Best Narrative Feature
“Impossible” Directed by Seckeita Lewis
When a man with big dreams is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, he forms an unbreakable bond with a widowed fast food worker to do the impossible; transform his life and pursue his passion of becoming a police officer.
Runner-Up: “FOUR WALLS” Directed by Kgosana Monchusi, Menzi Mzimela, Juvais Dunn
“The filmmakers produced an amazing and heartfelt cautionary film told with love and handled with care.”
“One set, four walls, lots of thrills, bad ass ending!”
Best Documentary Feature
“Bike Vessel” Directed by Eric D. Seals
Bike Vessel follows a father and son, 37 and 72, as they cycle from St. Louis to Chicago. Film director Eric Seals’ father almost died after three open-heart surgeries.
Runner-Up: “Farming While Black” Directed by Mark Decena
“Complete story with seamless 1st, 2nd,
and 3rd acts. My favorite kind of documentary using a man’s dedication
to biking to frame a larger issue of how the health-care system fails black men.”
“Held my interest while shining a light on a number of issues. The cinematography was great.”
Best Narrative Short
“Father’s Day” Directed by Tumelo Lekena
Father’s Day is a short film about Alakhe a 12-year-old boy who is raised by a single mother. Being the nerd of the class, Alakhe is selected to give a speech for a Father’s Day school event. He decides to go against his mother’s word and sets out to find the father he’s never met which opens a can of worms. Eventually he discovers who his real father is.
Runner-Up: “Rear” Directed by Edward Worthy
The main actor’s performance was
stellar! The emotional story beats
lasted long after the credits rolled.”
“A compelling story that that was nuanced and asked important questions.”
Best Documentary Short
“Slice” Directed by Zaire Love
SLICE explores how Rico and his homeboys in Memphis, TN find joy by submerging themselves in an original swimming art form of athleticism and creativity called slicing.
Runner-Up: “Birth From the Earth” Directed by Katy Walker Mejia
“Pleasantly surprising with its unexpected humor in a documentary setting. The film adopts a unique approach blending the world of swimming with creative hip-hop spin on belly flopping in Memphis.”
“A lot packed in for a short. Everyone involved is brave and bold in the best way!”
Best Episodic/Web Series
“Detangling the South Ep 1: New Orleans” Directed by Damien D. Smith
This episodic documentary chronicles a road trip throughout the South visiting the most important locations of the Civil Rights Movement, through the eyes of nomadic civil rights attorney and producer Nia Weeks, and environmental attorney Fayenisha “Faye “Matthews.
Runner-Up: “Being Alex” Directed by Christopher J. Love
“I loved seeing interviews of Dooky Chase and family members from New Orleans. The importance of Institutional building and civic engagement are key take aways for all generations. “
“This was a fantastic look at how the pandemic impacted the youth. I think that the actors were funny and the young man playing Alex had a lot of spunk and light.”
Best College Short
“Disrupting Silence” Directed by Rico Veliz
After the Texas State Capitol was built, many stories of its construction have gone untold. Dr. Javier Wallace, owner and guide of Black Austin Tours, seeks to challenge the state of Texas and its history by sharing unrepresented perspectives.
Runner-Up: “The River” Directed by Janay Kelley
“This film is packed with Texas History and passion and beautiful cinematography.”
“The film’s cinematography and music score are stunning and captivating. It conjures up memories of why so many African Americans fear and are yet drawn to the waterways of the South.“
Best Original Music Video
“Hands & Knees by Rexx Life Raj” Directed by Alba Roland Mejia
Runner-Up: “Mamma Knew How to Pray” Directed by Paul E. Puckett
“The genuine nature of the lyrics, coupled with their raw vulnerability was deeply moving.“
“Each portrayal of motherhood was emotive and profound.”
Best Screendance Film
“Oxowusi” Directed by Augusto Soledade, Gabriel Yjalade
Oxowusi juxtaposes certain aspects of a Candomblé initiate with the Yoruba-based tale of how Oxossi, the one arrow hunter, became a deity. It seeks to reflect on the relevance of ancestral memory and our connection to the contemporary life.
Runner-Up: “Red Line” Directed by Irishia Hubbard
“The film was stunning, musically, aesthetically, and choreographically!?”
“A clean and powerful articulation of the body.“
Best Texas Short Narrative
“What They Found” Directed by Ryan Darbonne
Two black men on a fishing trip stumble across the body of a dead white man and debate what to do with it.
Runner-Up: “The Black Experience” Directed by Christian L. Scott
“The film asked poignant questions regarding our responsibility as human beings and how those responsibilities may or may not change when race is involved.“
“This film shows a unique play on stereotypes. Everything from the score to the dialogue was expertly done.”
Best Texas Short Documentary
“The Route to Emancipation” Directed by Talib Abdullahi, Riley Engemoen
The Route To Emancipation by Black History Bike Ride follows 3 friends as they embark on a 350 mile cycling route from the Texas Capitol in Austin to the site where Juneteenth began in 1865. The journey takes viewers back through centuries of Black history in Texas, with interviews from educators, historians, and community leaders along the way.
Runner-Up: “Representing: Black Lawyers, Clients, & The Culture (Pt. 1 The Amari Harley Case)” Directed by Micah Autry
“This documentary is pure Black Boy/Man Joy! I love the brotherhood and the information about Texas I didn’t know.”
“Despite being a short documentary, this film engages viewers emotionally leaving a lasting impact.”
Best Texas College Short
“Disrupting Silence” Directed by Rico Veliz
Runner-Up: “Black Magic” Directed by Cristin Stephens
“The sign of a good film is one that entertains and informs the audience. This film does that and more!“
“The film is extremely creative with strong performances by complex characters.”