The Beloit International Film Festival
2016 Award Winners

This Year‘s BIFFY’s

From an uplifting documentary about an extraordinary woman scaling new heights despite the lack of arms and an extraordinary film demonstrating the persistence and courage of a filmmaker chronicling the Jihadist teaching and opposition in Pakistan, to the story of creative interaction between a five year old and a 50 year old and the creative work of individuals devoted to making film festivals successful, the Beloit International Film Festival handed out the laurels with the 2016 BIFFY awards Saturday evening.

Honoring feature length and short form narratives and documentaries, 10 BIFFYs were distributed at Saturday’s Awards Ceremony at La Casa Grande Restaurant in Beloit.

Many of the more than 100 filmmakers attending BIFF were on hand to receive the awards.

In addition to the awards for merit in specific film genres, there were also four “Feature” awards for overall achievement, designated by the selection committee that viewed all 800 films submitted to BIFF this year.

Power of Film Award

Among the Believers

BIFF’s top Power of Film Award, recognizing quality of filmmaking and impact on audiences, was presented to Among the Believers. It was accepted by director Hemal Trivedi, this year’s BIFF Honorary Chair. The courageous film examines the clash in Pakistan between the Jihadists and those who find the radical teachings in the madrassas, in conflict with the tenets of Islam.

Among the Believers poster

Among The Believers - Hemal TrivediAmong The Believers - Mohammed Naqvi

Hemal Trivedi
Mohammed Naqvi

Blackhawk Bank
BIFF Year ‘Round
People’s Choice Award


Best Documentary Feature

This year attendees at Wednesday evening BIFF Year ‘Round screenings of independent films under consideration for BIFF could vote for the Blackhawk Bank BIFF Year ‘Round People’s Choice Award. That award went to Right Footed a feature length documentary that tells the story of Jessica Cox, born without arms as a result of a birth defect, who learned to type, drive a car and fly an airplane, all with her feet. It follows her transformation into a mentor and leading advocate for people with disability. Right Footed also received the Best Documentary Feature Award.

Right Footed Movie

Directed by Nick Spark  Right Footed Movie - Nick-spark

Best Narrative Feature

Best Narrative Feature went to One Smart Fellow, co-directed by Tim Busfield and starring Busfield and Melissa Gilbert. It is the tale of a family weekend at the beach where they experience an event that will change their lives forever.

One Smart Fellow Poster

One Smart Fellow-Timothy BusfieldOne Smart Fellow - Tommy Lohmann

Timothy Busfield
Tommy Lohmann

Best Narrative Short

Fragile Storm

The Director of Programming Award was presented to Hell’s Heart from director-producer-writer Ryan Denmark. The narrative feature examines the demonic forces playing on a man as he prepares to marry the daughter of a woman he saw murdered when he was a child.

Fragile Storm Poster

Dawn Fields - Fragile StormDirected by Dawn Fields

Best Narrative Short

The award for Best Narrative Short was shared by two films. Fragile Storm, a 10-minute tear-jerker from director Dawn Fields concerns a scared young woman who goes to extreme measures to escape the clutches of a terrifying older man only to realize the shocking truth about why she’s really there. And Pony, a 31-minute film directed by Candice Carella examines the effect that a five year old and her 50 year old rock musician uncle have on each other.

Pony Movie Poster

NarrativeDirected by Candice Carella

Best Documentary Short

The Hermit

BIFF 2016 Best Documentary Short went to The Hermit, a 24 minute film by director Lena Friedrich. She tells the story of Christopher Knight, a man who lived 27 years in the woods of Maine with no human contact and became a celebrity overnight.

The Hermit Movie Poster

The Hermit - Lena FriedrichDirected by Lena Friedrich

The four named awards are selected by BIFF staff and reviewers who have viewed all the contenders, and are selected for special merit, creativity and influence.

Director of Programming Award

The Director of Programming Award was presented to Hell’s Heart from director-producer-writer Ryan Denmark. The narrative feature examines the demonic forces playing on a man as he prepares to marry the daughter of a woman he saw murdered when he was a child.

Hell's Heart Poster

Hell's Heart - Ryan DenmarkDirected by Ryan Denmark

Ken Hendricks Award for Excellence

Damien Patrik

The award this year was presented to a filmmaker Damien Patrik instead of a specific film, for his body of work and passion for filmmaking.

He is the writer/director/ producer of numerous short films which have collectively been official selections and winners in more than 160 film festivals.

In the Blink | Damien Patrick

In the Blink - Damien PatrikDirected by Damien Patrik

Josh Burton Award

The Josh Burton Award for Creative Excellence, honoring the creative spirit of the late Beloit actor and director, went to Field Niggas, directed by New York filmmaker Khalik Allah whose visceral and hauntingly beautiful documentary film portraits have been described as “street opera.”

Field Niggas Poster

Field Niggas - Khalik AlllahDirected by Khalik Allah

Executive Director Award

The Executive Director Award was presented to Resonate Web Marketing and Principals Rick McGrath and Ana Kelly for “extraordinary design and tireless partnership and creativity in communicating the programs and distinction of the Beloit International Film Festival and the Hollywood Film Festival.”
(We’re the BIFF webmasters, set up and manage ticketing/box office among other things. Very surprised by all this.)

Rick n Ana | Resonate - Beloit International Film Festival


Resonate Web Marketing | Beloit International Film Festival Web Designers

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival