Winners include Simon Pegg, Scott Wolf, Hong Chau and William Fichtner

Zeiss Cinematography Awards Presented to ‘American Woman” and ‘Me Tambien’

L.A. Dome Film Series Announces Winners

Los Angeles, CA (October 25, 2019) – The 11th annual DTLA Film Festival, running October 23rd -27th at Regal L.A. LIVE, announced today its lineup of award recipients for 2019.  Select winners include “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” directed by Jacoba Atlas for the Audience Favorite Award; “American Woman” for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress; “QT8: The First Eight” for Best Director and Best Documentary and a Special Remembrance Award for Robert Forster; “Josie & Jack” picked up Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for William Fichtner; and Hong Chau has won Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in “American Woman.”

Earlier this evening, the first-ever Zeiss Cinematography Awards were presented to “American Woman” for best feature (Gregory Middleton) and  “Me Tambien” (Jorel O’Dell) for best short with cash prizes of $1,500 and $500, respectively.

In the shorts series, thirteen filmmakers were honored with awards including the TV pilot “Neurotica,” which was directed by Laura Moss, and stars Karen Gillan, Jillian Bell, Jon Bass and David Dastmalchian.

The festival’s sidebar this year, L.A. Dome Film Series, also announced its winners with Best Narrative Dome Film going to “Defrost The Virtual Series” by Randal Kleiser and Tanna Frederick and Best Documentary Dome Feature going to “Indirect Actions”: by Maranatha Hay, Fred Cornforth, Tanya Musgrave.

The winners of the festival screenplay contest also were announced with “Natalie Rising” by Donna Bonilla Wheeler picking up the award for Best Feature Screenplay. Her screenplay was performed in a live stage reading during the festival.

The entire list of winners in all categories listed below:


Best Picture
American Woman, directed by Semi Chellas

Audience Favorite Award
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls In Schools, directed by Jacoba Atlas

Zeiss Best Cinematography, Features
American Woman – Gregory Middleton

Best Director, Narrative Feature
Semi Chellas, American Woman

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Simon Pegg, Lost Transmissions

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Hong Chau, American Woman

Best Screenplay
Josie & Jack, written by Sarah Lancaster & Kelly Braffet

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
William Fichtner, Josie & Jack

Best Ensemble Cast (Tie)
Inside Game (Scott Wolf, Will Sasso, Lindsey Morgan, Michael O’Keefe, Julie Claire)
The Living Worst (Zibby Allen, Erin Anderson, Jen Reiter, Amy Cale Peterson)

Best Editing Feature Film
Imaginary Order, edited by Debra Eisenstadt & Clark Harris

Breakthrough Performance
Otmara Marrero, Clementine

Jury Prize for Creative Vision
Mondo Hollywoodland, directed by Janek Ambros

Best New Director
Ashley Maria, Pioneers in Skirts

Best Film Score
My Summer As A Goth, composed by Jana Cushman

Best Director – Documentary Feature
QT8: The First Eight, directed by Tara Wood

Best Environmental Documentary
Chasing The Thunder, directed by Mark Benjamin & Mark Levin

Best Music Documentary
Devil’s Pie: D’Angelo, directed by Carine Bijlsma

Best Sports Documentary Feature Film
Willie, directed by Laurence Mathieu-Leger

Best Documentary Feature
QT8: The First Eight, directed by Tara Wood

Best Foreign Language Feature Film
Yeva, directed by Anahid Abad

Special Remembrance Award
Robert Forster, QT8: The First Eight

Best Fantasy Sci-Fi Feature
Spinning Dry, directed by Elana Krausz & James Avallone

Best Anthology Film
Bushwick Beats (directed by A. Sayeeda Moreno, Chloe Sarbib, Brian Shoaf, Sonejuhi Sinha, James Sweeney, Anu Valia)

Best Editing in a Documentary Feature Film
Foosballers, edited by Joe Heslinga

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Liu Zhushiman, You Will Never Walk Alone


Best Cinematography
Me Tambien, directed by Jorel O’Dell

Best Animation Short
The Opposite Game, directed by Anna Samo

Best Actor
Jasmine Guy, Illegal Rose

Best Short Documentary
Lowland Kids, directed by Sandra Winther

Best Short Narrative
Karma, directed by Armando del Rio

Best Director
Practice, directed by Moira Fett

Student Visionary Award
What You Mean To Me, directed by Jessica Diaz & Heaven Haliburton

Best Foreign Language Short
The Fires of Soledad, directed by Daniel Eduvijes Carrera

Best Ensemble Cast
Zoe In Review: Kezia Bernard, Colleen Slattery, Andrea Petersen, Brendan McGowan, Wenyi Wei

Best Social Justice Short
Freedom Song, directed by Andy McCallie

Best Experimental Shot
Liberated Zones, directed by Dana Washington

Best Web Series
King Ester, directed by Dui Jarrod

Best TV Pilot
Neurotica, directed by Laura Moss


Best Dome Music Video
Jacob Collier Make Me Cry 360 by Jacob Collier and Matthew Celia

Best LGBT Dome Film
Through Darcelle’s Eyes by Brad Gill and Rachel Bracker

Best Educational Dome Short
Birth of Planet Earth by Thomas Lucas, Donna Cox, Bradley Thompson, Robert Patterson and Michael Bruno

Best Conceptual Dome Short
Last Whispers, by Lena Herzog, Meghan McWilliams, Cedric Gamelin , Mario Kenyon and Nonny de la Peña

Best Narrative Dome Film
Defrost The Virtual Series by Randal Kleiser and Tanna Frederick

Best Documentary Dome Feature
Indirect Actions by Maranatha Hay, Fred Cornforth, and Tanya Musgrave

Best Documentary Dome Short
Everest VR by Jonathan Griffith, Matt De John and William Maurer

Best Artistic Dome Short
Sonolumin by Diana Reichenbach

Best Environmental Dome Film
Four Elements by Natalia Oliwiak

Best Dome Visuals
SPHERE by Robot Koch, Mickael Le Goff

Best Artistic Dome Feature
Mesmerica 360 by Michael J. Saul, James Hood, Bennett Freed, Kate McCallum, Ed Lantz

Best Architectural Dome Film
Urban Levitation by Sergey Prokofyev, Studio Schwitalla


Natalie Rising, written by Donna Bonilla Wheeler

On Time, written by Xavier Neal-Bergin
Service Animals, written by Christopher Corte

TV Pilot Screenplay Winner
Happyland, written by Alexandra Fernandez

Nearly Supernova, written by Annie Nishida
Hardcore Vegans, written by Laura Hooper Beck

Shorts Screenplay Winner
Melanin, written by Maris Tia Streaty

Wink, written by Teo Frank
Any Given Day, written by Juan Burgos

(Information updated 10/28/19.)

About DTLA Film Festival
Founded in 2008 as a nonprofit (501)(c)(3) arts organization, DTLA Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing films by and about groups underrepresented by Hollywood in the historic center of the Creative Capital of the World. The festival also strives to reflect in its programming the unique cultural and ethnic diversity of the neighborhoods of downtown Los Angeles and its surrounding communities.

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Press Contact:
Rob Fleming
Erik Bright
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