VTFF2021 Award Winners

VTFF2021 Award Winners

VTFF2021 featured a slate of thirty-eight short films from around the world—thirty-one of which were Michigan Premieres! 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 storytelling. Filmmaker prizes this year have been prodigiously provided by Final Draft and FXHome.

And now—the WINNERS…

Winner Best Fiction: Nevermind! (14:07)

Ms. Schmidt-Kornsand and Mr. Berg like each other. Right?
Directed by Clara Jäschke, Daria Pantyukhova | @clarajaeschke | @itsdariapa

Winner Best Animation: Umbilical (07:00)

An animated documentary exploring how my mother’s abusive relationship shaped my own experiences in boarding school.
Directed by Danski Tang | danskitang.com | @ransdi

Winner Best Documentary: Miss You (10:26)

Miss You explores loss, memory and love through archival home movies and a decade’s worth of answering machine messages saved by the filmmaker’s mother. This film asks: What happens if we don’t let go of the past, and what does it mean to remember?
Directed by Ellie Lobovits | ellielobovits.com | @ellielobovits

Winner Best Made in Michigan: PROJECTIONS: A Covid-Inspired Tale in 11 Parts (10:59)

A collection of multi-media interactions with projected video addressing various aspects of the pandemic including isolation, substance abuse, self-esteem, dental hygiene, factory farming, evil and the military-industrial complex.
Directed by Michael Pfaendtner


Filmmakers & Works that best embodied the spirit of Vidlings & Tapeheads at the 2021 festival.

Spirit of V&T: Aaron With, director of Out of Tune (09:37)

In an advanced society that worships a musical chord, a maintenance worker who tunes sonic shrines is thwarted by teen vandals. Built from the sound up, Out of Tune is a synesthetic meditation on tradition and iconoclasm, technological advancement amidst societal decline, and the nature of work.
aaronwith.com | https://www.facebook.com/OutOfTuneFilm

Student Spirit of V&T: Selena Chea Miller, director of Queen of the Sea (03:11)

Saddened by the Mermaid Queen’s rejection, the reverse mermaid swims off and finds an old sea witch with a promise she can’t turn down.
Dedicated to my older sister, Melody Miller.
https://www.selenacheamiller.com | @selemiller_art


Honorable Mention Fiction: Playground (14:16)

A pandemic outbreak forces a teenage boy to clear out all the guests of his mother’s motel, but something seems to have stayed behind…
Directed by Lin Tu

Honorable Mention Animation: Helfer (09:45)

A young woman is struggling with anxiety and recurring nightmares. She seeks out a helper, who offers an alternative solution, but in the process she must confront her greatest fears.
Directed by Anna Szöllősi | https://www.facebook.com/helfershortfilm | @sz0ll0

Honorable Mention Documentary: Digging for Life (14:30)

Digging for Life is a documentary film about a Cameroonian man who finds himself trapped as a slave digging for diamonds in Angola.
Directed by Joao Queiroga | diggingforlifefilm.com | @diggingforlifefilm

Honorable Mention Made in Michigan: Jay (08:00)

As Jay plays a round of disc golf, he reveals candid stories of his military service and struggling with paranoid schizophrenia.
Directed by Ben Corona | @40ozfilms

Our 2021 Jury

Arianna Basco

Poet. Director. Actor.

Alana Carlson

Artist. Art Coordinator, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival 2017-2019

Summre Garber

Director. Senior Programmer, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival. VTFF2019 Alum. Programmer, Slamdance Film Festival

Don Hessell

Filmmaker. Senior Programmer, Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival.

Yili Li

Writer, Director.

Andy Menko

Media Coordinator, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival

Jerry White Jr.

Filmmaker. Founder & Director, Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival.