ArtsQuest announced the winners of the 2015 Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival held at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas in the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. This year’s festival featured 25 submissions split into three viewing blocks.
Amy Unger of Allentown took home two awards – Best Documentary and the Audience Award – for her film “Letters to Frieda,” a haunting documentary about Michele Willner Levy, a Jewish woman who is among the dwindling number of living witnesses to some of the darkest chapters in world history. In the film, Levy reveals the story about what happened to her family during and after World War II. Under Nazi orders, Jewish people were not permitted to leave Germany. The story unfolds through cryptic letters addressed to Levy’s mother, Frieda, from family members who were stuck in the country.
Best of Show this year went to Stephanie Gardner of Emmaus for her film “If I Had a Piano (I’d Play You the Blues).” The six-minute short film, which is spoken entirely in Portuguese, is an explorative romance in five movements that centers on a couple parked in a car on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens. The film sweeps into the imaginations of the characters’ desires and is shown in a dream-like world, as if they were completely together without inhibition..
The complete list of winners is:
Best Documentary: Letters to Frieda, Amy Unger (Allentown)
Best Web Series: Transform My Transformers, Dan Maher (Bethlehem)
Best Short >15 min: In This Day and Age, Christine Shaman (Easton)
Best Short >50 min: Temporary Shelter, Ellen Galperin, Toby Schwartz, Katie Weeks (Easton)
Audience Award: Letters to Frieda, Amy Unger (Allentown)
Best In Show: If I Had a Piano (I’d Play You the Blues), Stephanie Gardner (Emmaus)
During the month of November, the ArtsQuest Center will be offering select showings of this year’s Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival winners. “If I Had a Piano” will play on Nov. 29 and “Transform My Transformers” will be shown Nov. 22. Additional screening dates will be announced at www.steelstacks.org as they are confirmed.
To see the full list of past winners, and for details on the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival 2016, visit www.steelstacks.org.