Network Round Winners: Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2024

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the 2024 Austin Lift-Off Film Festival!
The festival platformed hundreds of films, each project worthy of recognition and celebration. We want to extend a giant thank you to everyone who took part and a special congratulations to all the incredible talent that went into making these projects.
The judges' scores have been combined with the audience's choices, and after careful scrutiny, it's our pleasure to announce the Austin Lift-Off Film Festival winners!

Winners: Austin Network Round Shorts

Screen Test

Dir. Adam Shimberg
Writers. Adam Shimberg, Becca Chloe Gelb
Producers. Adam Shimberg, Ali Grutchfield

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Short Drama

Synopsis:An actor lands her first big role, but in the screen test she realizes that it might’ve not been her talent that landed her the part... the question now is, stand up for herself or swallow it and take the role?

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Live Action Narrative, Best Director


Mosaics: Seeds of Change

Dir. Harry Pound

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Documentary, Short

Synopsis:Retired Lutheran pastor Luisa Cabello Hansel creates large mosaic artwork to build community, inspire peace, justice, and hope in her Minneapolis neighborhood.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Documentary


It's Nice! (When People Take The Time To Say Goodbye)

Dir. Nicky Alloway
Writer. Alice Condon
Producer. Gareth Rees Rowlands

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Short

Synopsis:Three siblings return to their hometown for the funeral of their beloved Uncle Bernard. While paying their respects, they have one simple aim - to get through the day without any mention of their estranged mother and her betrayal of the family.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Art Direction, Best Post-Production


Elliot & Mae

Dir. Ben Weaver

Country of Origin: USA
Genre: Short, Sci-Fi, Drama

Synopsis:A love story with a time-travel twist. After losing the love of her life, Mae discovers a magical matchbox that takes her back in time. She thinks she has the chance to save Elliot, but things don't go according to plan. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Acting Ensemble


Autumn Leaves

Dir. Elizabeth Lewis

Country of Origin: Canada
Genre: Short, Animation

Synopsis:Autumn brings bitter sweet memories. A woman, missing her husband, struggles to control the leaves and her emotions in this fully animated hilarious take on the classic song.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Animation


Olan, TX

Dir. Nathan Markiewicz
Writer. Christian James Durso
Producer. Josh Raff

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Short, Drama

Synopsis:t’s been a long time since Olan went home. The tiny Texas town he was born in is almost unrecognizable, and yet it seems like things haven’t changed at all. Out of the Army, out of a job, and just out of a marriage, Olan returns to make his late father’s funeral arrangements and to fulfill his last wish: a military burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Ever the prodigal son, Olan arrives too late and finds his father already in the ground, letting the old man down one last time. He’s left with a stack of unpaid bills, an old pickup truck, and a quirky little terrier named Cicero. Before he can move on, Olan must make peace with the man he thought he knew and the past he left behind. And he’ll have to do the unthinkable if he wants to make things right.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Cinematography



Dir, Writer. Petr Cikhart
Producer. Bayard Outerbridge

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Short, Drama

Synopsis:A valet deals with an arrogant patron waiting impatiently for his car, managing eventually to diminish the situation.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best First-Time Filmmaker



Dir, Writer & Producer. Alice The G00n

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Music Video

Synopsis:Chapter 1: CYA - Alice begins her violent katabasis.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Music Video


Winners: Austin Network Round Features

Mercy of Others

Dirs, Writers. Damen Giglietta
Producer. Taylor Buoro

Country of Origin: Australia
Genre: Feature, Thriller, Drama

Synopsis:In the haunting shadow of a recent tragedy, "Mercy of Others" unfolds as a close-knit group of six friends reunite to mourn the loss of a friend. This gathering, meant for solace and reminiscence, swiftly uncovers buried tensions and unresolved conflicts within their circle, revealing a complex web of emotions and relationships.

As the night unfolds, each character is forced to face their own shortcomings and seek redemption, not just to survive but to find a semblance of peace in the chaos that surrounds them. "Mercy of Others" is more than a story of survival; it's a journey into the heart of human frailty and the quest for forgiveness in the face of overwhelming odds.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Live Action Narrative



Dir, Writer & Producer. Graeme Wilson

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Documentary, Feature

Synopsis:An innovative and charismatic influencer is exploding into popularity when she states an opinion that she doesn’t know will get her crucified by her peers.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Documentary


Hello in Here

Dir. Casey McAdams

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Feature, Thriller, Drama

Synopsis:A woman becomes increasingly isolated and starts to unravel as a result.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Actor (Chynna Walker)


15th Annual Lift-Off Season Awards

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films that have excelled in their respective category are short listed for a Season Awards Nomination.  At the end of the year, once all the 12 city-based festival have taken place, the shortlisted nominated films are reviewed again by the jury and Official Nominations are designated.  Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.