Festival Hall of Fame 2016

Now that the dust has settled on IOMFF16 we can start showing off our winners of this year’s competitive events!

Congratulations to all the filmmakers who entered and got shortlisted for our national and international short film competitions – such a high standard of filmmaking that we were proud to screen!

The film that came out on top by winning this year’s Best of the Fest as chosen by Mark Kermode was BORIS IN THE FOREST. Its director Robert Hackett (pictured below) attended the festival and was presented the award by Mark at the gala ceremony on 11th September. A black comedy about a Californian nerd in search of his horror hero Boris Karloff, it was written by Mike Goldfarb, produced by Ioanna Karavela and stars Mac McDonald and George Georgiou. A worthy winner!


This year’s Best Fiction award was won by TWINSBURG, a super American film about identical brothers reconnecting at the world’s largest gathering of twins. Written, directed and starring Joe Garrity, he sent the following message that was read out at the gala awards: “Thanks to twins and singletons of Isle of Man for honouring our film with this award. On behalf of our cast and crew from California to Ohio, I’d like to thank the festival, it’s programmers, and especially the audience, who I wish to meet someday. You encourage us to strive further!”

The Best Comedy award was presented to JUST DESSERTS, an entertaining ensemble piece about a practical joke between friends out at dinner. Directed by Michael Yanny (who was in attendance to receive the award on behalf of the film, pictured below) and produced by Adam Boroukh, the film was a firm favourite of the festival – well done guys!


The Best Animation award went to PERCHED which is a short hand drawn animation by Liam Harris, produced at the National Film and Television School (UK) about a crotchety old man and his life of seclusion inside his submarine balanced precariously atop a mountain. Liam attended the festival and was presented with the award at the gala event (pictured below). We love his work and hope to get him back to the Isle of Man for a future filmmaking workshop – congrats Liam and team!


Best Documentary of IOMFF16 was awarded to HUMANS OF VARANASI, a beautiful piece of filmmaking directed by Hartley Woolf that tracks a photographer living in the area and undertaking a project on its families. Hartley was not able to attend the festival but sent the following message of thanks: “Top thanks to IOMFF for the award and for screening my film. I’m glad the film’s audience enjoyed the story. I hope people will check out Kunsang (the photographer’s) work, and feel inspired to do what they can to help or at the very least develop their own awareness of people living in poverty around the world.”

Our final award of the international competition is the Audience Vote which is chosen by the public at our shortlist screening on the morning of Sunday 11th September. All films were popular but coming out on top was comedy MINISTRY OF GUILT written and produced by Matthew Bartlett who attended the festival and collected the award from Mark Kermode (pictured together, below). The darkly humourous short was directed by Detsky Graffam and was an excellent choice for the Audience award!


The Isle of Man Arts Council’s Best Manx Independent Film went to GURFA, a film by Leeds University students which was written by Manx filmmaker Kyle Withington (who was presented with the award at the gala ceremony, pictured below with Richard Fryer and Mike Martin), directed by Nastassia Winge and produced by Rebecca Daniel. It stars Megan Hills, Gwyn Davies and Mike Martin. Congrats to all involved!


Another competitive event at IOMFF16 was Pitch Fest where hopeful filmmakers got 5 minutes to pitch their idea for a short film to a panel of professionals to win up to £7,500 towards the making of their short film on the Isle of Man. This year the panel consisted of festival director Dave Armstrong, writer and producer Alistair Audsley of Evolutionary Films, Gemma Starkey and Simon McCallum of the BFI, and Mark Robson representing IOM Film.

All film ideas which were pitched were considered of a high enough standard to progress so the festival is now developing these projects with the filmmakers. The top three filmmakers which will be awarded funding – as long as all the conditions are met – are: EMMA SWINTON (UK), LYNDA REISS (IOM) and GEORGE TAYLOR (UK). Congratulations to all!