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UFFyc Announces 2016 Awards

The Underexposed Film Festival yc announced the jury prizes on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The awards were presented at a ceremony immediately following the final block of films screened at the Gettys Art Center. The 2016 program included 67 Official Selections, selected from 200 submissions, and 7 Director’s Choice films, curated by Festival Director Karen Collins. Three films screened at the 2016 UFFyc are Oscar-qualifying films – HOME, She Stoops to Conquer, and Love is a Sting, one is a BAFTA-qualifying film – The Duke. Eight films were world or festival premieres – 32 Light Years, Anacoustic Zones, Back in Time, Les Yuex, No Lighting, Sebastian Otero, Touching in Texas, and The Vamprentice. The jurors for the 2016 UFFyc were Joaquin Baldwin (Zootopia), Ellen Barnard (Counter Histories: Rock Hill), Michael Cusack (Waltzing Matilda), Jim de Sève (Tying the Knot), Carol Green (American Horror Story), Bert Hesse (Studio South), Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg), Dale M. Pollock (Set It Off), Michael Rivers, Ignacio F. Rodó (Prometeo), Dr. Karen Stock, and Dr. David Wohl. Festival Director Karen Collins lauds the jurors of the 2016 UFFyc, “Our jurors were unbelievable in their devotion to serving. Considering that several are associated with the Academy Awards, BAFTA and the Emmys, we were grateful for their time and commitment. As always, I am grateful to our jurors who work in academia, David Wohl and Karen Stock. Our jury spanned 3 continents and just like the quality of our films is evenly matched by the professionalism of our jurors.”

The Underexposed Film Festival yc presented ten awards to Official Selections in 2016 - the Grand Jury Prize; the best of each category – animation, documentary, experimental, and narrative; Cinema Carolina - awarded to the best independent film made in North or South Carolina, regardless of category, content, or subject; Woman to Watch (best female director); Best Student Film; and the Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award. An honorary award, the Cotton Alley Award, sponsored by Founders Federal Credit Union, was awarded to Dale M. Pollock. This award recognizes a filmmaker’s outstanding contributions and commitment to the world of independent filmmaking.

Cotton Alley Award

Sponsored by Founders Federal Credit Union

Dale M. Pollock

The Underexposed Film Festival yc has named Dale M. Pollock as the recipient of the 2016 Cotton Alley Award. First presented in 2015, the Cotton Alley Award is an honorary award that recognizes outstanding contributions and commitment to the world of independent filmmaking.

Dale M. Pollock received a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University and MS in Communications from San Jose State University. In 1977, he became the chief film critic for Daily Variety, then the chief entertainment correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where he won the Best Feature Writing award and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas in 1984. In 1985, Pollock joined David Geffen’s film company as a development executive. He joined A&M Films as vice president in charge of production in 1986 and was named president in 1990, producing such films as The Beast, A Midnight Clear, and House of Cards. Pollock ran his own film company Peak Productions for 10 years, producing the hit film Set It Off. In 1999 he became Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, stepping down in 2007 to become Associate Professor of Cinema Studies. Pollock was named a Distinguished Scholar and holder of the Dale M. Pollock Endowed Professorship in Film in 2012 and is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In his acceptance speech, Pollock noted that the films screened at the Underexposed Film Festival yc are of the highest quality, and within the next few years, the festival has the potential to become an Academy Award qualifying festival, It's on the brink of becoming one of the large film festivals, to which, visitors plan their vacations around, and filmmakers will for the opportunity to screen.

Grand Jury Award | $750

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Narrative | 2014 | 16 min. 10 sec.

Country: Japan

Director: Kenji Qurata

When a childless wife is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she and her husband embark on a journey to find Tsuchinoko, a legendary Japanese snake. As the seasons pass by, the loving couple cherishes their precious moments with a lot of laughter. | more info

Best Animated Film | $200


Animation | 2014 | 14 min. 22 sec.

Country: France

Producers: Laurent Baujard, Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin

Director: Tibor Banoczky, Sarolta Szabo

Writer: Sarolta Szabo

Cast: Zdenek Penaz, Marie Penaz

A man sentenced to death, an old lady, a hunter, a window cleaner, a captive cooker and an anorexic young girl...The stories of these people are told through their relation to food. By sharing with them a moment from their meals, we can understand their relation to other people and their vision of the world. For many reasons, from their own decision or from which they suffer, they all eat alone.

This is the second film by the team of Tibor Banoczky and Sarolta Szabo to screen at the Underexposed Film Festival yc. LES CONQUERANTS ("The Conquerors") screened at the inaugural UFFyc in 2012 as a Director’s Choice.

Best Documentary Film | $200

Sponsored by Dr. Susan Collins, DDS

Frans Lanting: The Evolution of Life

Documentary | 2015 | 22 min. 47 sec.

Country: USA

Producer: Steven Kochones

Director: Steven Kochones

Cast: Frans Lanting, Christine Eckstrom, E. O. Wilson, Andrew Knoll, Russell Mittermeier, Richard Zurek, Elizabeth Krist

Embark on a dazzling journey through time via National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting's epic, LIFE project, a stunning interpretation of life on Earth from the Big Bang through the present.

Three films by Steven Kochones have screened previously at the Underexposed Film Festival yc, both as Director’s Choice films and Official Selections in competition. While the credits rolled, 2013 Director’s Choice, WHO SHOT ROCK & ROLL?: THE FILM electrified the room, and had the audience waving lighters and lit cell phones above their heads as if they were at a rock concert. In 2014, Kochones had two films screen – one in competition as an Official Selection - NO STRANGERS, while THE WAR PHOTOGRAPHERS screened as a Director’s Choice.

Best Experimental Film | $200

Songs of the Underworld

Experimental | 2016 | 5 min. 56 sec.

Country: Netherlands

Director: Nicola Hepp

Cast: Rolf Hepp, Martinette Janmaat, Reggy Deekman, Célinne Moza

Bittersweet, almost tangible remembrance is vividly portrayed by dancers Rolf Hepp (the director's father), Martinette Janmaat (the director's former teacher/mentor) and two young performers: Reggy Deekman and Célinne Moza.

As the images of the older and the younger couple become more intertwined, we begin to understand that this story is not only about youth being lost. | more info

Best Narrative Film | $200

Sponsored by Dixie Exterminating Company

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Narrative | 2014 | 16 min. 10 sec.

Country: Japan

Director: Kenji Qurata

When a childless wife is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she and her husband embark on a journey to find Tsuchinoko, a legendary Japanese snake. As the seasons pass by, the loving couple cherishes their precious moments with a lot of laughter. | more info

Cinema Carolina | $200

Awarded to the best independent film made in North or South Carolina, regardless of category, content, or subject. At least 75% of the principal photography must have taken place in North or South Carolina to be eligible for this award. Sponsored by Dr. Susan Collins, DDS.

My Luchador

Narrative | 2015 | 12 min. 51 sec.

Country: USA

Producer: Chip White

Director: Shea Sizemore

Writer: Shea Sizemore

Cast: Rachel Jefferys, Aaron Chavis, H. Blake Edwars

An aging Luchador finds himself behind a computer working in a cube. His successful and loving wife helps him find his way.

MY LUCHADOR is the third film by the filmmaking team of Shea Sizemore and Chip White to screen at the Underexposed Film Festival yc. THE AMENDMENTS OF A TRASH MAN screened in 2012 as an Official Selection, and A CHESS PLAYER screened in 2014. A CHESS PLAYER was named the Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award.

Woman to Watch | $200

Alex Burunova

Growing up in a small town in Belarus while the USSR was falling apart, Alex dreamed of traveling the world and becoming a filmmaker. At 16 she received a full scholarship to study in the United States and made Texas her home. After graduation, Alex interned at the European Parliament, and created several documentaries and short narratives in Moscow, Dominican Republic, Belarus, Turkey and Italy that explored human rights issues. During that time, she began to develop her voice as a female filmmaker. In 2009 she graduated with honors from America's top-rated film school at the University of Southern California. She has assisted award-winning directors and worked on major productions such as Lucasfilm’s CLONE WARS, and the Coen Brothers' TRUE GRIT. Alex’s recent accolades stem from her latest short film LONELY PLANET, which has screened at dozens of festivals worldwide, including Oscar-qualifying festivals such as Los Angeles International Shortfest and Palm Springs International Shortfest. LONELY PLANET also screened at the 2015 Underexposed Film Festival yc. Most recently she directed a female-driven series for Lifetime and A&E digital platform. She is currently developing her first feature film.

Pale Blue

Narrative | 2016 | 17 min. 43 sec.

Country: USA

Producers: A. J. Kelly, Courtney Thomas, Andrew McFarlane

Director: Alex Burunova

Writer: Abigail McFarlane

Cast: Abigail McFarlane, Ian Harding, Will Rothhaar, Jess Nurse, Katherine Alyse, Peter McDonald, Theodore Jerome Allen Rosenbaum

Pale Blue is an unsettling psychological drama taking us through Ally’s fragile mental state as she struggles to adjust to a difficult pregnancy. Peculiar interactions with friends and family begin to eviscerate her sense of reality and sanity. A routine ultrasound appointment reveals an even bigger discovery. Written by a trauma therapist, Pale Blue is a rough and unapologetic look at the ravages of mental illness, and the cross roads between stability and insanity. | more info

Best Student Film | Collegiate | $100

New in 2016 | Twenty-nine films by students enrolled in college-level courses were submitted to the 2016 UFFyc. Of the films submitted, fifteen were accepted to screen at the2016 UFFyc. Pastuszek is an MFA candidate at the American Film Institute. His first work of 2016 is "[solitary]."


Narrative | 2015 | 16 min. 39 sec.

Country: USA

Producers: Halee Bernard, Fabrizio Musica, Cedric Gamelin

Director: Derek J. Pastuszek

Writer: Derek J. Pastuszek

Cast: Kofi Bambo

Locked away in an American prison's solitary confinement unit, an inmate fights to stay human while forced to endure the compounding psychological effects of long-term isolation. | more info

Best Student Film | Kindergarten-12th Grade | $100

New in 2016 | Eight films directed by students in K-12 were submitted and screened at the 2016 UFFyc. Seven of the eight films were made by female directors, and the youngest filmmaker was 9 years old.


Narrative | 2015 | 3 min. 30 sec.

Country: USA

Producers: Cameron Scout Bontrager, Dewayne Bontrager

Director: Cameron Scout Bontrager

Writer: Cameron Scout Bontrager

Cast: Cameron Scout Bontrager, Amelia Thomas-Horowitz, Madison Dwyer, Charlotte Lowery-North

Nine-year-old, first-time filmmaker, Cameron Scout Bontrager, along with her three best friends give advice to elementary students who struggle to make friends. | more info

Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award | $150

Voted for by those in attendance.


Narrative | 2015 | 17 min. 8 sec.

Country: USA

Producer: Angie Gaffney

Director: Josh Wolff

Writer: Josh Wolff

Cast: Amy Frazzini, Ryan Kitley, Alex Moss, Brian Crawford, Bryn Packard, Danny Glenn, Deanna K. Reed, JJ Phillips, Mitchell Strickland

A Catholic high school psychologist with a secret struggle to keep his professional and personal lives separate and intact. | more info

The 2016 Underexposed Film Festival yc took place over November 2-5, 2016 at the Gettys Art Center, Dina’s Place at Winthrop University’s DiGiorgio Student Center, and at Amélie’s Left Bank. More than forty filmmakers were in attendance including Dale M. Pollock (Set It Off), Devin McGee (One Tree Hill), Anil Dhokai (Pulse of the City), Jonathan Landau (Pushing Buttons), Marty Landau (Pushing Buttons), Ethan McGee (The Vamprentice), Bobby McGee (The Vamprentice), Maria Mebane (The Final Adventure of John and Eleanor Greene), Josh Wolff (Guidance), Katherine Dudley (The Perfect Selfie), Mike Reda (HIM+HER), J. Michael Simpson (No Lighting, Back in Time), Hamilton Young Ward (Ronnie Ward - Brewton, AL), Chris White (Unbecoming), Grace Combs [Waterfowl(ed)], Druscilla Lam [Waterfowl(ed)], John Cilley (What Difference does "Difference" make?), Aaron Longstreth (Shelter 5), Katherine Brett Longstreth (Shelter 5), Cedric Guthrie (My Luchador), Bryan Guidroz (My Luchador), Lauren Spano (Les Yuex), Candice Poole (Les Yuex), David E. Munz-Maire (Chateau Sauvignon: terroir), Azure Allen (One Day on Carver Street, The Sea of Stories), Cameron Scout Bontrager (Friendship), Dewayne Bontrager (Friendship), Christopher Neville (Playing Yesterday Today), David Hensley (Touching in Texas, 32 Light Years), Seth Rouser (Anacoustic Zones), Ronald Keith Parks (Anacoustic Zones, Touching in Texas), Chris O'Neill (Touching in Texas), Bert Hesse (Studio South), Micah Troublefield (The Gospel of Hip Bones), and many other actors and crew members.

Question and answer sessions were held after many of the blocks of films. These sessions were live-streamed on Facebook, and are available now.


Directed by Karen Collins, the Underexposed Film Festival yc is produced by the Arts Council of York County, and is sponsored by the City of Rock Hill PRT; Old Town Association; Sharp Business Systems; Carolina Fresh Farms; Cinematiq; Dr. Susan Collins, DDS; Founders Federal Credit Union; Wells Fargo; Winthrop University; York Technical College; Courtroom at the Gettys; Barbara D’Alessandro; Dixie Exterminating Company; The Newsstand; RiverSystems I.T. Consulting; Anonymous; Gala Affairs; WRHI AM/FM, Interstate 107, 104.1 The Bridge, and the Arts Community Service Program of the Woman’s Club of Rock Hill, SC and an affiliate of GFWC. Restaurant and hotel partners included Flipside Restaurant, McHale’s Irish Pub, Millstone Pizza + Taphouse, The White Horse, Country Inn & Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn.

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