EarthxFilm, presented by EarthX, announced this year’s filmmaker award winners and grant recipients and gave away $20,000 in prize money at a lively Brunch reception on Sunday, April 28 at Craft and Growler (3601 Parry Avenue).
The award-winning films were led by Judith Helfand’s COOKED, SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE, which took home the EarthxFilm Best Feature Film Jury Prize and $5000, and Alex Jablonski’s WILDLAND, which received the Creative Storytelling Award and $1000. Environmentally-focused organizations that received grants included Patricia Finnerman and Jeff Orlowski at the The Climate Story Lab project, which received the Earth Catalyst Award and $4000, and Andrea Crosta at the Elephant Action League and Patima Tungpuchayakul at The Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation which both received the Impact Award and $2000 apiece.
It was announced that Ben Masters’ THE RIVER AND THE WALL (which is set for release on May 3) and Lesley Chilcott’s WATSON tied for the Audience Award for Best Feature Film, splitting the $2000 prize that comes with that awad, while Josie Swantek Heitz’s THE ROAD TO THE PHOTO ARK took the Audience Award (and $1000) for Best Short Film.
EarthxFilm’s Artistic Director, David Holbrooke, said, “Our festival grew in so many exciting ways this year and we are excited about its potential as we look towards 2020 and the 50th celebration of Earth Day. What was striking to me about the awards as a programmer was how both our shorts and feature juries rewarded films about environmental justice. It’s a relatively new subject for filmmakers and these can be particularly difficult stories to tell or to hear because they are so all around challenging so it’s gratifying to see that these stellar documentaries so resonated with the judges.
In addition to honoring Helfand’s COOKED, SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE with the Best Feature Film Award, David Hambridge’s KIFARU received a Special Jury Mention. Fraser Jones’ UNIONTOWN was the Jury’s choice for Best Short Film (and the $3000 prize that came with it), with Palmer Morse’s DETROIT HIVES getting a Short Film Jury Special Mention (Impact Award) and Rory WT’s THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER receiving a Short Film Jury Special Mention (Storytelling Award).
EarthxFilm’s EarthxCatalyst Award, was given to a project that has enormous potential to impact a number of projects via Patricia Finnerman and Jeff Orlowski’s The Climate Story Lab project.
Inspired by Richard Ladkani’s SEA OF SHADOWS, EarthxFilm chose Andrea Crosta’s Elephant Action League as a co-recipient for Impact Award. The award will support the organization’s work protecting wildlife, oceans, and forests by collecting intelligence, investigating and exposing wildlife crimoinals worldwide. The second organization chosen to share the Impact Award was inspired by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron’s GHOST FLEET. Patima Tungpuchayakul and The Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation works to protect and improve the lives of migrant workers in Thailand’s seafood processing industry.
2019 EarthxFilm Award Winners
COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE – Best Feature Award
Director: Judith Helfand
KIFARU – Feature Jury Special Mention
Director: David Hambridge
UNIONTOWN – Best Short Film
Director: Fraser Jones
DETROIT HIVES – Short Film Jury Special Mention (Impact Award)
Director: Palmer Morse
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER – Short Film Jury Special Mention (Storytelling)
Director: Rory WT
WILDLAND – Creative Storytelling Award
Director: Alex Jablonski
THE CLIMATE STORY LAB PROJECT via Patricia Finnerman and Jeff Orlowski – Earth Catalyst Award
SEA OF SHADOWS – Impact Award
Elephant Action League (Andrea Crosta)
GHOST FLEET – Impact Award
The Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (Patima Tungpuchayakul)
THE RIVER AND THE WALL – Best Feature Film (TIE)
Director: Ben Masters
WATSON – Feature Film – Best Feature Film (TIE)
Director: Lesley Chilcott
THE ROAD TO THE PHOTO ARK – Best Short Film
Director: Josie Swantek Heitz
EarthxFilm showcases films and emerging media that explore conservation, climate change, and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. Our mission is to turn awareness into action, through art and media. We achieve our goals by partnering with top environmental, film and entertainment organizations across the globe. EarthxFilm presents year-round programs culminating in a 10-day festival, April 17 – 26, 2020. www.EarthXfilm.org
ABOUT EarthX (formerly Earth Day Texas)
EarthX, a Texas-based 501c3 nonprofit organization, strives to be the leading global connector to positively impact our world for a sustainable future. EarthX hosts the largest environmental expo, conference and film festival in the world in Dallas. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, EarthX promotes environmental awareness by curating an atmosphere for conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. Attendees can also enjoy outdoor experiences, live music, environmentally-themed films and art exhibits, food pavilions, family activities and more. In 2018, the event drew 137,000 attendees, 800 exhibitors and more than 250 speakers.. For more information, visit www.EarthX.org