Monday, October 19, 2015

The Film Festival That Just Keeps Giving - 2015 LIFF

Don't tell me it's already over, but the memories will last a lifetime and you'll want to come back next year, and the year after that, and forever.  

What are we talking about?  Why of course, it's the Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF).  The fourth annual event just concluded on Sunday, October 18th and this year brought together filmmakers from all over the world and introduced them into the family.  

Once you've attended one festival, the overwhelming feeling is that you will come back for more.  Erik Puhm and Mara Karsen (co-founders of LIFF) always find ways to put on one spectacular event.  For the attendees this year, it was like another 'family reunion' but even better than most because along with the fun with friends and getting reacquainted, attendees had the chance to see 100 films screened over four days, attend related film workshops, and finally attend all the parties and after-parties.  

Thursday night began with the *Opening Night Film* showing of "Crossing Streets", directed by Marc A. Hutchins.  The film tells the story of Marcus Williams, a city detective, who is unwillingly thrust into a partnership with Minister Samuel Gray to solve a gang-related shooting. As the mismatched duo begin their journey, they soon discover the incident is part of something bigger, and catching the killer means stopping an all-out gang war. Through the investigation, Marcus and Samuel both learn that saving lives means learning to work together in this buddy cop dramedy.

Following was the opening night mixer of the event at the host hotel, Tropicana Laughlin located on Casino Drive.  Since the beginning of LIFF, the Tropicana has been a huge supporter and this year was no different.  They opened up Trellis Bar for the filmmakers to enjoy their first night by moonlight with the convenience of hor d'oeuvres and libations.  In addition to giving the filmmakers a place to dream about films,  the Tropicana coordinated with LIFF to host the festival registration, workshops, breakfasts, lunches, and finally the Awards Show.  Tropicana Laughlin supports their local businesses and events and has developed a strong relationship with LIFF and everyone is looking forward already to 2016 LIFF.

Now, what everyone has been waiting for, here is the announcement of the winners for this year's LIFF Awards.  The list includes approximately 14 different film categories and additional film awards which brings the total to 36+ awards.  WOW!! That's what we said too. 

This is a special award this year and this is the first lifetime achievement award given out. LIFF could think of no one else so deserving of this award for this year and they were graced with her presence and poise as the distinguished guest and recipient for the awards show. In addition to Lee's award, the film Sunny in the Dark (where Lee was also part of the cast) was presented with two other awards so they have the special spotlight for this year.

  • Best Spoof Film - Directors on Directing, Damien Patrik
  • Best Lead Actor - Ross McCall, The Beautiful Ones
  • Best Lead Actress - Hannah Ward, Sunny in the Dark
  • Best Ensemble Cast - Non-Stop to Comic-Con, Directed by Randy Van Dyke
  • Best Storytelling - The Boy with a Camera for a Face, Directed by Spencer Brown
  • Best Cinematic Achievement - Kandiyohi, Directed by Nicholas A. Engen
  • Outstanding Production Value - Battalion, Directed by Dmitriy Meskhiev
  • Best Music Video - Lessons in Life, Directed by Michael Nicklin
  • Best Experiemental Work - Glimpse, Arnon Shorr
  • Best Animation - Fallen Angel, Directed by Robbie Robertson
  • Best Soundtrack - Best Man in the Dark, Directed by Alfred Padilla
  • Best Web-Series - The Source, Directed by Vincenzo Carubia
  • Best Local Film - Hitman, Elona Lorraine
  • Honorable Mention - Benjamin Troubles, Directed by Kai Ephron

  • Special Recognition - The Third Love, Directed by Michael Tanji
  • Filmmaking for Humanity Award - Picking up the Pieces, Directed by Joshua Tebeau
  • LIFF "Big Dreams" Award in memory of Dave Davidson - Brian Brown

The winners for these categories are posted following the conclusion of the festival showings.  This will be updated once announcements are made.
Audience Choice Award - Feature Film
Audience Choice Award - Short Film

"Stay tuned for more updates and information and if you have films, shorts, music videos, or any other film productions, YOU MUST SUBMIT to this festival because you have no idea what you are missing until you attend and participate.  This is going to be on our calendar for as long as this festival will exist.  Hopefully that will be forever!!!" - And this is exactly what we said last year and we still feel the same.

To find out what you missed and to get involved with the awesome Laughlin International Film Festival for next year 2016 (October 13 - 16, 2016 - yes we know the dates already), go to their sponsor page or send a direct email to,, .

Coverage by Eva Louis

1 comment:

  1. Great summary of a great fest! One little thing, you have Natural Insemination listed as "Fest Comedy Film" instead of "Best Comedy Film."