Los Angeles Lift-Off Winners 2017

Here are the winners...

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Los Angeles Lift-Off. It was great to see so many filmmakers and film enthusiasts filling the Chaplin and Pickford Theatres at Raleigh Studios, in support of both local and international indie film.

The judge's votes have been counted and added to the audience's feedback.

Huge congratulations to the filmmakers who screened with us, who all did themselves proud. A special well done to the following films.

Best Short - The Accomplice (next screening with Lift-Off in Amsterdam)

John F. Beach, Jon Hoeg
Synopsis: Arriving home from a long business trip, Jerry discovers a number of urgent messages on his answering machine from his impulsive and inept friend, Randy. Much to his surprise, Jerry is now an unwilling participant in one of Randy's boneheaded schemes.


Best Short Doc - Between the Sand (next screening with Lift-Off in Amsterdam)

Dirs. John Picklap
Synopsis: Artist Jean-Paul Bourdier travels into covert desert locations to infuse the nude body, bold color, and stark landscapes producing a surreal visual effect. In doing so, Bourdier transcends traditional narrative to discover something more real and true about the nature of who we are.


Best Feature - Love and Saucers (next screening with Lift-Off in Amsterdam)

Dir. Brad Abrahams
Synopsis:The strange story of David Huggins, a 72 year-old Hoboken man who claims to have had a lifetime of encounters with otherworldly beings - including an interspecies romance with an extra-terrestrial woman (with whom he lost his virginity to), and chronicled it all in surreal impressionist paintings, few of which have ever been seen.


Special Mentions

Listen (next screening with Lift-Off in Paris)

Dir. Niko Mikadze
Synopsis: A young boy who became deaf persists in embracing his passion for music. Along with his encouraging mother, he faces the day that might change their lives.

Right Between Your Ears (next screening with Lift-Off in Sydney)

Dir. Sheila Marshall
Synopsis:Many people have a strong sense that their views are right and couldn’t possibly be wrong. So how do we come to hold an unshakable conviction and why is it hard to consider that we could be mistaken? Through the eyes of a group of people convinced that they knew the date of the end of the world, ‘Right between your Ears’ explores how people believe, how we turn beliefs into certainties, and mistake them for the truth. A stock trader with a young family, a philosophy student about to graduate and a retail manager who became so convinced she quit her job of 18 years. As they face the consequences of their conviction, neuroscience and social psychology offer insight into how we can become convinced we're right, even when we’re wrong.

The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself (next screening with Lift-Off in London)

Dir. Anthony Short
Synopsis: A look at the man's 25+ year career as an extreme performer and his reflection of his life. A documentary about the musician, not the music itself: not a typical "music" documentary but rather a "musician" documentary. It explores how he balances life, love and money with his artistic passions and the undeniable effect his fans express to him about the life altering meaning it has had on them. I spent 2 years following him around the U.S., listening to his inner thoughts and questions about life like a fly on the wall. The film does not attempt to judge nor elevate him. This reflects the conversations he has with himself in his head - a first-person account. In his own words he guides us through his world by stream of consciousness which reveals an unexpected but extremely uplifting message about passion of art and love of life. If you were to have your life flash before your eyes right before you die...this film is what Steve Austin might see about himself."

Contractor 014352 (next screening with Lift-Off in London)

Dir. Simon Ryninks
Synopsis:Real and imaginary worlds collide when a lonely data entry clerk reaches through his computer screen, in search of a genuine connection.

Online Winners

All or Nothing (next screening with Lift-Off in Amsterdam)

Dir. Alexander Lauritzen
Synopsis: A personal and inspiring story about a woman's life long fight against the regime of Cuba. Being a young woman when the Communist Revolution happened in 1959, Berta has spent her entire life fighting for her belief, rights and principles.
Berta and her adult son, Sami, has been thrown in and out of jail the last 40 years, as they have refused to follow the degrading and inhuman laws and rules of the Communist Revolution.
Where no justice live and where your friends and family eventually will turn against you for their own survival, the distinction between paranoia and reality is often blurred. Berta and Sami have been separated from the society, and are now forced to live in an abandoned and destroyed building without electricity or water.
Powerless to a regime where it is impossible to rebel, the bond between mother and son is the only thing keeping them alive. It's all or nothing..

Him & Her (next screening with Lift-Off in Paris)

Dir. Mohamed Mohamed
Synopsis: Do you ever get that feeling of knowing someone from somewhere when you first meet them? Him & Her focuses on that inexplicable Deja-Vu feeling of meeting someone for the first time.

Season Awards Nominations

Best Screenplay Nomination - The Accomplice

Best Cinematography - Rosie, Oh

Best Actor Nomination - Maddie Dixon- Poirier for Rosie, Oh

Best Feature Documentary Nomination - Love & Saucers

Best Feature Doc Nomination - The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself

Best Post Production Nomination - The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself

Best Director Nomination - Anthony Short for The Man who Loves to Hurt Himself

Best Screenplay Nomination - Contractor 014352

Best Live Action Narrative - Contractor 014352