2018 Avalonia Festival certificate v4 (1)-page-001

Avalonia Festival Director: Mike Messier   

Still Photographer: Anne Patricia Murray 

Live Event Technical Director: Tim Labonte

Avalonia Logo Graphic Designer: Nadine Messier

Live Event Still Photographer:  Connor Morley

Feb 20, 2019 update: Michael Pizzano and his team have just released SAY NO TO DRIFT WALKING, their informative and dramatic Avalonia Award Winning PSA (Public Service Announcement)  for public viewing!

Avalonia Festival III Live Event took place December 7, 2018  from 6pm – 11pm at the historic Courthouse Center for the Arts,  on 3481 Kingstown Road, West Kingston, RI, USA 028922. Several filmmakers were in attendance to promote their ow work and enjoy the presentations of their fellow Avalonia Filmmakers; brief Q and As also entertained the crowd. The presentations of the films ran very well thanks to our own Technical Director Tim and the venues own ace in the hole stage manager “JP”, who did a wonderful job setting up the holiday atmosphere! 

In our Featured Event Category, we had several great entries. An Avalonia Auteur Award goes to Brad Grenon and his gritty masterpiece Hell’s Company

JAN 4 UPDATE! Be Nice to Me Music Video by Director Savannah Kaufman in conjunction with musical artists Charis Robert from the album Be Nice Or Leave with Video Produced by Reed College Film Kollectiv is our fun loving winner of Best Musical/ Music Video 180 Award (3 Minutes & under). 

Also an entry from the Featured Event category, our Avalonia Directors Award goes to the prolific brother Directing team of Ben Samuels and Oliver Samuels for their Civil War era drama ATTILA.  Oliver’s directorial debut, the dramatic silent short HUNTERS, won Best Emerging Narrative at the Bucks Fever Film Fest and has directed music videos for Philadelphia rock band Ceramic Animal. Ben is an avid long-distance touring bicyclist and hiker who believes the greatest way to understand our history and world is to travel by bike and foot. Ben and Oliver are dual citizens of USA/Canada and love films that make a difference, tell a meaningful story, and change the world.

Live Event update: ATTILA was also the Winner of the Lily Spencer Avalonia Audience Choice Award at our live event, as Lily , a filmmaker and Actress herself, asked if there would be an Audience Choice Award at Avalonia Festival III, so it was quickly implemented with Lily (in the photo below) herself counting the votes. ATTILA was the winner in a close race with many of the already Award Winning films enjoying high praise from the audience! 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

Here’s STREET DOG, our heartwarming Best Canine Short (11 minutes or under) by Ollie Woodruff & Maggie! 

Andrew Grossberg has won Best ThoughtCrime 1 Minute Movie (ThoughtCrime is a term introduced in George Orwell’s 1984) for his Paved With Blood. Andrew states, “A tour of Hollywood leaves the viewer perplexed as to why so many people live on the street in poverty and ignored. This film has been banned and threatened from many Los Angeles based venues and a few festivals due to the honesty of the content.”

NOTE: enter passsword: Hollywood 

to watch Paved with Blood. 

Andrew came away with a record-tying three Awards from Avalonia Festival Three and he showed his appreciation with some fantastic still images with him and his collaborators:

Andrew also put together a fun and fascinating filmmaker’s journey mini-movie that we really dig: 

and now, welcome to… 


We have several award winners already announced with a few more to come.

Let’s start with our Best Documentary 180 (3 Minutes & under) for They Said… by Filmmakers: Marie Lambiase, Rauliz Paez, Rebecca Unubun, Rebecca Vu, Sophia Quigley, Tiffany Cespedes, Yeison DeLeon of Group: Take One, who ask us to “Check out Raw Art Works, home of the Real to Reel Filmschool, where we believe that all kids should be seen and heard.” rawartworks.org

 Actress/Producer  Simona Stojchevska and her Director/Writer/Producer collaborator Boris Takovski take home the Award for Best 1 Actress 1 Minute Movie for their fascinating piece DUALITY. 

From rising stars to legends: We also have an Award for Best One Actor One Minute movie for FORD 100. The Award goes to the esteemed stage and film star Aidan Quinn, Writer Simon O’ Neill (who brought the piece to our attention) , Director Stevie Russell,  and Cinematographer JJ Rolfe and, of course, the rest of the team behind this very cinematic moment. “Aidan Quinn stars in one of my favorite films ‘Blink’ and it’s quite an honor to have his considerable talents represented as part of Avalonia Festival III”, says Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier.

Best Sci-Fi One Minute Movie goes to It’s Her by Travis Newsad and associates for this very interesting film that recalls the Sharon Stone classic Sliver. 

Mansour Mirshekari presented us with Indian Lotos which has won a special Avalonia Humanitarian Award for the sadness of a young boy who must cut off his treasured hair in order to qualify for a low paying factory job with no insurance. “It is films like Indian Lotos which remind us to be grateful for what we have… and never surrender fighting for more!”, says Avalonia Director Mike Messier. Stills from this heartbreaking moment are provided here. 

May El Hossamy from Barcelona is our Avalonia Feline 1 Minute Movie Award Winner for for Momentum. May’s artistic film qualifies with its cats cameo. May says of her film, “Life in cities is hard. A woman in Cairo struggles to find her inner rhythm. Only when she gives credit to her Self, a Momentum is created, is time for smiling.”

Bittersweet by Kai Soremekun is the Winner of our Best Dramatic 180 Award, which is about the empathy of two friends fighting the cancer of one. Kai reflects, “My friend and neighbor was fighting a very rare type of cancer. One of the worst things in life is watching the ones we care about suffer.I have always been fascinated by human potential, So I asked myself… What if we could take on the pain of our loved ones, even if it was just for a moment, so they could have some relief? I would do it in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t you?”

Mio Gatto Dante by Will Berry is our poetic Feline 180 Award Winner , represented by the poster below: 

Will premiered his film for the first time right here at Avalonia Festival III! 

We are proud to present the second Avalonia Joe Jafo Hard Rockin’ Music Award to Jacob Resch, Jerry McIlvoy, and Chris Cooper for their fun lovin’ musical epic Cali Girl. 

The Award is named after a great friend of Festival Director Mike Messier, Joe Jafo, an Actor and musician who passed away too soon. This is Joe’s own video Suburban Diary. 

A special Avalonia Fine Arts Award goes to Nazar Germanov of Prague for his excellent work Subconscious.

 Genesis by Abit Mozafari & Peyrang Studio is our Avalonia Epic Award Winner. Abtin states his masterpiece in the making is “A fantasy short film with a critical point of view about the horrible situation in Syria. This is the first episode of my episodic film and I’m going to make the next three episodes. in this film, you will see a container and the story of the container will be told in the second episode.”  We are proud to present the trailer here:

World Wide Crisis Documentary Award Winner Dump the Junk by Writer/Producer Geetanjali Kapoor and Director/Writer/Narrator Afreen Kapoor  is an important chronicle about the dangers associated with poor diet choices. Please watch this film; it could save your life! 

A very fun and high quality submission came to us from India from Music Director Abhishek Basu on behalf of Writer/Director Partha Ganguly.  FAAGUN (THE DENSITY OF COLOURS) is the Winner of our first ever Maharaja Party Award. 

Samuel Carvalhé contributes the Avalonia Poem Award for HER. 

Jackie Jorgenson is our winner for Best Actress 180 Monologue (3 Minutes and Under) for her wonderful interpretation of a Beatrice Monologue From Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. We had several outstanding entries in our One Actor or Actress Monologue or Movie Categories. We created these categories to empower Actors to take control of their own lives and careers!

Directed by Roselle Doyle and Written by Glenn Doyle, the winner of our Avalonia Best One Actor Movie Short is the epic performance in G.R.8 Film’s SACROSANCT.  Here is the 1 minute teaser to the 9 minute short.


CREDIBLE the documentary wins an Avalonia Coming Attraction Award  for its story on subject matter Peter Joseph “PJ” Polaco aka Justin Credible , a Professional Wrestler who is in the struggle of his life fighting hard against addictions. Justin, and a documentary crew out of CT assembled by producer David Gere, have been chronicling his story for nearly a year as a gut check to himself and a fair warning to others about the horrific nature of bad choices and addictive behaviors… and (hopefully) that it’s never too late to turn things around!

Best Fantasy Short goes to Victoria McCarthy‘s ROCK CANDY , which climaxes in an emotional twist which reminds Festival Director Mike Messier from a chilling sequence from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  

Ian Woodward’s beautiful trailer for TCHAIKOVSKY IN LOVE is one of our Coming Attraction Award Winners for this very unique work which promises a great future for the full piece. 

Ian Johnston‘s TEXAN SUNDAY MORNING is the appropriate winner of our first AVALONIA AMERICANA AWARD for its absurdist wit and sublime social commentary. 

“Seize the Day!” seems to be the lesson learned from our Best Dramatic Short (11 Minutes and Under) in a highly contested category in which we received MANY great films. It was hard to choose just one winner but we feel that Maybe Tomorrow by Florence to London filmmaker Lorenzo Fontani has a lesson or two for everyone.

Lisa Stock‘s Teaser for Prodigals’ Road is an intriguing, tense Coming Attraction Award Winner. 


Salla Hoo‘s music video Aalo – Truia (Official Video) is our Best Animalia Short Film Award Winner. The Animalia category celebrates animals (other than cats and dogs, that have their own categories.)  Song by Aalo, Mixed by Ville Leino, Mastered by Minerva Pappi/Waudio Mastering, Video by Salla Hoo, Colorist Diana Galimzyanova.

Best Canine One Minute Movie goes to a heartfelt piece by Andrew Grossberg, a New York City Millennial transplant working as a SAG-AFTRA actor in Los Angeles exploring the other side of the lens, with his film Canine Companion: A Tale of Two Sisters.

Andrew states, “Winning Best Canine at Avalonia is like winning the Oscars and the Nobel Peace Prize for me because I believe my purpose in life is filmmaking and dogs. To have my work recognized and awarded gives me the motivation to continue my work, volunteering and working with dogs, and to take my productions to the next level with longer content. This award really goes to the stars

in the film, Ashley (rescue dog, in pearls) and Fawn (black Lab, future guide dog with Guiding Eyes for the Blind), and to the dogs and people who make this magic possible.”

Bang Bang! by Jackie Droujko , produced at Sheridan College,  is our high flying, high octane winner for Best Animation 180. 

A new category we added this year was Web-Series Drama and the winner (in a tight race) is the outstanding epic La Supercafetera (Season 8). The episode that was submitted to us from Jacobo Saro is titled The end of the World… Again .

Note: for translated sub-titles push the CC button on the youtube link.

Conversely, Nothing But, Television Pilot/Episode 1 by the talented writer Katrina Lena and her ensemble of associates is our Best Web Series, Comedy Winner. 

Kelsey Borlan Lee submitted LAUGH AFTER DARK on behalf of her crew and the comedians of the uproarious, adult oriented stand up series that takes our prize for BEST TALK / INTERVIEW / VARIETY SERIES, another new category in which we had several great entries. The series is now available on Amazon Prime. Here is the series trailer;

Nick & Jim Zounis are our winners for the Best Vampire 180 film (3 minutes and under) for the The Not So Bright Vampire.  Here is the trailer for the film. 

Next is our epic Best Sci-Fi One Minute Movie by Chris May. This is Transference. 

Best Documentary 1 Minute Movie Award goes to FRAN MOLINA SKATE by the filmmaker Felipe Hurtado with Recmobil and Berrinche, production companies from Chile. “There is some strong cinematography and hard hitting action which creates a brief but powerful character study in this film”, says Mike Messier.

We had a hotly contested contest for Best Musical Short, with so many great musicians with outstanding performances it was tremendously difficult to just pick one winner. That being said, we are Awarding Katie Garibaldi – Unhappy Holiday and her team for their tremendous work. We think Katie will have a great career and we hope to be a part of her progress!

In another new category, we are awarding Best Mixed Martial Arts Short to MMA – Never Surrender trailer featuring Producer/Writer/Lead Actor Dennis Jusino  . This looks like a real Knockout! Follow the link here! 

For our Best Documentary Short (11 Minutes & Under), another category with several great entries, we are honoring DD214 from filmmaker Jared Drake, about the lives of former military personnel affected by battle.

We had many great entries into our Documentary Short category, and we are choosing to honor one of them with a special Avalonia Ambition Award for tackling on a story in great scope with hard work and miles traveled. We are proud to present the trailer to Rent A Friend by filmmaker Brittany Chancey. 

Best Dark Comedy 1 Minute Movie goes to the hilarious and scathing social commentary of Honky Tonk Dolls by Alex Davidson and Ruven Govender of New Zealand. 

We are also awarding CIVIL with an Avalonia Ambition Award, for this multi-layered story taking place during the United States Civil War. Congratulations to Andrew Huggins and his very talented cast and crew for epic storytelling.

In a related theme, our Best ThoughtCrime 180 Award goes to Avalonia Alumni Pam Falkenberg and her co-Director Jack Cochran for their powerful insights in Hastings.

NOTE: Please enter password: ” c0stofliving ” ( note the 0 not o in ‘cost’ ) to see this relevant film!

We have a special Avalonia Rookie Award for the Shakedown Productions team’s debut project, a web-series pilot titled Extra/Ordinary , about a team of regular young adults with super-hero powers and the inter-personal conflicts that come with living in the modern age.

Best Comedy Short goes to Robert McMahon and his wacky band of sidekicks in Surviving the Notch 3 , a wild mix of comedy, parody, horror and camping!

Lawrence O’ Leary Avalonia Animal Kindness special Award goes to I…. by Mahdi Kamranirad of Iran.  

For our Best ThoughtCrime Short, we are honoring Whiskey at Midnight, a dark character study – with a bit of love thrown in to wash it down – from the team of Hunter Gustafson and Jennifer Kendall and associates.

Best Performance Art 180 Award (for films three minutes and under in run time) goes to Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully and her After The Reign: Confusion starring Sharon Carelock.  “After the Reign: Confusion is a wonderful display of intensity and emotion”, remarks Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier.

In addition to finished films, Avalonia Festival also honors teasers and trailers with our Avalonia Coming Attraction Awards which recognizes short promotional videos which both entertain us and intrigue us to keep an eye on the upcoming work.

An Avalonia Coming Attraction Award goes to the fascinating Last Breach by Christos Filippou of Greece and associates.


Auteur Mike Goodreau and Final Curtain – The New Terror picks up an Avalonia Coming Attraction Award for the film’s teaser about a group of actors working on a murder mystery weekend that have no idea someone is taking their love of mysteries too seriously…

We’ll have more Avalonia Coming Attraction Awards deeper into our page!

Best 1 Minute Comedy , in another loaded category, goes to Twisted Sister starring  Abrielle Vande Zande,  and Directed by Jeff Vande Zande

Please enter the password ” sister ” to enjoy this great short!

The Rotting Tales of Marcus Spencer submitted by Clayton Ebert on behalf of Fox on a Hill Productions is our Best Dark Comedy Short, for this fun hybrid of zombie dealing with his particular issues through both stand up comedy and personal therapy.

Audrey Noone’s The Penis is our Winner for Best Comedy 180 (3 minutes & under) for her insightful parody of the working class world and gender discrimination.

Got time for a fright?  “A believer”  by Director Kenta Crisà is our chilling Horror 180 Award Winner.  Synopsis:At sunset, in a dark art gallery, one painting, two men. Or maybe just one.  A film based upon a short story by George Loring Frost (1923) .

This year, we had an unbelievable amount of extraordinary Animation presented to us. We are very honored and inspired by the submitting animated filmmakers, so much so, that we are going to have a special announcement soon… in the meantime, we want to send a special thanks to our submitting Animators , both those that were awarded and those that were not…. ALL of your films were outstanding works of true art! Please stay in touch with us!

With that said, Story of Aishan, by filmmaker Hong jia bao, is the winner of our Best Animated Short (11 Minutes & under). Hong says about her work “The is an animated documentary I made for my friend, who has suffered blindness since she was born. Light is the only thing she can perceive through her eyes. In this animated documentary, fragments of our conversations have been edited.All I want for this documentary is to let more people know about the hard life of my friend.”

Note: please copy and paste or retype the password ” aishanji ” to view this extraordinary film! It is well worth it!


We had so many great submissions in animation, we created a special award for Student Animation 180 (3 minutes or less in runtime). The award  goes to 空華 (illusion) by Sasha Lee, a Seoul based animator and illustrator, studying in Rhode Island School of Design since 2015.

Sasha was able to attend the Live Event on Dec 7 and is featured in the photos below:

Xinning Liu and her film The mind of an artist (aka Escape from the ghost) is our Best 1 Minute Animation Award, which expresses Don McCullin’s nightmare of the war and want to escape from the terrible memories. “This is truly a chilling – and humane – emotive short film”, says Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier.

Tory’s Perspective by Aaron Witt is our Winner for Best Canine 180 film in this touching and inspirational tale.


For our Best International Promotional Photo Award,  we award the United Kingdom’s Steven Murphy and his photographer Deefa DeVille for their project Relentless 

“The couple in this photo just feels relentless!”, says Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, watch out for this film!” 

Relentless trailer also wins an Avalonia Coming Attraction Award.

Filmmaker Nathan Suher, Photographer Ken Willinger, and Actress Jamie Lyn Bagley are the winners for Best Promotional Photo, United States Award for Higher Methods

“The Higher Methods image of Actress Ms. Jamie Lyn Bagley is really a well lit and alluring image that is a conduit for the emotional roller coaster ride this feature film gives its audience”, says Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier about this Award Winner.

Higher Methods also takes an Avalonia Coming Attraction Award.

Filmmaker Nathan Suher was in attendance at Avalonia Festival Three, answering questions about his own film and asking questions of his fellow filmmakers! 

Higher Methods also picks up an Award for Best Behind the Scenes/ Bonus Footage. (Yes, we have an Award for this! Remember DVD Director’s commentaries and Bonus Material from the 2000’s? WE DO!)

Best Performance Art Short goes to Damien Draven‘s The Nymph and we are happy to share the trailer to this amazing film here:

Best Romantic Short Film goes to Make Believe by Nathaniel Glein Scott and his talented team of associates, who have chosen to share some stills from the film here to represent this whimsical – and heart bending –  work.

Hanna-Mari Ojala and her film Echoes are our Best Performance Art 1 Minute Movie Award Winner and her second award this festival!

Annie Laurie Medonis’s  touching and wonderful masterstroke Feline Paralysis is our Best Feline Short Film Award Winner. 

To view, enter the password: Feline-P

Best Sci -Fi Movie Poster goes to The Astronot by Artist John Keane:

Best Horror Film Poster goes to filmmaker Angel Connell and his Raiders of the Hidden Donald Trump Fetish Doll:

Best Drama Film Poster goes to Writer Jose Padilha and the team of And I Will Love You All of Forever, and Ever After:

Duplicate by Rhode Island College’s Connor Morley is our Avalonia Student Award Winner for his examination of what it is – or isn’t – to be human. 

Another Coming Attraction Award goes to The Guiding Light , sent in to us by Director Tom Brumpton on behalf of Writer Adam Luff and their talented teamfrom the UK, which has a truly unique flavor to it!

Congratulations to Solitude filmmaker Hanna-Mari Ojala for her Award Winning 1 Minute Music Video!

Photographer Ricardo Soto is the Winner of our Best Behind the Scenes Photo for his series from the Miss Universe 2017 pageant. Ricardo states, “I had the opportunity to photograph the Miss Universe competition. Photos include Steve Harvey, Miss Universe contestants, Iris Mittenaere Miss Universe 2016, and Demi-Leigh Nel Peters Miss Universe 2017.”

On  a darker note, we had a great contest with several intense entries  for Best 1 Minute Horror Film but ultimately went with the “surprisingly scary Halloween fun and games” of Peeled Grapes by Daniel Hickey and associates.

Michael Davis presents Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk, our Best Dark Comedy 180 Award Winner for films 3 minutes and under. Date night, indeed!


SPEED submitted by Aniruddha Kirkire has been given a special Avalonia Humanitarian Award. The film is about the dangers of reckless driving, something which many of us do, and even many of us have suffered from.  The film reminds us to please be careful and pay attention to your driving! 

And She Rode Forth…. by Deb Ethier is the amazing winner of our Fantasy 180 Award. Stills from her short, currently on the festival circuit, are below.

Our Best Vampire Short is awarded to boy meets boy submitted by Producer Jonathan MacPherson on behalf of Director Simona Atias and Writer Mike Azevedo. 

To view the film, use the password: ” bmb1 “

Now for some intensity with our last few projects, viewer discretion advised. Our Best One Minute Drama and an additional Avalonia Intensity Award go to Patrick Bokin , a first time filmmaker from Ireland, with a truly distinctive voice. 

To lighten the mood (just a bit) our Music Video 180 Award goes to the wild Die, Trump Zombie, Die! by Paul L. Carr which aims to promote his film American Barbarian.  

Brian Nestor continues to frighten in new and amazing ways. Brian is a returning Avalonia Festival Horror Award Winner and this time he picks up Best Horror Short for Born. Horror films came on strong this year and we want to thank all the talented filmmakers for causing our judges to lose sleep!

Got anything left in the tank, film fan or independent filmmaker? If so, Avalonia Festival Director Mike Messier would like to share his own story with you – and the story of how Avalonia Festival came to be in the first place. Here is Disregard the Vampire – A Mike Messier Documentary, the true story that lead to the creation of Avalonia Festival.