Dances With Films “Sweet Sixteen” Festival announced 2013 winners!

It has been truly “sweet” for Dances With Films Festival’s 16th anniversary, also known for “championing the unknowns,” as the 11-day festival wrapped up last Sunday (June 9) with the announcement of winners. The event held at the AMC Chinese Mann’s Theater 6 started on May 30 until June 9th.

“COYOTE,” from writer/director/producer Joe Eddy, won the GRAND JURY AWARD (Feature Competition) and received a distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures distribution company. “Coyote” is a story of an unlikely friendship between Brian, an American outcast (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) and Manuel, a Mexican laborer (Carlos Pratts) who went to a dangerous mission to retrieve the latter’s mother and sister who was being held captive in Tijuana.

(Joe Eddy, director/writer/producer of "Coyote")

The GRAND JURY AWARD (Shorts Competition) went to “Varmint,” directed by Joel Knoernschild, is a coming-of-age story about a 12-year old feral boy who likes to sleep in tress and hiding by day in the foothill wilderness.

The AUDIENCE AWARD (Feature Competition) was received by “Cement Suitcase (writer/director J. Rick Castaneda).

AUDIENCE AWARD (Fusion Features) went to “California Winter” (writer/director Odin Ozdil) while AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY FEATURES, was taken by “Mile...Mile & A Half,” from directors Jason Fitzpatrick and Ric Serena.

Other winners are the following: AUDIENCE AWARD (Shorts Competition) went to  “Barbie Boy” from director Nick Corporon; AUDIENCE AWARD (Fusion Shorts): “Unorthodox” (Director Patrick Waismann); AUDIENCE AWARD (Music Video) - “Moving Out” (written and directed by Director Sean McCarthy).

For its 3rd year, Dances With Films is giving the Industry Choice Award (ICA) to a filmmaker (juried by this year’s industry luminaries - Steven Wegner (THE BLIND SIDE/Alcon Entertainment), Cindy Cowan (TRAFFIC/ Cindy Cowan Entertainment), Mike Macari (THE RING I & II, Macari/Edelstein). This year’s winner is “Home” from writer/director Jono Oliver.

Panel Discussions at noon brought luster to the festival as industry movers and shakers grace the daily panels from top Publicists, Casting Directors, Producers, Filmmakers, Network Executives, and notable A-list actors attended Q&A’s every screening.

Among other highlights and achievements of the 2013 Dances With Films Festival includes the following:

AMERICAN IDIOTS has been picked up for domestic distribution by LIONSGATE!

HorrorShow Inc. and Shooting Creek Films’ critically acclaimed psycho-horror HOUSE OF GOOD AND EVIL has been picked up for worldwide distribution. Phase 4 Films has picked up North American rights, while horror-centric Acort International will be handling foreign. The film will be released October 1st this year.
HOUSE OF GOOD AND EVIL about a couple -- Chris and Maggie Conley, in a last-ditch effort to save their dying marriage, purchase an isolated home in the deepest woods, to which they quickly discover evil has a key.  

Less than 24 hours after its World Premiere, Fusion Section film THE INSOMNIAC accepted a distribution deal from Grand Entertainment (ran by former Senior VP Sales of Image Entertainment and Lions Gate) for all ancillary rights including DVD, VOD, digital, and TV.

The heartwarming drama (played under the Fusion Section) CALIFORNIA WINTER has been picked up for distribution with Green Apple Entertainment and has acquired all North American rights.

Another film under the Fusion Section -- FAVOR made a deal with Tugg to do theatrical bookings starting this summer.

Competition Short film, OF TEACHING KILLER WHALES COMPASSION, has signed a DVD and VOD distribution deal with Spiritual Cinema Circle.

The Competition Section film DOWN AND DANGEROUS, has signed on with Rogue Arts (partnered with Fairway Film Alliance) for international sales.

More info at

Photo Gallery:

1) Lead star of the movie "She Loves Me Not" CARY ELWES signs autograph for fans

2) atmosphere at the Dances With Films Festival lobby

3) lead stars from the movie "She Loves Me Not" Joey Lauren Adams, Cary Elwes, and Caitlin Keats

4) Jay Ryan ("CW's "Beauty and the Beast") with this columnist

5) This columnist with Annalynne McCord (CW's "90210")

6) posters

7) cast of "Intelligence"

8) Cary Elwes

9) posters

10) Ryan Donowho ("Salvation") with this columnist

11) stars from the movie "Salvation" Ryan Donowho and Angel McCord

12) posters

13) producers and filmmakers of "Last Call"

14) Angel McCord ("Salvation")

15) Moderator with the Powerhouse Panel (L-R) Chris Charambolous (Head of Acquisitions at Freestyle Releasing and Freestyle Digital Media), Mitch Mallon (SVP, Digital Sales, RLJ Entertainment), Melanie Miller (VP of Acquisitions Gravitas Ventures), Keyvan Peyman (Managing Director of the digital strategy division of ICM Partners), and David Gale (President of Synchronous Media)

16) PUBLICITY AND THE INDIE FILM Panel Discussion - with Steve Elzer (Sr. VP, Media Relations-Columbia Tri-Star Motion Picture Group), David Magdael (President-David Magdael & Assoc., Inc.), Carol Green (Unit Publicist), Jonah Blechman (Inclusive PR), Andrew Stenberg (Pres. -The Media Grind).