VTFF2019 Award Winners

VTFF2018 Award Winners

VTFF2019 is over—long live VTFF2019!! After much consideration and deliberation, we’re thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s fest!

We had a fantastic slate of forty-one short films in competition from around the world—including our Made in Michigan program highlighting homegrown talent. We’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to share all of these films with our audience and are excited to see our alumni’s future projects. Many thanks to our programmers and jury for their curation and dedication to promoting unconventional stories. Prizes have been generously provided by Final Draft, Wacom, ProAm USA, Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, ToonBoom, FXHome and Red Giant!!

And now for the WINNERS…

In Full Bloom Winner Fiction

Winner Best Fiction: In Full Bloom

(10:40, USA) Directed by Maegan Houang (website)
In Full Bloom tells the story of Cecile, an older Vietnamese hoarder, whose life is upended when worms open a black hole in her house and threaten to take all her stuff.

Egg Winner Animation

Winner Best Animation: Egg

(12:07, FR) Directed by Martina Scarpelli
A woman is locked in her home with an egg, which she is both attracted to and scared of. She eats the egg, she repents. She kills it. She lets the egg die of hunger. Egg is a poetic short film based on a small yet significant moment of director’s own life. It portraits a moment of shame, defeat and yet of victory.

Into My Life Winner Documentary

Winner Best Documentary: Into My Life

(15:11, USA) Directed by Sarah Keeling, Grace Remington, Ivana Hucikova (website)
Growing up in the largest affordable housing cooperative in Brooklyn, Cassandra’s world was artfully framed by her mother’s Super-8 camera. Today, still living in the same place, Cassandra examines and edits these remarkable films, gaining insight into the challenges her mother faced as a creative black woman and the importance of her vision.

The Rougaroux Winner Made in Michigan

Winner Best Made in Michigan: The Rougaroux

(2:10) Directed by Ana Vincent (website)
Take a midnight drive down a haunted highway to discover a southern werewolf: a rougaroux. Weaving Detroit, New Orleans, and dreamscape imagery, The Rougaroux constructs a fantastically twisted world where reality is in flux and fused with southern myth.


Filmmakers who best embodied the spirit of Vidlings & Tapeheads at the 2019 festival.

VTFF2019 Winner Spirit of V&T

Spirit of V&T: Don Hessell & Alan LaFave (website)

Friends of the fest and two of the folks behind the long-running and wonderful Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival (a big inspiration for VTFF), Don & Alan submitted their film to this year’s fest under pseudonyms—not wanting to get any special treatment by the programming team. On top of that, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival was the inspiration behind the creation of their film “Eugene,” which earned its way into the fest by its unconventional storytelling merit. Don & Alan brought Bay City down with them and we’re honored to have played a part in encouraging their work and can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo does next!!

VTFF2019 Winner Student Spirit of V&T

Student Spirit of V&T: Jung-Ah Kim (facebook)

Jung-Ah came by train from Chicago and shared her thought-provoking and genre-defying film “#BeautySickness.” The film was a part of the animation block, but it could’ve worked in Fiction or even Documentary. Jung-Ah will be joining the VTFF programming team next year, and has started a screening series of her own back in Chicago. We’re proud to have been the impetus behind Jung-Ah’s first visit to Detroit and Hamtramck, which she connected with deeply, whether exploring on her own or with her fellow festival attendees. As she continues to make her own work and share the work of others, we hope to stay connected with this quirky and passionate filmmaker for a long time!


Reneepoptosis Honorable Mention Animation

Honorable Mention Animation: Reneepoptosis

(09:55, USA) Directed by Renee Zhan (website)
Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sadnesses, and mysteries of being Renee.

LARP: A Love Story Astro Zombies Honorable Mention Documentary

Honorable Mention Documentary: LARP: A Love Story

(10:30, USA) Directed by Summre Garber (facebook)
An epically romantic and tragic courtship between two characters in a Live Action Role Play and its impact on their creators, in real life.

Astro Zombies Honorable Mention Made in Michigan

Honorable Mention Made in Michigan: Astro Zombies

(10:00) Directed by Jake O’Brien (website)
Two struggling filmmakers steal a song from their favorite punk band to use in their debut feature “Astro Zombies.” Things go beautifully awry.

Our 2019 Jury

Arman Cole | Made in Michigan Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum

Arman Cole is a director, writer and producer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His University of Southern California MFA thesis film Small Arms, shot in various locations across Southern Michigan, premiered at the Creative Artists Agency Moebius showcase and currently has over 2 million views on Youtube. Arman also served as a producer on the Warner Bros.-financed proof-of-concept short film Rise directed by David Karlak, which is currently being developed into a full-length feature film. Arman is a strong supporter of Michigan film and is currently developing several projects he plans to produce and direct in his home state.

Taylor Stanton | Made in Michigan Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum (Best of Fest Winner)

Taylor Stanton is a director and cinematographer from metro-Detroit. His work has screened at numerous festivals, including the Austin Film Fest, Aspen ShortsFest, New Orleans Film Fest, DOC NYC, and the 2018 Vidlings & Tapeheads where his stop-motion short was honored with the “Best of Fest” award. A former tuba player at the University of Michigan, he now works in an eclectic mix of film genres — among them stop-motion animation. He was thrilled to serve on the jury for this year’s Made-in-Michigan Award.

Xizi “Cecilia” Hua | Documentary Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum (Honorable Mention Documentary Winner)

Xizi “Cecilia” Hua is an artist working in photography, film, video and new media. Born into 90s China, Xizi moved between cities of a fast-developing China before moving again to the U.S. at the age of fifteen. Living between countries, cultures and realities, Xizi encounters the world with a camera with the privilege being both an insider and outsider. With celluloid film and digital videos, in screen-based work and video projections, Xizi questions the existing methods of image production while experimenting alternative ways to expose and un-expose. She explores the flow and migration of people in revisiting one’s individual and collective memories as well as changes when encountering new social and political realities. Her works showcased at festivals such as 2018 Slamdance Film Festival, 2018 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, 2017 Central American International Film Festival and 2017 NY Indie Doc Fest. Her other video works were featured on NBC Asian America, Flaunt Magazine, and the Broad Museum #infiniteLA site. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Breven Angaelica Warren | Documentary Juror

With a passion for supporting artists, Breven’s unique experience combines ages of work in independent film, and nonprofits, with more than a decade of accomplished festival directing, programming and curating. Her own nonprofit, Angaelica, is founded in arts and ecology, hosting film mentorship programs, a community building festival, and urban farming initiatives. Breven is currently developing the artist support programs and creative educational initiatives for content creators at Breaker, a blockchain entertainment studio. She recently received a Masters in Art Education, focusing on nontraditional filmmaker education programs and continues to pursue higher education to challenge her understanding and practice of how to best support artists. She believes in making a sustainable and positive impact on all that she does and continues to pursue projects and work that made a difference. Her festival resume includes Sundance, Film Independent, Outfest, AFI Fest and Slamdance.

Chantal Feitosa | Animation Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum

Chantal Feitosa is Brazilian-American multidisciplinary artist from Queens, NY. Her filmmaking practice combines video documentary and experimental collage techniques to dissect issues of racial identity and beauty standards. Her work has screened at film festivals across the country including Vidlings & Tapeheads, Scout Film Festival, Harlem International Film Festival, the Every Woman Biennial, and the 2019 Contemporary and Digital Art Fair (CADAF). She has been awarded residencies at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass Village, CO) and Residency Unlimited (Brooklyn, NY). Chantal is currently an artist in residence at Smack Mellon’s Studio Program (Brooklyn, NY) and is a recipient of the 2019-2020 New York Community Trust, Van Lier Fellowship.

Catya Plate | Animation Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum (Spirit of V&T Winner)

Catya Plate, born in Barcelona, Spain, and raised in Germany, is a Brooklyn based award winning filmmaker, writer and multidisciplinary artist. Catya is a Fulbright Alumna and has been exhibiting internationally since the mid-1980’s. Her work is in public and private collections worldwide, like the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art Library in New York City. Articles, interviews and reviews about her films and projects have appeared in Film Threat, UK Film Review, ReelRomp, Directed By Women, We are Moving Stories, The New York Times, The Independent, and others.

Her critically acclaimed multi-award winning stop motion animated films have screened worldwide. She’s been jurying animated and experimental films for festivals like the Brooklyn Film Festival and Vidlings & Tapeheads. She has worked as a mentor for the Visual Narrative program at School of Visual Arts in New York and given a stop motion workshop at renowned Animac in Spain.

She’s currently working on Las Nogas, the last in the animated ecological thriller shorts trilogy with an expected release in 2021 after which she plans to create the feature.

Skinner Myers | Fiction Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum (Best Fiction Winner)

Skinner is an award-winning filmmaker who resides in Los Angeles, California. Skinner’s made his feature film debut as the writer and director of the 2011 documentary, Drinking From The Well, which screened in film festivals domestically and internationally. Skinner wrote and directed four short films: Chimera, The Last Supper, Obscured, and Nigger, while studying film at USC School of Cinematic Arts. His sixth film, La Tierra Del Exodo, released in 2016, played in over 90 festivals worldwide and garnered a ton of awards and Best Screenplay, and Best Short Film. His film, Frank Embree, took home the Grand Jury Award at the 2017 Hollyshorts Film Festival and was in the Oscar competition for Best Short Live Action. His film, Nightmares by the Sea, premiered in 2018 at the Art Film Festival in Cannes. He is currently in post production on his 9th film entitled Things of Beauty Burn. Skinner is the co-creator along with his partner, Scott Lasser, of The Misconception of Mike Concepcion, a show about the life of Mike Concepcion, a former member of The Crips, turned music producer and anti-gang advocate. Warner Brothers Television is currently in negotiations to pick up the show with Mark Canton, Top Dawg and Kendrick Lamar producing.

Megan Seely | Fiction Juror | VTFF2018 Filmmaker Alum

Megan Seely is an award-winning filmmaker exploring life through dark comedy. Beyond writing, directing, and acting in My Loyal Audience, she co-wrote The Mad Whale, starring Camilla Belle, Summer Phoenix, Dominic Rains, and James Franco. As an actress, she can be seen in the upcoming musical feature Nanay Ko and with Helena Howard in Twist (2019 Tribeca Film Festival), on which she also served as co-producer. Megan received her M.F.A. from USC and is currently prepping her feature dark comedy.