The 6th Denton Black Film Festival wrapped on Sunday with an online awards ceremony.
Officials announced winners in 11 of 12 categories. The People’s Choice Award voting continues through midnight Monday, and the winner will be announced on the festival’s website.
In the Best Texas High School Short Films category, “The Perfect Ask” won. Director Stanley Turner’s film took on both teen angst and the prom-posal trend, following a teenage boy as he tries to land a date for the rapidly-approaching winter formal. Director Vincent Holloway took the runner-up title with “The Pamphlet,” his film about a homeless man racing against time to find out if a loved one with COVID-19 is still alive.
In the Best Texas College Short Film category, director Samuel Broadus won with “The Fregoli Project,” a comedy about the white savior complex as seen through Danny, who can’t seem to tell any of his Black team members apart. “Ike & Judy” by filmmaker Sarah Christine won first runner up.
In the Best Texas Short Film category, director Calvin J. Walker won with “The First Time After,” a story about a woman preparing to be intimate with her husband for the first time since he admitted to being unfaithful. Runner up: “Brother,” by director Ya’Ke.
In the Best College Short Film category, director Ciani Rey Walker’s “Misfits” won. The short film imagines that a pair of sisters who lead the Black Panther Party discover that one of their friends has kidnapped a police officer on the night Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Runner up: “Run Little Boy,” by Dominick A.D. Bedasse. Honorable mention: “The Walk Home,” by Kendra Brown.
In the Best Episodic Web Series category, director Ya’Ke picked up his second award, this time for “The Pandemic Chronicles,” an anthology series abut love and grief during the pandemic. Runner up: “Therapy,” by Gregg DaCosta.
In the Best Documentary Short Film category, directors Tyler Dunham and Brendan Calder won with “Sawubona,” the story of a man whose hard childhood was transformed by surfing camp and how he shares the sport a decade later. Runner up: LaRhonda Manigault-Bryant’s “Death. Everything. Nothing.” Honorable mention: “Finding Elijah,” by director Yolonda Johnson-Young.
In the Best Narrative Short Film category, director Jon Alston won with “Augustus,” the story of an escaped slave and father who is wracked with nightmares of his son’s death and an American future that resembles his own struggles. Runner up: Director Ya’Ke won his third award with “Brother.” Honorable mention: “La Rage,” by Aurelien Mathieu & Samir Mokeddem.
In the Best Documentary Feature category, director Bayer Mack won with Black Seeds: the History of Africans in America, which examines the socioeconomics of and the evolution of armed resistance to slavery in America. Runner up: On the Front Line: The Rangers of Gorongosa National Park, by James Byrne and Carla Rebai. Honorable mention: Cool Black North, by Alison Duke and I’m Just a Layman in Pursuit of Justice: Black Farmers Fight Against USDA, by Shoun A. Hill and Waymon Hinson.
In the Best Narrative Film category, director Laney Zipoy won for The Subject, which follows a documentary filmmaker unsettled by a stalker filming him in the wake of his own film, which caught the murder of a Black teenager on camera. Runner up: Vagrant, by Caleb Ryan.
In the Best Original Music Video category, directors Keirra Ewah and Ore Aweda won for their entry, “Monica: An Afro Fantasy.” Runner up: “Rebel,” by Verb Kulture.
In the Collaborative Short Film Challenge, four teams had two weeks to produce a 3- to 5-minute film inspired by the theme of the festival, “We Tell Our Stories.” First place went to the film “District 00.” Second place went to “Knights of Elm Street.” Third place went to “#loveblack.”
Most of the films will be available online through midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 2. To see films, purchase passes online: Gold Virtual VIP Pass, $130; Silver Virtual Pass, $90; five-block package, $40; three-block package, $25.