The Lift-Off Season Awards

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event which celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films which have excelled in their respective category are nominated and invited to attend the prestigious Lift-Off Season Awards, culminating at the end of the Lift-Off season.

The Trophy

A work of art combining technology and creativity

The Lift-Off Trophy is a truly one of its kind embodiment of creativity and technology – ‘The essence of true indie cinema’.

3D Printed using a mixture of resins that have been combined with wood and lead – mounted onto reclaimed black marble stone, the trophy has a distinct finish, a heavy-weight, and a fabulous pixelated globe – giving the trophy a retro and modern feel at the same time.

Created by iMakr and designed to such a high quality this trophy truly is a work of art to be cherished – representing global excellence with an independent spirit.



Friday, January 12th 2018 the world famous Pinewood Studios and home to Lift-Off Global Network opened its doors for a celebration of true indie film.

The Lift-Off Season Awards saw hundreds of filmmakers from all around the world ascend for the main awards ceremony, congratulating, awarding, and celebrating the best the 2017 Lift-Off season  had to offer.

Best Short Live Action Narrative

Enemies Within Directed by Sélim Azzazi -- New York Lift-Off 2017

Soldier Bee directed by Alex Hardy -- Seoul Lift-Off 2017
Spaceman directed by Christopher Oliva -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
Game directed by Jeannie Donohoe -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Contractor 014352 directed by Simon Ryninks -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
Rosie, Oh directed by Andy Koeger -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
Mausoleum directed by Lauri Randla -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler directed by Paul Philipp -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Accomplice directed by Jon Hoeg & John F. Beach -- London Lift-Off 2017
Wraps directed by Frank Tamburin -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Short Documentary

The Botanist Directed by Maude Plante-Husaruk -- Seoul Lift-Off 2017

Second Tier City directed by Matthew Moroz & Xia Han -- Vancouver Lift-Off 2017
Kachach, above Zaatari directed by Bruno Pieretti -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
My Father's Land directed by Muriel Aboulrouss -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
Service Update directed by Olly Sindle -- London Lift-Off 2017
Blind Sushi directed by Eric Heimbold -- Vancouver Lift-Off 2017
Between the Sand directed by John Picklap -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
This is Civilisation directed by Jennifer Smart -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017

Best Feature Documentary

Right Between Your Ears directed by Sheila Marshall -- London Lift-Off 2017

Love and Saucers directed by Brad Abrahams -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself directed by Anthony Short -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
The End of the Road directed by Tai Uhlmann -- Vancouver Lift-Off 2017
Heroes Manufactured directed by Yaron Betan -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017

Best Short Animation

-Winston directed by Aram Sarkisian -- New York Lift-Off 2017

Hipoptamy directed by Piotr Dumala -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
Whale Heart directed by Robert Allen --Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Fundamental directed by ShihChieh Chiu -- New York Lift-Off 2017
Farewell Fire directed by Scott Armstrong -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
CITIPATI directed by Andreas Feix -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
The Curious Plague of 1518 directed by Jacob Nizzola - Seoul Lift-Off 2017
The Sedate Escape directed by Joe Dearman -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017

Best Acting Ensemble

The Cast of The Silent Child -- London Lift-Off 2017

The Cast of Solder Bee -- Seoul Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of Where the Windmills Are -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of Wraps -- New York Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of The Peculiar Abilities of Mr Maher -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of Mausoleum -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of Fighter -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Cast of State of Emergency -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Actor

André Hennicke for The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler -- London Lift-Off 2017

Sun Yong Moon for Retriever -- Seoul Lift-Off 2017
Hassam Ghancy for Enemies Within -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
Nicole Williams for Game -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Rick Fox for Game -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Maddie Dixon-Poirier for Rosie, Oh -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
Eli Silverman for Clanker Man -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
Chereen Buckley for ALL of me -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Screenplay

Contractor 014352 written by Zak Klein -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017

Enemies Within written by Sélim Azzazi -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
-Winston written by Aram Sarkisian & Gabby Capili -- New York Lift-Off 2017
The Accomplice written by Dustin Hahn & Greg Hahn -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler written by Belo Schwarz -- London Lift-Off 2017
Mausoleum written by Lauri Randla -- London Lift-Off 2017
Edge written by Billy Rees -- London Lift-Off 2017
Clanker Man written by Ben Steiner -- London Lift-Off 2017
One Man's Fortune written by Jeremias Nussbaum -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

Best Art Direction

Mausoleum, art direction by Juulia Jokinen  -- London Lift-Off 2017

Hope, art direction by Adam A. Losurdo -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017
BREAKER, art direction by Philippe Mckie -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
The Past We Live In, art direction by Julieta Fernandez  -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
Waste, art direction by Robert Brecko -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler, are direction by Pierre Brayard -- London Lift-Off 2017
Day of Reckoning, art direction by Carina Claassens -- London Lift-Off 2017
FOUND, art direction by Ben Bangay & Stuart Parkyn -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
One Man's Fortune, art direction by Philippe Jasko -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

Best Feature Narrative

Teenage Love Bomb directed by Mads Erichsen -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017

CAINA directed by Stefano Amatucci -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
Zelos directed by Jo-Anne Brechin -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
The Ones That Stay directed by Loïc Paillard -- London Lift-Off 2017
Die Tochter - Dark Blue Girl directed by Mascha Schilinski -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Cinematography

Still Waters DoP. Athys de Galzain -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

Enemies Within DoP. Frederic Serve -- New York Lift-Off 2017
Rosie, Oh DoP. Jonathan Klepfer -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
Off Path DoP. Yann Maritaud -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
Father DoP. Karim Kassem -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
Heathen DoP. Brad Francis -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr Maher DoP. Jann Doeppert -- London Lift-Off 2017
Mausoleum DoP. Peter Salovaara -- London Lift-Off 2017
ALL of me DoP. Diana Olifirova -- London Lift-Off 2017
Duke's Pursuit DoP. Ingi Lárusson -- Manchester Lift-Off 2017

Best Music Score

The Happy Genius composed by Casper Leopard -- London Lift-Off 2017

Hipopotamy composed by Alexander Balanescu -- New York Lift-Off 2017
COMMANDO composed by Clare Vandeleur -- New York Lift-Off 2017
The Past We Live In composed by Paco Periago -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
CITIPATI composed by Petteri Sainio -- Sydney Lift-Off 2017
The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself composed by Anthony Short -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Post Production

Fighter, edited by Brendan Jenkins  -- London Lift-Off 2017

Stories Upon your Lips, edited by Bastien Bron -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Beautiful Dreamer, edited by David Gaddie -- New York Lift-Off 2017
Contractor 014352, edited by Hiran Balasuriya & Philip Davies -- Vancouver Lift-Off 2017
The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself, edited by Anthony Short -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler, edited by Rupert Stuprich -- London Lift-Off 2017
Mausoleum, edited by Leo Liesvirta -- London Lift-Off 2017
The Super Recogniser, edited by Philip Lepherd & Jennifer Sheridan -- London Lift-Off 2017

Best Director

Paul Philipp for The Peculiar Abilities of Mr Maher -- London Lift-Off 2017

Jeannie Donohoe for Game -- Tokyo Lift-Off 2017
Sélim Azzazi for Enemies Within -- New York Lift-Off 2017
Anthony Short for The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself Directed -- Los Angeles Lift-Off 2017
Vincent Fitz-Jim for Boudewijn -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
Lander Haverals for Pure Madness -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
Lauri Randla for Mausoleum -- London Lift-Off 2017
Coban Beutelstetter for Still Waters -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

Best Music Video

Sweet Play - The Island directed by Darrell Lee Hall -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

Kakkmaddafakka - Lilac directed by Carlín Díaz -- Paris Lift-Off 2017
The Rambling Wheels - Stories Upon Your Lips directed by Bastien Bron -- London Lift-Off 2017
Bltazar - Lluvia directed by Jorge G. Camarena -- Vancouver Lift-Off 2017
Strange Loving - Changes directed by Brendon Groenwwald -- Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017
Jeffig Le Bars - Other directed by Jeffid Le Bars -- Paris Lift-Off 2017

First-Time Filmmaker

Turquoise directed by Roozbeh Misaghi

Different directed by Tom Fisher
The Silent Child directed by Chris Overton
Listen directed by Niko Mikadze
Sisyphus directed by Rafael A. Lopez
Jordan directed by Prakash Nathan
Body Language Zone directed by Kim Saarinen
Liv directed by Anna Rollot
Laws of the Game directed by Aegina Brahim


The 2016 Lift-Off Season

Our city-based festivals in 2016 were spread throughout the year in community hubs that we have identified as crucial indie filmmaking locations. We mixed local and international screenings, with Q&A’s, highly attended networking events and workshops. 2016 saw us introduce the First-Time Filmmakers Showcase and our new online initiatives where we invite all films that have scored high outside of our programming the opportunity to have their place on our network via a festival-limited On-Demand platform.

We attended the film markets in Cannes and AFM, with the look to build closer relationships with sales agencies and distributors. Our aim in 2016 was to bridge opportunities between the content we screen and the global market.

We want films that we screen to have the chance of global distribution in 2017 and beyond.

Creating a Pathway to Success

In 2016 we screened over five hundred films, promoting ten films from our online competitions into our live screenings, and taking one film all the way from the First Time Filmmakers Showcase, via London Lift-Off and ending with a best short documentary nomination with our Season Awards at Pinewood Studios.

The evolution of our model continues to grow with the creation of a distribution initiative and original content production arm.

Lift-Off Season Awards 2016

The Lift-Off Season came to its penultimate-conclusion after the final 2016 Lift-Off Showcase, London Lift-Off, back in December – finally concluding in our heavily anticipated Season Awards held from our truly remarkable home at Pinewood Studios in January.

The season awards are held at the end of every Lift-Off Season. It is the main awards ceremony where we congratulate, nominate and award the best the programmes in each Lift-Off of that year had to offer. Always fun, always busy, the Lift-Off Season Awards, although in it’s infancy, has already started to become a heavily anticipated event.

Our Hosts

Our '2016 Season Award' Hosts

Our hosts this year Brian Jordan Alvarez and Stephanie Koenig were surprised to pick up the honour of Best Web Series and then proceeded with the assistance from our Co-Founders Ben Pohlman and James Bradley to read out the nominees and award the winners with the coveted Lift-Off Trophy.

The Lift-Off 2016 Best Web Series Award - The Gay and Wonderous Life of Caleb Gallo.

Brian Jordan Alvarez's first film, 'You Are What I Want' - was one of the very first films we screened at the very first London Lift-Off back in 2011 - it offered a genuine look into a culture rarely exposed yet multi-lived in cities across the world.

Brian and Stephanie's work has gone from strength to strength. You can check out Brian and Stephanie's work via Brian's youtube channel here.

2016 Nominees and Winners

Best Feature Live Action Narrative Nominees
Last Summer (Brazil) by Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli
Backroad (Japan) by Hiroya Taka
Autumn Fall (Norway) by Jan Vardøen
My Feral Heart (UK) by Jane Gull

Winner: My Feral Heart

Best Feature Documentary Nominees
The Fighter (South Africa) by Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza.
Ken Foster (Canada) by Josh Lanner
7 Days in Syria (USA) by Robert Rippberger
White Cliffs (Australia) by Georgina Savage

Winner: White Cliffs

Best Web Series
The Gay and Wonderous Life of Caleb Gallo

Best Director Nominees
Jane Gull for My Feral Heart
Hiroya Taka for Backroad
Jan Vardøen for Autumn Fall
Georgina Savage for White Cliffs
Ian Allardyce For Wonderful Flight

Winner: Jane Gull

Best Short Live Action Narrative Nominees
People of the Delta
Happy Dinsdag
The Last Laugh
The Wonderful Flight
Among Sweet Flowers

Winner: Among Sweet Flowers

Best Short Documentary Nominees
Finding Beauty in the Rubble
Bikini Words
The River Man
The Happy Warriors
I Take Photos

Winner: Bikini Words

Best Actor Nominees
Kika Markham for Break
Yuna Shigeishi for Backroad
Steven Brandon for My Feral Heart
Roos Netjes for Happy Dinsdag
Loa Falkman for Lost in Stångby

Winner: Steven Brandon

Best Music Score Nominees
Finding Beauty in the Rubble
Ken Foster
Lost in Stångby
The Trade

Winner: Lost in Stångby

Best Art Direction Nominees
Blue Desert
Shoot in Any Direction and You'll Hit a Bastard
Lost in Stångby
The Parcel
Holes in their Soles

Winner: Blue Desert

Best Post Production Nominees
Lost in Stångby
People of the Delta
The Parcel
The Trade
Holes in their Soles

Winner: The Parcel

Best Cinematography Nominees
People of the Delta
The Parcel
Lost in Stångby
White Cliffs
Holes in their Soles

Winner: People of the Delta

Best Acting Ensemble Nominees
Cast of Backroad
Cast of People of the Delta
Cast of Happy Dinsdag
Cast of The Last Laugh
Cast of The Wonderful Flight

Winner: The Last Laugh

Best Screenplay Award Nominees
Michael Flanks for 'Long Haul to Jordan'
Claire Frances Conway for 'Item Number 3'
Anthony J. Patrick for 'Idol'
CK Larkmouth for 'Taking Everything'
Vanessa Rodriguez 'Happiness Off-Shore'

Winner: CK Larkmouth – Taking Everything.


– 2015 –

Nominations for Seasonal Overall Winner Live Action Narrative
1) The Way of Tea – Marc Fouchard
2) A Complicated Way to Live – Ged Hunter
3) CONTRAPELO – Gareth Dunnet Alcocer
4) AERIS – Tijmen Veldhuize
5) Sty – Árpád Hermán

** Winner The Way of Tea.

Nominations for Seasonal Overall Winner Documentary
1) Francis B. Griffin – Paul Griffin
2) Mr X – Alex Nicholson
3) Tickle the Ivories – Glenn Hanstock
4) Alex-Incomplete Faith – Nikolas Migut
5) A Way of Life – Tian Ji & Adrian Lo

** Winner Alex-Incomplete Faith.

Nominations for Seasonal Overall Winner Music Video
1) Ramona Flowers, Tokyo – Bouha Kazmi
2) Fåån (Valsaland) – Goblin Mikkanen
3) Gabrielle – MORE – Kristoffer Klunk

** Winner Gabrielle – MORE.

Nominations for Seasonal Overall Winner Animation
1) Nine – Wanichaya Phraejunya, Chawalit Kaewmanee
2) The Apple Tree – Scott Storm
3) Let’s be practical – Madison Lovely

** Winner Nine.

Nominations for Lift-Off Season Best Post Production
1) Francis B. Griffin – Paul Griffin
2) The Way of Tea – Coban Beutelstetter
3) Acoustic Kitty – Jennifer Sheridan
4) Sty – Judit Czakó

** Winner Coban Beutelstetter – The Way of Tea.

Lift-Off Season Awards 2015

John Barry Theatre, Pinewood Studios.

Awarding the teams and personalities behind some of the best indie work Lift-Off has showcased in 2015. Voted for by our 2015 Selection Committee, head programmers, and shortlisted by our global audiences.

The Lift-Off Cities provided our long lists, our programming teams shortlisted the nominations, and our selection committee picked the winners. A packed out evening at Pinewood Studios saw hundreds of indie film supporters come out for what was truly a magical night to remember!

Nominations for Lift-Off Season Best Cinematography
1) The Way of Tea – Thomas Collard
2) Ramona Flowers, Tokyo – Ben Fordesman
3) Be Now – Ewan Mulligan
4) CONTRAPELO – Carolina Costa

** Winner Thomas Collard – The Way of Tea.

Nominations for Lift-Off Season Best Art Direction
1) Him Upstairs – Martin McLeod, Gemma Wasley and Dawn Hamer
2) A Complicated Way to Live – Kol Taylor and Jamie Bridson
3) När Tårarna Fallit (When Tears Have Fallen) – Henrik Henziger
4) Sty – Vera Várszegi

** Winner Him Upstairs.

Nominations for Lift-Off Season Best Acting Ensemble
1) Him Upstairs – Gwen Taylor, Ricky Tomlinson, Michelle Butterly, Kieron Richardson
2) The Stomach – Simon Meacock, Ben Bishop, Peter Marinker, Kiki Kendrick, Neil Newbon, Jennie Lathan
3) Cowboy Ben – Sarah Archer, Lindsey Campbell, Paul Dellow, Paul Potter, Shaun Dooley, Billy, James Machin, Carlos Pires, Brian Leaford, Frederick Schmidt, Ramon Tikaram
4) Acoustic Kitty – Ben Willbond, Katherine Ryan, Cristian Solimeno, Andrew Bicknell, David Calvitto, Jeff Fahey
5) Murmur – Lucy Russell, Olivia Morgan, Andrew Squires

** Winner Acoustic Kitty.

Nominations for Lift-Off Season Best Actor
1) Thea Beyleveld – I Want to be Happy Cha Cha Cha
2) Hasam Ghancy – The Way of Tea
3) Magdalena McNab – När Tårarna Fallit (When Tears Have Fallen)
4) Shane Teasdale – A Six and Two Threes
5) Shaun Dooley – Cowboy Ben

** Winner Hasam Ghancy – The Way of Tea.