CQFF23 - Wrap Release

Global Artists Met Innovators for Record Breaking Cinequest Film Fest

As the worldwide, preeminent discovery ground for both cinema and media innovation, Cinequest Film Festival 23 (CQFF23) unleashed record-breaking premieres and audiences, leading edge technological innovations, and a spectacular class of Maverick Spirit Award recipients. Over one hundred thousand participants enjoyed 86 World and U.S. Premieres from 48 countries in world class venues. The organization that led the revolutions of digital film making, internet distribution, and digital exhibition proudly became an all-digital experience sporting Sony 4K and Barco projection systems and an all digital international lineup. Artist & Innovator forums integrated the amazing worlds of creativity and technologies focusing on the opportunities of 4K film making and film viewing as well as the role of social media in financing and marketing films.

Legends Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Phil Molyneux (President & COO, Sony Electronics), Chris Cookson (President, Sony Pictures Technologies) and Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children) received Maverick Spirit Awards— inspiring Cinequest artists and audiences with illuminating conversation and insight. Previous recipients include: J.J. Abrams, Kevin Spacey, William H. Macy, Deepak Chopra, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jackie Chan, Sir Ian McKellen, Edward James Olmos, Robert Wise, Alec Baldwin, and Sir Ben Kingsley.

CQFF23 opened with Sally Potter’s (Orlando) latest, Ginger & Rosa, starring Elle Fanning and Christina Hendricks and closed with Deepa Mehta (Fire, Earth, and Water) helmed Midnight’s Children. Additional film highlights included: Jessalyn Gilsig in Somewhere Slow; Mads Mikkelsen in The Hunt, Jamie Chung in Eden, and Tommie Lee Jones in Emperor.

Knight Foundation Audience Award Winners, and recipients of a $25,000 cash prize each, were: Wampler’s Ascent (Knight Foundation Audience Award, Documentary) and The Sapphires (Knight Foundation Audience Award, Dramatic Feature).

Jury Award Winners included: One Small Hitch (Best Comedy), Stable Life (Best Documentary), and Solace (Best Drama).

“This festival is the bar by which other festivals must try to live up to. I don’t know how it could possibly get any better, but I’m excited to see how it will. And after meeting the heads of the departments, and the two co-founders of the festival, I have no doubt that they have something planned and it will be amazing,” said John Burgess, Director of One Small Hitch, winner of the Best Comedy.

Cinequest Picture the Possibilities Season Three: April 1, 2013 – March 2, 2014
Cinequest Film Festival 24 Dates: March 4 – 16, 2014


Knight Foundation Audience Favorite Narrative
$25,000 Prize

The Sapphires
Director: Wayne Blair

Knight Foundation Audience Favorite Documentary
$25,000 Prize

Wampler’s Ascent
Director: Elizabeth Wampler

Jury - Best Narrative Feature: Drama
Director: Vandon Gibbs

Jury - Best Narrative Feature: Comedy
One Small Hitch
Director: John Burgess

Jury- Best Feature Documentary
Stable Life
Director: Sara MacPherson

New Visions Award
The Playback Singer
Director: Suju Vijayan

Global Vision Award
Loveless Zoritsa
Directors: Christina Hadjicharalambous and Radoslav Pavkovic

Kaiser Thrive Award
Wampler’s Ascent
Director: Elizabeth Wampler

Best Animated Short
Director: Isabel Peppard

Best Narrative Short
No Rest for the Wicked
Director: Ryan Schifrin

Best Documentary Short
Sky Burial
Director: Tad Fettig

Best Student Short
Director: Chantelle Burgoyne


Blindman's Land
Writer: Mark Heck

Second Place Award
Black Mustard
Writer: Michael Clevenger

Third Place Award
Hancock Park
Writer: Steven Wolfson

Remaining Seven Finalists:

Accidentes: Written By Thomas Heys

Snapper: Written By Claire Fowler

Dime Store Saint: Written By Nate Lane

Butterfly Children: Written By Melanie Schiele

Mrs. Seyerling: Written By Marie-Juliette Steinsvold

Through Maria's Eyes: Written By David Rich

Open Book: Written By Philip Chidel