42 Seconds of Happiness Wins Best Feature Film at the Women Texas Film Festival

Women Texas Film Festival logoThe Women Texas Film Festival announced the award winners for the 1st edition of the film festival On Sunday, August 22, during the final day of the WTxFF at the historic Texas Theatre. 

Christina Kallas’s 42 Seconds of Happiness is named Best Feature Film. Amanda Milius’s The Lotus Gun wins Best Short Film Lizette Barrera (MOSCA) is named WTxFF’s first “Filmmaker to Watch”.

Awardees were determined by the WTxFF, the first full-fledged film festival in the state of Texas to celebrate and promote the work of women behind the camera (producers, directors, screenwriter, editors, composers, and cinematographers).

WTxFF Founder and Artistic Director Justina Walford said, “One of the proudest accomplishments in the first year of the Women Texas Film Festival was the high level of achievement among the filmmakers at WTxFF. Of course, that made it all the more difficult to choose a few from that group to honor. This trio of talented women didn’t just deliver works that were complex, compelling and defied expectation, they also exemplified the artistic accomplishment and promise we hope to celebrate and promote within this film festival.”

WTxFF 2016 - Awards Presentation (John Wildman, Justina Walford, Lizette Barrera) 8.21.16 (Photo by Steve Duffy)

WTxFF 2016 – Awards Presentation (John Wildman, Justina Walford, Lizette Barrera) 8.21.16 (Photo by Steve Duffy)

Walford and WTxFF’s John Wildman made the award presentations from a stairwell balcony at the Texas Theatre during a ceremony presented by the Dallas Film Commission.

Filmmakers and film fans filled the lobby of the iconic theater for the announcement and to celebrate the winners prior to attending the final screening of the fest of Sharie Vance’s documentary, MIZ MARKLEY & ME, followed by a musical performance of the film’s subject, Lisa Markley. Barrera and Milius were on hand to accept their awards (Kallas received her award earlier in the day).

Kallas and Milius both received one month of office space in Nex, a premium technology center and innovation space designed to be a catalyst for North Texas enterprises, located in Deep Ellum.

WTxFF 2016 - Awards Presentation (Amanda Milius, Justina Walford, Lizette Barrera) 8.21.16 (Photo by John Strange)

WTxFF 2016 – Awards Presentation (Amanda Milius, Justina Walford, Lizette Barrera) 8.21.16 (Photo by John Strange)

The first Women Texas Film Festival debuted on Friday, August 19 with a red carpet laden flourish featuring the Opening Night screening of Rosemary Myers’s award-winning film, GIRL ASLEEP, and a “Disco and Donuts”-themed after party produced by Red ID, at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center.

Enthusiastic audiences populated screenings throughout the three-day festival, as well as panels focusing on the efforts and challenges of women producing films and female filmmakers navigating the hurdles put before them that are not placed before their male counterparts, among other topics.

WTxFF 2016 Awards Presentation (Catherine Cobb Ryan, Catherine Kallas, Lauren Sowa) 8.21.16 (Photo by Robert Stevens)

WTxFF 2016 Awards Presentation (Catherine Cobb Ryan, Catherine Kallas, Lauren Sowa) 8.21.16 (Photo by Robert Stevens)

WTxFF also provided special presentations of virtual reality (VR) projects by female VR artists, including Tracy Rector’s EAGLE BONE, Michaella Vu’s NEURAL PATH, and Kelly Snowden’s LOOK AROUND, LOOK AROUND, WHAT DO YOU SEE? – AN INTRO TO VR, made possible by Bottle Rocket. Also on display were female-created games, including Anna Anthropy’s LESBIAN SPIDER-QUEENS OF MARS, TRIAD and OHMYGOD ARE YOU ALRIGHT, and Thais Weiller’s RAINY DAY, sponsored by Tiny Thumbs Arcade.

In its first year, the Women Texas Film Festival was described as a “game changer” (Steve Kopian at Unseen Films), “kind of a big deal” (Jamie Laughlin at The Dallas Observer), and Alex Macon at D Magazine said, “the Women Texas Film Festival arrives at an opportune time, when filmmakers and audiences — that’s us — can push for gender equality at the movies.”

For more information on the Women Texas Film festival go to WomenTxFF.org.

ABOUT THE WOMEN TEXAS FILM FESTIVAL

The Women Texas Film Festival (WTxFF) promotes established and emerging female storytellers in film, TV, and VR, celebrating the grit and range of women’s voices. WTxFF screens qualified films that have women in at least one key creative role: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer.
The WTxFF also organizes a host of activities for the festival and year-round focused on the craft and artistry of filmmaking, including moderated Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, networking events, and a gala night with filmmaker red carpet. For more information about Women Texas Film Festival,visit www.WomenTxFF.org.
About Clara Mathews

Clarabela (Clara Mathews) is freelance web content copywriter, professional blogger and Hugh Jackman fan. In addition to writing about her love of movies at JustChickFlicks.com, Clarabela is also a regular contributor to DignityZine.  Follow Just Chick Flicks on Facebook.