Southern Shorts Film Festival

Southern Shorts Film Festival has been making themselves a staple in the Atlanta Film Community. A quarterly festival Southern Shorts commits itself to the film makers. Providing not only feedback on every film submitted as well as a score sheet from each judge.  

Southern Shorts provides the most impressive breakdown of why they created this festival. 

"Southern Shorts Awards is a seasonal competition in which each entry is judged on its’ own merits. Every film will be screened by three judges using a 10 point scale and you will receive the scores of all three judges whether you win an award or not. 

Your composite score will show where you excelled, as well as the areas which could be better. We feel that this is vitally important information because how can you improve if you don't know what needs improving? 

Southern Shorts Awards offers a level playing ground for filmmakers to have their work judged by a panel of three industry professionals. Scoring is based on nine criteria: Originality, Screenplay, Direction, Casting, Cinematography, Audio, Editing, Music, and Production Design.

Awards of Merit are given to shorts which prove basic filmmaking competence, Awards of Excellence are given to films which exhibit higher levels of creativity and ability, Awards of Distincon  are given to films of professional quality, and the Orson Award is given to those rare films which show true genius.

Another goal of Southern Shorts Awards is to raise the quality of short films by offering a professional benchmark. SSA is a first-entry test for filmmakers who intend to enter their short film into festivals. Receiving an award from SSA does not guarantee that a festival will accept your entry, but those films which do not receive any award from us may be less likely to find success in the festival circuit. 

SSA is also unique in that we score individual achievements at no additional cost. All major cast and crew members are graded on the same 10 point scale by each judge, and it is possible for an individual to receive an award even if the film doesn’t."

When asked this is what Stephen P Sherwood, Founder of Southern Shorts Festival had to say about why he created this festival. 

"I started this film festival out of frustration from dealing with other festivals because there was almost never any feedback provided or there was an additional charge to receive it. I run a workshop to help screen-writers refine their scripts. Filmmakers need the same kind of critique, which is why we send everyone their scoresheet. Improvement requires assessment."
Stephen P. Sherwood - SSA Festival Director

You can take a look at the prior awards ceremony below. 

Summer 2016

Fall 2016

Hosted by Levi Burdick at the Aurora Cineplex

You can keep up to to date with the festival at their Film Freeway Page or their website, Southern Shorts Awards.

Georgia Film Critics Award Boyhood Best Film and Best Director

The Georgia Film Critics (which I'm a member of) announced its 4th annual award winners and Richard Linklater's Boyhood walked way with top honors, taking Best Film and Best Director. It's not unexepcted. Twelve years in the making, and following a strong debut at Sundcance 2014, Boyhood generated much press and conversation all year-long, translating that into a $43 million worldwide gross.  

Additional GFCA winners included Best Actor for Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Best Actress for Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Life Itself for Best Documentary and The Lego Movie for Best Animated Film. Having an outstanding year, most notably playing Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay's Selma, the Breakthrough Award went to David Oyelowo. Featuring in Intestellar, Selma and A Most Violent Year alone, not many actors can boast a more impressive year than Oyelowo had in 2014. Full list of GFCA winners below.

Best Picture

Best Director
Boyhood - Richard Linklater

Best Actor
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress
Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)

Best Original Screenplay
Nightcrawler - Dan Gilroy

Best Adapted Screenplay
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Best Cinematography
Birdman - Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock 

Best Original Score
Interstellar - Hans Zimmer

Best Original Song
Glory - John Stephens, Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith (Selma)

Best Ensemble
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Foreign Film

Breakthrough Award
David Oyelowo (Default, Interstellar, A Most Violent Year, Nightingale, Selma)

Best Animated Film
The LEGO Movie

Best Documentary
Life Itself

Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema