2014 Short Film Competition

October 17-18, 2014. Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar, Austin, TX.

Documentary Division

From a low angle, a man whose arms and legs are amputated below the joints sits at a microphone in a spotlight. 1st PlaceStumped (dir. Robin Berghaus)
Stumped is a ten-minute documentary about Will Lautzenheiser’s (left) survival and physical rehabilitation as a quadrilateral amputee, and how the aspiring filmmaker copes with tragedy through comedy. It highlights the trials and triumphs of adapting to a world he never could have imagined, including his first stand-up comedy show, just one year after his amputations. Learn more about Stumped

2nd Place & Audience FavoriteThe 21st Chromosome (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
How do you tell the story of someone who's in your family but doesn't have a voice to say whether or not they want that story told? If you're filmmaker, Kirsten Johnson who has a younger sister with Down Syndrome, Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don't follow her around with a camera, in fact, you don't film her at all. Instead, you painstakingly hand-draw over a thousand drawings, you personally recreate distressing incidents from the past, you bring characters to life in imaginative scenarios that illuminate what's it's like to have someone in your life whose personal reality you can only begin to fathom. A truly unique method of storytelling that explores a challenging subject matter with humour, empathy and depth. View trailer for The 21st Chromosome

3rd PlaceYou Don't Know Jack (dir. Kyle Nixon)
What would you do if you couldn't have a conversation with someone you loved, or even understand what he was thinking? Eighteen year old Kyle Nixon, whose younger brother Jack has autism, has been trying to figure that out for most of his life. It turns out that the answers to his puzzle also offer insight into the value and dignity of every one of us.

Non-documentary Division

A young man with a worried expression checks his watch. The camera is focused on him while other people and buildings are out of focus in the background. 1st Place & Audience Favorite: Bi'Garip Adam ("A Strange Man") (dir. Gozde Yetiskin)
Erdem (Arda Cetinkay, right) is an autistic man who lives with his mother. His situation is watching films regularly and confusing real occasions with movie scenes. One day, he misses the school bus. He decides to reach the school by himself and catch Ms. Işıl’s class. On the road, he’s obliged to struggle with daily circumstances. View trailer of A Strange Man

2nd Place: Bastion (dir. Ray Jacobs)
Adapted from a short prose by Simon Armitage, the shards of narrative played out by two actors, one with autism, dance at the boundary between imagination and reality. Images of scissors cutting close to bare skin and a playful witty language invite laughter, which echoes into dark empty spaces. Learn more and view a teaser of Bastion

3rd Place: Flowers (dir. Sabina Sattar)
A Young Man falls in love with a Young Woman who callously rejects his babbling invitation to go out with him until he realises that she is in fact deaf and mute. Undaunted, the Young Man creatively comes up with a way to communicate his feelings and so win his fair lady’s heart... Learn more about Flowers

2014 Competition Judges

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The 2024 Short Film Competition is open.

Extended registration ($60) closes May 3, and late registration ($80) begins.

The final deadline is June 7.

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