Film Available October 18th to 21st, 2020
Film Available October 18th to 21st, 2020

2020 Award Winning Films

Greenwich International Film Festival is proud to support filmmakers with a variety of film awards and cash prizes.  Check out our award-winning films!

JP MORGAN CHASE AUDIENCE AWARD

A PELOTON OF ONE

Directed by: Steven E. Mallorca and John Bernardo
USA / 99 MINS
Documentary Feature

A Peloton of One follows a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Dave Ohlmuller, as he conducts a solo bicycle ride from Chicago to New York to raise awareness of this scourge. Along this 700-mile journey, Dave meets other Survivors abused by coaches, teachers, family members, and like Dave himself, Catholic priests. Through these interactions and common stories, Dave tries to find a way to connect and heal, mile by mile, as he heads east towards his hometown. Dave also meets high-profile advocates like Senator Joe Vitale of New Jersey, Kathryn Robb of New York, and Marci Hamilton of Pennsylvania, who each scored major victories in 2019 by reforming their states’ long-standing Statute of Limitations laws that favored the abusers. Dave Ohlmuller begins this trek as a lone Survivor. Today, he realizes he is part of a movement bigger than just the sum of its victims. Co-Produced by Greenwich filmmaker and fellow Survivor, Joe Capozzi, this film aims to inspire others to tell their stories and to educate the masses on the personal and legal obstacles victims often face alone during their long road to recovery.

Producer(s): Joe Capozzi, John Bernardo
Editor(s):Steven E. Mallorca
Dir. of Photography: Steven E. Mallorca
Key Subject(s): Dave Ohlmuller, Joe Capozzi

BEST SOCIAL IMPACT FILM AWARD

Presented by the Bill & Ann Bresnan Foundation

MUSIC GOT ME HERE

Directed by: Susan Koch
USA / 89 MINS
Documentary Feature

In a snowboarding accident, Forrest, age 18, suffers a traumatic brain injury that leaves him trapped inside himself, unable to speak or walk for nearly two years. Desperate to connect with her son, Forrest’s mother contacts Tom Sweitzer, a music therapist with a troubled childhood whose own life was “saved” by music. For months, Forrest doesn’t acknowledge Tom. Gradually, Forrest starts responding to the music, starting with a little movement of his finger or smile. Tom uses a music therapy method to teach Forrest to breathe, then hum, and find his “pitch.”After many months, the hums turn into Forrest’s first words, “Good Morning.” Soon, he’s singing entire songs and speaking in sentences. Forrest’s finally getting his voice and life back when he’s faced with one medical setback after another. A serious infection requires surgeons to remove the prosthetic implant that is protecting his brain, where a large part of his skull was removed after his accident. Without any protection for his brain from atmospheric pressure, Forrest’s ability to survive is uncertain. A groundbreaking surgery is Forrest’s last hope. This is a story about the power of music to heal and transform lives, often in miraculous ways.

Producer(s): J. Wendy Thompson- Marquez, Gary Mather & Christina Co Mather, Lysa Burke Hutton, Teresa Wheeler, Zak Kilberg, Irwin Winkler
Screenwriter(s): Susan Koch
Editor(s): Georgia Koch
Dir. of Photography: Neil Barrett
Key Subject(s): Forrest Allen, Tom Sweitzer, Rae Stone, Kent Allen, Austin Allen, Tolliver

BEST CONNECTICUT SHORT FILM AWARD

Presented by the Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media

THE OTHER SIDE

Directed by: Josh Leong
USA, ETHIOPIA / 17 MINS
Connecticut Short Film

Days before his 18th birthday, Abel (Ethan Herisse, “When They See Us”) finds himself about to age out of his orphanage and leave his younger brother, Kiya, behind. But when a prospective adopting couple threatens to break their relationship apart, the brothers wrestle with the reality of never being adopted. Inspired by a true story.

Producer(s): Sofia Bara, Bemnet Yemesgen, Augustine Hong, Jonathan Ferguson, Khalil-El Ghoul, Sounil & Gracie Yu, Daniel & Carolina Bara, Jin & May Leong
Screenwriter(s): Josh Leong
Editor(s): Josh Leong
Dir. of Photography: Tom Ingwersen
Key Cast: Ethan Herisse, Wayna, Adonai Kelelom

Past Winners

Best Social Impact Film

  • 2019 – “Afterward”
  • 2018 – “Crime + Punishment”
  • 2017 – “City of Ghosts”
  • 2016 – “Hooligan Sparrow”
  • 2015 – “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets”

Best CT Short

  • 2019 – “120 Years”
  • 2018 – “The Hammamis”
  • 2017 – “Blind Sushi”

Best Documentary Feature

  • 2019 – Cold Case Hammarskjöld
  • 2018 – “The Dawn Wall”
  • 2017 – “Bending the Arc”
  • 2016 – “Hooligan Sparrow”
  • 2015 – “The Russian Woodpecker”

Best Narrative Feature

  • 2019 – “Sister Aimee”
  • 2018 – “The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler”
  • 2017 – “The Strange Ones”
  • 2016 – “Little Men”
  • 2015 – “Zurich”

Best Documentary Short

  • 2019 – “Mack Wrestles”
  • 2018 – “Kayayo”
  • 2017 – “The Rabbit Hunt”
  • 2016 – “Another Kind of Girl”
  • 2015 – “Santa Cruz del Islote”

Bet Narrative Short

  • 2019 – “The Animal”
  • 2018 – “The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler”
  • 2017 – “Under Pressure”
  • 2016 – “Before the Bomb”
  • 2015 – “Grounded”
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