LAUGHLIN–Its a wrap! The Laughlin International Film Festival wrapped up its seventh year of independent films with a grand awards ceremony at the Tropicana Laughlin on Oct. 6.

“This is one of the best film festival I have attended,” said Albert Fry, Jr. “I’m speechless about winning this award. It was not suspected. There are so many great films that have been shown.”

Fry took home the Best Lead Actor in a Short Film for A Bitter Reckoning during the awards ceremony.

LIFF co-creator Mara Karsen told the attendees Saturday that without all the great filmmakers and submissions “we wouldn’t have a film festival.”

The “theme” of this year’s Laughlin International Film Festival circulated around family, friendly films and atmosphere.

“There have been years when our film content was crime and drama, but this year we have had a great selection of films that were in the category of PG,” said Karsen. “Our inspiration is to see more young filmmakers submit their films in the coming years.”

Three local filmmakers took top awards Saturday night.

Mohave High School seniors Canyon DiMare and Quincy Barham won Best Youth Feature Film for MURRDER: Locke and Loaded; Brian Brown was awarded with not only the Harry “Bud” Holland award for his film Seasons, as well as, Best Local Film for his mind-twisting thriller Strawberry Fields; and Judy Belshe-Toernblom for Booneville Redemption.

LIFF’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Pat Boone, who portrayed a pivotal character in the western-themed film, Booneville Redemption. However, due to a family illness, Boone was unable to attend the awards ceremony. A filmed acceptance speech was played to the crowd as Boone thanked the film festival for the award.

A second special message from Diane Ladd was played. Ladd, who was also in the film Booneville Redemption, congratulated her co-star for his achievement award.

“This is much deserving for a great man who has been in the film and music industry all his life,” she said.

Karsen said Booneville Redemption was one of nearly 100 films that were screened over the four-day weekend event. The film festival included social networking, workshops, Oktoberfest, directors panel and a youth passport event.

Awards were presented to the following:

  • Best Music Video—ArtificialDirector Ben Yonker
  • Best Animation Video—The Untold Story of Romeo & Juliet—Director John Tso
  • Filmmaking For Humanity—Good Karma: An Immigrant Story—Directors Kevin Flint and Brian Flint
  • Best Experimental Work—Ever Present—Director Eva Louis
  • Special Recognition—Cat Dexx: Inkosi—Director Linda Palmar
  • Best Horror/Thriller Film—Urban Myths—Director Kim Marie
  • Best Youth Feature Film—MURRDER: Locke and Loaded—Directors Quincy Barham and Canyon DiMare
  • Best Lead Actress Short Film—Julia Parker, Passage
  • Best Lead Actor Short Film—Albert Fry Jr., A Bitter Reckoning
  • Best Supporting Actress Feature Film—Anna Danshina, Love Possibly
  • Best Supporting Actor Feature Film—Oliver Seitz, Frontera
  • Outstanding Production Value—Trickster—Director Jamie Paolinetti
  • Best Ensemble Cast—Ultra Low—Director Nicholas Gyeney
  • Best Spoof Film—The Good Samaritans—Director Yusuf Khan
  • Best Cinematic Achievement—Black Site—Director of Photography George Burt
  • Best Web Series—The Bench—Episodes Jump and The Deal
  • Best Storytelling—Truth—Director Eric Paul Erickson
  • Best US Short Comedy Film—Good Mourning—Director Jack McCafferty
  • Best University Film—Cowboy—Director Boise Esquerra
  • Special Recognition: Kathy Murphy—Volunteer Coordinator; Ruth Petty—Hospitality/Travel; Jennifer Gallagher—Tropicana Casino
  • Best Actress Feature Film—Rachel Alig, Truth
  • Best Actor Feature Film—Eric Paul Erickson, Truth
  • Best Sci-Fi Film—Black Site—Director Tom Paton
  • Best Sound Track—Otro Lado—Composer Alex Holland
  • Best Short Documentary—Urban Inferno: The Night Santa Rosa Burned—Director Stephen Seager
  • Harry “Bud” Holland Award—Seasons—Director Brian Lee Brown
  • Best Local Film—Strawberry Fields—Director Brian Lee Brown
  • Best Short Film Drama—Happiness in Retrospect—Director Eli Hart
  • Best Crime Film—Frontera—Director Jake Thomas Armbruste)
  • Best Western Film—Booneville Redemption—Director Don Schroder
  • Best International Short Film—Risk—Director Luke Bradford
  • Best International Documentary Feature Film—This. Is. Progress—Director Dale Beaumont-Brown
  • Best International Narrative Feature Film—Love Possibly—Director Michael Boccalini and Che Grant
  • Tropicana Best University Film—Exit—Director Matt Bilmes
  • LIFF “Big Dreams” Award In Memory Of Dave Davidson—Tracey Anarella
  • 2018 LIFF Pick—The Holy Fail—Director Owen Dara
  • LIFF 2018 Director Award—Oliver Cane—Director of Eyes and Prize
  • Best U.S. Short Film—Tin Can—Director Pat Battistini
  • Best U.S. Narrative Feature Film—Frontera—Director Jake Thomas Armbruster
  • LIFF 2018 Grand Jury Prize—Long Lost—Director Erik Bloomquist

Check out all the photos from the event HERE.

CAPTION: Awards are displayed on a table awaiting to be handed out during the 7th annual Laughlin Film Festival awards ceremony on Oct. 6 inside the Pavillon at Tropicana Casino. CONTRIBUTED/The Bee