Festival takes place in the bustling Davis Square neighbourhood of Somerville (MA). As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, the festival will bring diverse international films to our community (The Somerville Theatre) and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers. Somerville Film Festival aims to expand the artistic image of our region, engage new audiences in the world of film, and inspire creativity in all of us.

See you all next year.