GSU Film Fest honors 11 films for excellence

Nuha Abdessalam, Phoenix Staff Writer

Governors State University honored numerous films for their excellence as it celebrated its 4th Annual Chicago Southland International Film Festival (CSIFF) Awards Show on Oct. 17.  

The show, coordinated by GSU’s Josh Young, director of Digital Learning & Media Design and co-chair of the festival committee, was held at F1622 Theater and had virtual attendance options available to all. 

Unfortunately, the event had a modest audience in-person but received excellent traction with the virtual, hybrid option offered. Creative Video Producer Megan Smith added, “We have had a decent turnout all weekend, mainly because the films are so diverse and international, so a lot of our audience joining tonight are from many different parts of the world.” 

Coordinator Josh Young also stated; 

“This year, Chicago Southland International Film Festival (CSIFF) presented by Governors State University celebrated our fourth anniversary season, reinvigorated by a difficult year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which had forced us to deliver our entire programming schedule virtually.  

“Instead of being disheartened by the challenges of last year, we incorporated the myriad skills learned during the pandemic pivot and ventured on to deliver an even more ambitious season this year, providing a hybrid event with both virtual and in-person programs. Additionally, this season features our most substantial programming schedule to date, including 58 short films selected for our Short Film Competition from 13 different countries and two feature films selected for our Feature Film Showcase.

“The film screenings explored many vital, topical issues followed by discussions between the filmmakers and our Southland festival community; thus achieving our mission of propelling ‘reel’ stories forward and providing a platform for independent filmmakers with diverse perspectives to share their work, and to advance the broader Governors State University vision of creating an ‘intellectually stimulating public square’ and “lead as a model of… diversity and responsible citizenship.” 

The films ranged across numerous genres, and many international films were entered in CSIFF this year, bringing in 58 films from 13 countries. 

Coordinator Josh Young added, “The films entered this year were highly competitive for every category.”  

By The Time, I Fall Asleep, by Damian Kosowski was chosen 2021 CSIFF’s “Best Of The Fest.” 

The Feature Film Showcase Award Categories and winners are as seen following: 

  • Best High School Short: CAPTIFS, Philippe Vanasse-Paquet, (Canada) 
  •  Best College Short: MAMA’S ASHES, Caspar Commijs (Netherlands) 
  • Best Professional Short: FALEMINDERIT, Nicolas Neuhold, (Luxembourg)  
  • Best Comedy Short: Dual Award: MAMA’S ASHES, Caspar Commijs (Netherlands) & DAVID, Zachary Woods (United States) 
  • Best Documentary Short: ANAMNESIS (PART 1), Neville Elder, (United States) 
  • Best Drama Short: GOOD THANKS, YOU?, Molly Manning Walker (United Kingdom) 
  • Best First Time Filmmaker: ONE ALL THE WAY, David Baram, (United States) 
  • Best Suspense Short: HORIZON, Daniele De Muro, (Italy) 
  •  Best Animated Short: THE WINTER, Xin Li (Australia) 
  •  Best International Short: INHALE, Nasser Zamiri, (Iran) 
  •  Best of the Fest Short: BY THE TIME I FALL ASLEEP, Damian Kosowski, (Poland)