by Carl Davis
Out of the many excellent films and screenplays in competition, there could only be one winner. Stacy Spikes, the festival's Executive Director and Founder, reminded those that did not win not to be discouraged. "Films and screenplays not chosen for the festival or as winners can still have auspicious goals," says Spikes. After the ceremony, all attendees were treated to a delicious brunch from festival sponsor, The Maryland Film Office.
Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature:
DRYLONGSO, directed by Cauleen Smith. A young photographer's touching and profound quest to document what she considers an endangered species - young Black men.
Audience Award for Best Feature:
AN INVITED GUEST, directed by Timothy Wayne Folsome. A
seductive stranger/escaped convict spends an evening with an unsuspecting couple, only to fall in love with the wife and then threaten anyone who stands in his way of keeping her for his own.
Garret Williams for SPARK. A thriller about a couple forced to fight for their lives when their car breaks down in a town that doesn't take kindly to strangers.
TWIN COUSINS, directed by Rod Gailes. A young spirited girl concocts an ingenious plan to avoid a summer trip
with her mean old aunt. Honorable Mention presented
to FROM THE TOP OF THE KEY, directed by Jim Fleigner.
ON THE ROPES, directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgan. An inside look at the world of boxing set in a Brooklyn neighborhood gym that produced such boxing superstars as Riddick Bowe, and others. Honorable Mention presented to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, directed by Kristen Johnson.
STRINGBEAN AND MARCUS, written by Tanya Hamilton. A coming-of-age tale about two kids growing up in a post-Black Panther family. Honorable Mention presented to PORK PIE, written by Michael Genet.
Presented to Nicole Ari Parker -- who stars opposite Martin Lawrence in the upcoming Columbia Pictures release, BLUE STREAK -- for her Outstanding Body of Work as an Actress. Parker starred in MUTE LOVE, LOVING JEZEBEL, and SPARK, which all premiered at the Festival.
The Eastman Kodak Company presented prizes of $1,000 in film stock to each winner.