Sedona AZ (June 20, 2021) – Voodoo Macbeth, the story of the groundbreaking 1936 production of Shakespeare’s classic tale with an all-Black cast directed by then-untested 21-year-old director Orson Welles, was named Best of Fest at the 27th Annual Sedona International Film Festival.
The annual 10-day event, rescheduled from its usual end-of-February timeline because of the coronavirus pandemic, featured more than 180 films.
Voodoo Macbeth takes place in a Harlem neighborhood battered by economic strife and hardship where director Rose McClendon convinces co-director John Houseman to help her bring Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the Harlem community at the Lafayette Theater using funding from FDR’s New Deal.
Two other Sedona International Film Festival entries, The Forgotten Place and On Our Own Island, earned multiple awards. The short film, The Forgotten Place, about Eric’s search for a real friend, received the Director’s Choice Award for Best Short Dramedy and Audience Choice for Best Short Drama.
On Our Own Island, a feature documentary directed by mother-daughter journalists Ellie Dylan and Sky Dylan-Robbins, earned the Director’s Choice Best Indie Spirit (documentary) Award and Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary in a tie with In A Different Key.
On Our Own Island chronicles the deeply intimate and uplifting love story of a wife and daughter for their husband and father from its fateful beginning through an unexpected and untimely end.
In A Different Key, a narrative feature by journalists and authors John Donvan and Caren Zucker picks up where their book, In A Different Key: The Story of Autism, left off. The film captures the story of a mother who tracks down the first person ever diagnosed with autism, now an elderly man in rural Mississippi, to learn if his life story holds promise for her own autistic son.
The Children Will Lead the Way, a Parkland-shooting inspired documentary short produced by Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary and directed by Beth and George Gage, received the Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking Award.
Also announced were the winners of the Festival’s first screenwriting competition. Winners are Erin Brown Thomas for her short film The Body of Chris; Russel Knight for his feature film Horizon Calling and Addie Talbott for the TV pilot, Grace in the Clutch.
The Festival also presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Oscar-winning costume designer Bob Mackie for his body of work; director and actor Luis Valdez; and iconic actor Tom Skerritt. Chuck Marr, who served as chair of the Sedona International Film Festival board of directors, received the Heart of the Festival Award.
The complete list of winners includes:
Directors’ Choice Awards 2021
- Best Feature Drama: Gun and a Hotel Bible
- Best Feature Comedy: Granny Nanny
- Best International Feature: Asia
- Best Humanitarian Feature: The Cave
- Best Family Film: Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers
- Best Documentary: In Memoriam
- Best International Documentary: Sakawa
- Best Humanitarian Documentary: Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story
- Best Documentary Short: Unspoken
- Best Short Drama: The Mirror
- Best Short Comedy: Rock A Bye Baby
- Best Short Dramedy: The Forgotten Place
- Best Student Short: Etana
- Best Humanitarian Short: Under the Lights
- Best International Short: Samaritan
- Best Animated Short: Beyond the Line
- Most Innovative Short: Transfer
- Indie Spirit (Short): Red Watch
- Indie Spirit (Documentary): On Our Own Island
- Indie Spirit (Narrative Feature): Voodoo Macbeth
- Year of Covid Award: The Pee Pee Monster
- Marion Herrman Excellence in Filmmaking Award: The Children Will Lead the Way
- Most Impactful Film: One Moment
- Lifetime Achievement: Bob Mackie
- Lifetime Achievement: Tom Skerritt
- Lifetime Achievement: Luis Valdez
- Heart of the Festival: Chuck Marr
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS 2021
- BEST OF FEST: Voodoo Macbeth
- Best Feature Drama: The Subject
- Best Feature Comedy: Queen Bees
- Best International Film: So, What’s Freedom?
- Best Documentary: TIE: In a Different Key and On Our Own Island
- Best Short Documentary: TIE: The Roads Most Traveled: Photojournalist Don Bartletti
and Death: Through a Nurse’s Eyes
- Best Short Drama: The Forgotten Place
- Best Short Comedy: Exit Package
- Best Student Short: Thoughts and Prayers
- Best Animated Short: Bench
- Most Impactful Film (Narrative): They Who Surround Us
- Most Impactful Film (Documentary): The Healthcare Cure
SCREENPLAY COMPETITION WINNERS:
- Short Film: “The Body of Chris” by Erin Brown Thomas
- Feature Film: “Horizon Calling” by Russel Knight
- TV Pilot: “Grace in the Clutch” by Addie Talbott
For more information about the Sedona International Film Festival, visit www.sedonafilmfestival.com