Best Short Burning Angel Dust, (USA) directed by Jackie J. Stone won for Best Short film.
Synopsis: A Nigerian immigrant struggles to adapt to American life while preserving cultural customs for her westernized children. Mimi’s 10-year-old daughter Violet is excited about her coming of age celebration, but it turns out to be far more life-altering than she could ever imagine. There’s a price to keep traditions alive. Due to the BronzeLens designation this film is eligible to apply as an Academy Award Qualifying Short.
Cast: Anna Sophia Hester, Carla Marie, Patricia Newman
Best Documentary Little Music Manchild (USA) directed by Malena Cunningham Anderson. Cunningham Anderson will receive a Movie Magic package for the win provided by Entertainment Partners.
Synopsis: Malik Kofi is a budding child prodigy whose talents touch the lives of everyone who meets him. This 11-year-old African American prodigy has astounding gifts and the world is taking notice.
Cast: Malik Kofi
Best Documentary Short Ashley Ashley (USA) directed by Ted Sananman.
Synopsis: Ashley Ashley is a documentary short about siblings, competitive spirit, drive and the ability to succeed in America. Motivated by an unorthodox and accomplished father, Maurice and Alicia Ashley channel their passion, talent and competitive fire into a path out of the drug violence of 1980s Brownsville, Brooklyn. The documentary explores their paths to remarkable success in professional boxing and chess.
Cast: Maurice and Alicia Ashley
Best Student Film The Homecoming directed by Paulina Bugembe.
Synopsis: Andy heads home to Milwaukee to plan a homecoming party for her estranged brother who is getting out of prison. As the day of his release arrives, she struggles to bring the family together to welcome him home and repair what was broken when he was sent away
Cast: Kira Powell, Henderson Wade
Best Feature Created Equal (USA), directed by Bill Duke. Duke will receive a Movie Magic package for the win provided by Entertainment Partners.
Synopsis: Desperate to become a priest in the Catholic Church, Alejandra Batista turns to Thomas Reilly, a successful lawyer who files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause. As the trial unfolds, an extremist concocts a plot to stop the heresy against the church by attacking Alejandra and threatening to kill her if she doesn’t back off.
Cast: Aaron Tveit, Edy Ganem, Lou Diamond Phillips, GregAlan Williams and Yohance Myles
Best International Documentary Journey of a Soca King, (Trinidad & Tobago, USA) directed by Bart Phillips,
Synopsis: With a lifelong mission to put soca music on the international map, Machel Montano has pioneered the evolution of the genre throughout his 34-year career. Journey of a Soca King chronicles his rise from a child star competing on Star Search, to his reign as a Soca Monarch collaborating with Grammy Award winning songwriters and producers such as Angela Hunte and Diplo.
Cast: Machel Montano
Best Music Video Broken Pieces, (USA) directed by Lem Collins.
Synopsis: Broken Pieces is written and performed by major recording artist Lil Zane. It touches on the issues of police brutality and other broken pieces of our society.
Cast: Lil Zane
Best Webisode Brooklyn.Blue.Sky, (USA) directed by Rhavynn Drummer and Dui Jarrod.
Synopsis: “Brooklyn. Blue. Sky.” is an 8-episode web series about two distant exes, Skylar and Blue, who reluctantly decide to come together to create a script for a ‘Netflix and Chill’ TV Pilot competition. Before they submit, they have to untie the binds that held them captive to their youthful love.
Cast: Michael Oloyede, Nicolette Ellis, Jenelle Valle
Best of Festival | Best International Short The Suit, (South Africa) directed by Jarryd Coetsee.
Synopsis: In 1950s Sophiatown, South Africa, shortly before the apartheid regime forcibly removed the township’s Black residents to make way for White resettlement, Philemon discovers his wife Matilda in bed with a young man. The young man flees, leaving behind his suit. Philemon devises a cruel punishment by forcing his wife to treat her lover’s suit as if it were a person. She must serve it meals, take it for walks around the neighborhood, even to church. Despite Matilda’s attempts to please her husband, she faces a dwindling number of choices and Philemon’s unrelenting punishment will ultimately have tragic consequences for both of them.
Cast: Atandwa Kani, Phuthi Nakene, John Kani
2017 BronzeLens Audience Award Spilled Milk (USA) directed by Jaqai Mickelsen.
Synopsis: Spilled Milk is the story of two lifelong friends. One suffers from Sickle Cell an often stigmatized and excruciatingly painful disorder that mostly affects African Americans.
Best Actress Elle Jae Stewart for JUNIOR (USA) directed by Pearl Gluck.
Synopsis: A mother struggles with a new normal after her son is shot by an off-duty police officer.
Cast: Elle Jae Stewart, Juliandra Durkin, Wilna Taylor
Best Actor Kendre Berry for Trouble Man directed by Jackson Young
Synopsis: A high school senior living in a Dallas suburb falls into a downward spiral that may prevent him from reaching his dreams of getting into college.
Cast: Armani Barrett, Kendre Berry, Donald Wayne Brown Jr.
2017 BronzeLens Founder’s Award – Brenda Mills, Florida State University Festivals Coordinator and Industry Liaison
2017 BronzeLens Chairman’s Award – Heritage Cadillac
2017 BronzeLens Spirit Award – Crystal Emery, writer, director, producer