Whitehead International Film Festival Awards

2017 Awards

Throughout the festival, in addition to the audience discussions following each film, your juries have given an added hour of discussion for each short film. While the shorts were not included in our award discussions, the Faith & Film jury wanted to express its particular appreciation of the short, D.E.U.S–certainly an appropriate appreciation, given our location in a school of theology.

In deliberating which film best meets the selection criteria, this jury’s second choice is a film that certainly worked at promoting the dignity of all. Several factors led to our lead character’s ability to overcome particularly adverse circumstances: the love of both parents, and especially the playfulness and attention from his father, instilled a strength of self worth that carried him into adulthood.  Finally, a speech therapist breaks through the silence imposed upon him by cerebral palsy, and he is able to communicate the fullness of his humanity.  We give our second award to the Polish film, Life Feels Good.

Our top choice gives us a film whose artistry in light and color offer vibrant cityscapes  as well as rich internal scenes. The creative transformations in this film are multiple: A father learns to own his own weakness, a son learns to own his strength; through both of these transformations a new family comes into being. But perhaps the greatest creative transformation occurs in us the audience, as we see with new eyes a community too often undervalued and despised. We see instead communal care for one another’s well being, sensitivity to the human situation and above all, human dignity. We give the Whitehead award for the common good to the Irish film set in the Cuban culture: Viva.

2017 Awards

  • Jury Award for  Whitehead Award for Outstanding AchievementVIVA (2015) Cuba,  Director Paddy Breathnach
  • Jury Award  Whitehead Award for Best Feature Film: VIVA (2015) Cuba,  Director Paddy Breathnach
  • Millennial Jury Award  Whitehead Award for Best Feature Film VIVA (2015) Cuba,  Director Paddy Breathnach
  • Audience Award VIVA (2015) Cuba,  Director Paddy Breathnach

2016 Awards

2015 Awards

2014 Awards

2013 Awards

  • Jury AwardYour Beauty is Worth Nothing (2012), Austria, Director Huseyin Tabak
  • Audience AwardDearest (2012), Japan. Director Yasuo Furuhata
  • Audience AwardAlmanya (2011), Germany. Director Yasemin Samdereli

2012 Awards

2011 Jury Award

2010 Jury Award

  • Departures (2008), Japan. Director Yojiro Takita

2009 Jury Award

2008 Jury Award

2007 Jury Award

  • Tsotsi (2005), UK/S. Africa. Director Gavin Hood

2006 Jury Award

2005 Jury Award

2004 Jury Awards

  • Best Feature Film: Gaz Bar Blues (2003), Canada. Director Louis Bélanger
  • Best Film Short: Aftershock (2003), France. Director Michael Bergmann