Here are your winners! 2014 Highway 61 Film Festival competition results

Wow! It‘s been a long and remarkable journey to get here. We received more than 600 submissions from 57 countries, and we’re grateful to each and every filmmaker who sent in their work for our 2014 competition. It was thrilling to receive such a number and variety of films by so many talented directors. It made judging very tough, and we’d like to thank our festival prescreeners and the 18 judges who carefully and thoughtfully went through this remarkable group of short and feature films to pick the very best.

Here are the semifinalists, finalists and winners of the 2014 Highway 61 Film Festival competition.



1st Place • Profile of a Killer • Director: Caspian Tredwell-Owen – United States

2nd Place They Came from the Ether • Director: James Pronath – United States

Late Night Double-Feature • Director: Christopher Mimh – United States


Let’s Play Ghost • Director: Damien Dematra – Indonesia

TORN: a SHOCK YOUmentary • Director: Justin Carter – United Kingdom



1st Place TimothyDirector: Marc Martínez Jordán – Spain

2nd Place DisaffectionDirector: Charles Thomas – France

(in alphabetical order)

10K • Director: Hendrix Caudill – United States

B.A.M.Director: Andrew Dymond – United Kingdom

He’s Not Looking So Great • Director: Gregory G. Kurczynski – United States

Insane • Director: Adam O’Brien – United States

Necrotic • Director: Ross Williams – United States

Pixel Theory: Pandora’s Box • Director: Daniel Hernández Torrado – Spain

Run • Director: Josh Mruz – United States

Second Wind • Director: Sergey Tsyss – Russian Federation

Sleeping with the Dead • Director: Allison Beda – United States

The Amulet of the Dragon • Director: João Paulo Andrade – Brazil


Days End • Director: Thomas C. Gaunt – United States

Decon • Director: Luke Snailham – United States

Freedom Deal: The Story of Lucky • Director: J “Jack RO” Rosette – Cambodia

Home Sweet Home • Director: Carlos Carpallo – Spain

Let God Sort Them Out • Director: Cédric Le Men – France

Medicine Men • Director: Freddy Lond – Belgium

Spectral Transmission • Director: Bryan Liberty & Bryan Kastelan – United States

The Chosen • Director: Guillermo Ruotolo – Germany

The First Step • Directors: Kate McMeans & Daniel Brown – United States

The Visitor • Director: Matt James – United Kingdom



1st Place Bubble Bubble Meows and the Meteor StomachacheDirector: Matt Orefice – United States



1st Place • What RemainsDirector: Liv Scharbatke

2nd Place Two GhostsDirector: Amy Lee Ketchum

(in alphabetical order)

Enlightenment • Director: Marat Narimanov • Russian Federation

How to Catch a Bird • Director: Vera van Wolferen • Netherlands

Humanexus • Director: Ying-Fang Shen • United States

I Need My Monster •  Director: Stephen Baker • United States

Keli • Director: Ranjitha Rajeevan • India

Never Stop Cycling • Director: Colin Lepper • Canada

The Little Girl • Director: Hakan Berber • Turkey

The Pride of Strathmoor • Director: Einar Baldvin • United States

To Edgar • Director: Ewa Łuczków • Poland

Wallflower • Director: Nils Westergard • United States


A Bottle of Lives • Director: Ching Yu Yang • Taiwan

Heavy Metal Recollections • Director: Shawn Wickens • United States

Mean Teddies • Director: Tyler Novo • Canada

Mirage • Director: Yaya Xu • United States

Something Important • Director: NaiWei Liu • United States Jarann Pan

Tiki Hot • Director: Jarann Pan • United States

Tick and Cow • Director: Mehr Chatterjee • United States



1st Place • A Brand New YouDirectors: Kathryn Palmateer & Shawn Whitney • Canada

2nd Place FatherLikeSonDirector: Mac Alsfeld • United States

The Karaoke Brothers • Director: Joe Richardson • United States



1st Place MousseDirector: John Hellberg • Sweden

2nd Place Melon HeadDirector: Andy Fortenbacher • United States

(in alphabetical order)

A Frenchman In Barrow • Director: Paul Peterson • United States

Kosher • Director: Alexanderson Bolaño • Mexico

Pint • Director: Nic Barker • Australia

Saturday • Director: Keif Gwinn • United Kingdom

Serve and Protect • Director: Scott Granville • New Zealand

Sophie’s Fortune • Director: Phil Meachem • United Kingdom

The Goat • Director: James Button • United Kingdom

The First Date • Director: Mason Makram • United States

The Late Bird • Director: Sascha Vredenburg Germany

Tough Case • Director: Stefan Perez United States


A Noble Quest • Director: John Gigrich • United States

Bathroom Scribes • Director: Cassandra V.H. Petersen • United States

Blue Division • Director: Sergi Marti • Spain

Cyberlife 2030 • Director: Rudy Carpio • Norway

Did YouLike the Movie? • Director: Adrià Guxens • United States

Hollywood, Extra! • Director: Ryan Gilmer • United States

G-T • Director: Mark Krol • Russian Federation

Internal Revelation • Director: Eden Hadad • Israel

Love in the Kitchen • Director: Teresa Hayer Germany

Love Unmasked • Director: Cole Meyer • United States

Margie: A Retirement Tale • Director: Charlie Sporns • United States

Michel • Director: Romain Richard France

Out of a Limb • Director: Patrick Loy • United States

Shotgun • Director: Maverick Moore • United States

Strong Coffee with Vodka • Director: Vladimir Scheiermann • Germany

That Bitch Becky • Director: Rebecca Rochon • Canada

The Kid Who Made the Face • Director: Michael Gingras • Canada



1st Place American HeartDirector: Chris Newberry • United States

2nd Place Wicker KittensDirector: Amy C. Elliott • United States

(in alphabetical order)

Existentia • Director: Matt Utecht United States

Teddy – A Tour of the Guide • Director: Justin Steigely • United States

The Organic Life Director: Casey Beck • United States

Thicker Than Water • Director: Bradley Rappa • United States


Adelante • Director: Noam Osband • United States

Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear • Director: Maryanne Galvin • United States



1st Place Straight Up: Tennessee WhiskeyDirector: Caleb Watson • United States

2nd Place Not Anymore: A Story of RevolutionDirector: Matthew VanDyke • Syria

(in alphabetical order)

87 Topaz • Director: Bill Kersey • United States

Art of Motion • Director: Rhodri Williams • United Kingdom

Breaking the Cycle • Director: Philip Coleman • United Kingdom

CottonDreams • Director: Sandeep Balhara • Poland

Hotel Bellvue • Director: Claire Walka • Germany

Michael S.Recollected • Director: Steven Swirko • Austria

Puppet Man • Director: Yang Wu • United States

Sayachapis • Director: Marie Soleil Henri Foisy • Canada

The Characteristics of C-Minor • Directors: J.Ollie Lucks and Max Bellamy • New Zealand

The Real Story: Media Coverage of Disability Issues in Minnesota Directors: Tim Benjamin and Jerry Smith • United States


Atletico Clube Serido • Director: Fritz Delangelo • Brazil

City Hearts • Director: Yang Wu • United States

Community Acupuncture • Director: Brian Lindstrom • United States

Going Country • Director: Barry Leigh-Delaney • United Kingdom

I, Artist • Director: Yang Wu • United States

My Uncle Bob • Director: David Jensen • United States

Once Upon Another Time • Alexandre Baevi • Georgia

The Man in the Booth • Director: Justin Ayd • United States

Zio Ninnucio • Director: Noriko Sugiura • Italy



1st Place • A Soft Scent of CinnamonDirector: Giovanna Ribes • Spain

2nd Place RedemptionoftheCommonsDirector: KT Terry • United States


(in alphabetical order)

Agnus Dei • Director: Agim Sopi • Kosovo

Amberpark: The Beginning • Directors: Lance Meaux and Terri L. Bea • United States

Coin Toss • Director: Satya Kharkar • United States



1st Place • 216 MonthsDirectors: Valentin Potier & Frédéric Potier • France

2nd Place Int. Café–NightDirector: Adriraj Bose – India

(in alphabetical order)

Amongst Laughs and Tears • Director: Rubens Marinelli Neto • Brazil

Erase Una Vez • Director: Alexanderson Bolaño • Mexico

Father • Aleksandr Razbash • Russian Federation

Jung-Mi • Director: Juhyoung Ra • United States

Lea • Director: Dario Gorini • Italy

Little Things • Director: Rati Tsiteladze • United Arab Emirates

Redeploy • Director: Nuria Dixon • United States

The Border • Director: Rene Rhi • United States

The Story of M. • Director: Anna Arlanova • Russian Federation


Aemorrage • Director: • Patrick Devaney • United States

Being James • Haolu Wang • United Kingdom

Citizen • Director: Dale Driver • United Kingdom

Damage • Director: Maya Meiri • Israel

Diminished • Director: Konstantina Palli • Greece

Diving In • Director: Simon Intihar • Slovenia

Eternal Vendetta • Director: Oscar Rodriguez Gorriz • Mexico

Four Leaf Clover • Director: Hakan Berber • Turkey

Last Ditch • Director: Mahi Bena • France

Last of You • Director: Dan Sachar • Israel

Moths • Director: Andy Fortenbacher • United States

RamblerDirector: Patrick QuaglianoUnited States

Silent SpringDirector: Antoine Nassif Lebanon

Spirit of NegationDirector: Alexander KuribayashiUnited States

SweetnessDirector: Joseph LuebenUnited States

The Bounty HunterDirector: Gordon S. WilliamsUnited States

The CageDirector: Natalka Gordiy • Ukraine

War of ConscienceDirectors: Daniel Chudy and Melanie WiegmannGermany

The Dolphin Skin City • Director: Pierre Gaffie • France

The Last I Look Upon Your FaceDirector: Jed Tune and Glen Kirby United Kingdom

The Last SightDirector: Douglas StahlGermany

The Man Who Walked on the MoonDirector: Jenny LuUnited Kingdom

The Real Evidence: Laptop • Director: Egor Gavrilin • Russian Federation



1st Place GiftsDirector: Morgana McKenzie • United States

2nd Place We’re Okay • Director: Kira Bursky • United States

(in alphabetical order)

Angel for HireDirector: Katy HoggardUnited Kingdom

Because I Am a GirlDirectors: Students of Christel House India, Bangalore India

Camping MisadventuresDirector: Chris Choyce United States

ConscriptionDirector: Nick Ramey United States

EvolutionDirectors: Alexia and Sophia Salingaros United States

Let’s Try this AgainDirector: Doug KeelingUnited States

Looking Up: Sami Stoner & ChloeDirector: Brittney LybargerUnited States

ShirzadDirector: Ahmed NegmEgypt

The Bag IIDirectors: Teagan Gosling and Avery Stefanson Canada

Trust MeDirector: Jenna MenziesUnited Kingdom


Black Rock Creek Director: Malone LumardaUnited States

Cave Director: Abbey SacksUnited States

Chained Colours Director: Leo Vitasovic and Jozo JozipovicCroatia

Ne Kopeyka Director: Maria AlinaRussian Federation

Shards Director: Charisma Dozier United States

Sink or Swim Directors: Max Wilson, Fiaona Macintosh, Kai Dougan

Speed Bumps Director: Abbey Sacks United States

Take a Nap Director: Anton WongCanada

Three-O-Seven Director: Spencer Howson United States

The Waiting Game Director: Maria AlvarezUnited States

To Kill a Mockingbird Trailer Director: Annie NelsonUnited States

Warm RushDirector: Kira BurskyUnited States

YashodaDirector: Yuvraj Mahagaonkar India

Z-DayDirector: Ryan GilmerUnited States


A special recognition to our fellow local filmmakers who submitted this year:

Alone with his Thoughts • Director: A.L. Terry • Rock Creek, MN

Burning Memories • Director: Pete Garsow • Cloquet, MN

Do It! • Director: Payton Koehler • Stewartville, MN

SnowBound | Lightning Strikes Twice • Director: Doug Phillips • Rice Lake, WI

Waiting to Scream • Director: Nate Johnson • Kettle River, MN

Five more days to deadline!

There are just five more days for filmmakers to submit their films to the 2014 Highway 61 Film Festival. Head to our Entry Form page or visit the Highway 61 Film Festival page on to find out more!

In the meantime, we invite you to step into the tea party being held by Mr. Mugwumpit and Mrs. Fleabottom as they discuss the relative fun-ness and fanciness of the Highway 61 Film Festival…

July 15 is Early Submissions deadline!

One week and one day left for Early Submissions! Tell your friends, family, neighbors, enemies, frenemies… After July 15, the price goes up from $5 to $10 for shorts, $10 to $20 for features until the Late Deadline of Aug. 15.

Submission is easy! Just go to the Entry Form page or our FilmFreeway signup page at to get your film in the competition!

Take FilmFreeway to get to the Highway 61 Film Festival

We’re so happy to be working with FilmFreeway in 2014. On May 3 we rolled the Highway 61 Film Festival onto this new service that links up filmmakers and film festivals, and since then amazing films are coming in by the dozen from across the world.

And we’ve really only just begun! Early film submissions are accepted until the July 15 deadline, and late submissions continue until the August 15 deadline. We love the films we’ve seen so far, and just can’t wait to find out what’s still to come.

Having so many great films to choose from is sure going to make things tough for our judges – but it will make for an incredible film fest for everyone who comes out Oct. 3-5!

For more submission options, visit our Entry Form page. Thanks again to FilmFreeway for working with us to make the Fourth Annual Highway 61 Film Festival the best yet!


Submissions open at the 2014 Highway 61 Film Festival

The Highway 61 Film Festival has started rolling in 2014! The festival is now open for submissions, and we can’t wait to experience the extraordinary stories local, national and international filmmakers have to tell.

We are accepting both short (less than 40 minutes) and feature (40 minutes or over) films in the following categories:  Action/Horror, Animation, Comedy, Documentary and Drama. First place winners in each category receive cash prizes: $100 for feature films and $50 for short films. Our early deadline is July 15, and our late deadline is Aug. 15. See the Entry Form  page for more details.

We also have a Student Short category for students in grades (K-12). This category is FREE to enter, and offers a $50 cash prize for the first-place film. Student filmmakers should also use our Entry Form to submit.

The festival itself will be held on October 3-5 in Pine City, Minnesota. Locations and showtimes will be announced on and on other media platforms.

Please email us at with any questions.

Paradise Theater hosts Existentia (in Paradise)

Mora’s Paradise Theater, a Highway 61 Film Festival partner, is hosting an extraordinary free event on April 26! Read the press release below for more.


Kanabec County theatre artist Roger Nieboer specializes in creating site-specific performances. He describes the work as “theatre that is inspired by, and built for actual, existing places.” Nieboer created just such a work last June for Northern Spark, an annual all-night Twin Cities arts festival. He created a philosophical travel agency called “Existentia,” that functioned out of the Amtrak ticketing offices of St. Paul’s newly renovated Union Depot.

That entire creative process and the ensuing all-night performance were captured on video by Mora native Matt Utecht, and later became the subject of his 45 minute documentary film, “Existentia.”

“We gave Matt total access to everything,” Nieboer claims. “Every rehearsal, every meeting, every moment of performance, every blemish and every flaw. But my favorite parts of the film involve his interviews with audience members. They make it all worthwhile.”

The documentary will have its world premiere at 2 pm on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the Paradise Theatre in Mora. There will be no admission charge for this special event.

During the post-film reception, audience members will have an opportunity to participate in the Existentia interactive performance process, in a special consultation area created specifically for the Paradise. “I can promise you that you’ve never experienced anything quite like it,” Nieboer proclaims. “Nothing scary or weird, just… unique.”

Nieboer describes his working relationship with the Paradise as a dream come true. “I love the Paradise. They’ve given us a great opportunity to demystify ‘performance art’ and show the community what it’s all about. ” He is also profuse in his praise of the East Central Regional Arts Council. “They provide continuing support for arts organizations and individual artists in our area. Frankly, I don’t know if events such as this would even happen without their vision and support.”

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.