BWiFF 2014 | Award-Winning Official Selections

BWiFF 2014 Twitter [Square]

We are very pleased to announce the award-winning official selections from the 2014 Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival! Congratulations to all of the films selected for exhibition and competition.

Thank you to all Festival Pass Holders who attended the entire event from beginning to end. We hope to see you again next year. Filmmakers, please keep an eye out for our 2015 Call for Entries this September.

And the winners are…

NightLights [Poster]Best of Fest

Audience Favorite

Best Narrative Feature

Best Documentary
One: A Story of Love and Equality

Best Narrative Short – Drama
A Man on the Edge

Best Narrative Short – Comedy
The Hero Pose

Best Music Video

Best of Illinois

Best Director
Edward Lyons for A Man on the Edge

Promising New Filmmaker
Ben Petrie for Nice is Cool

Best Actor
Stephen Louis Grush as Jacob for NightLights

Best Actress
Shawna Waldron as Erin for NightLights

Best Supporting Actor
Jeff Garretson as Tim for NightLights

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Black-Spence as Nicole for NightLights

Best Achievement For a Young Actor
Nikki Hahn as Mia for The Hero Pose

Best Screenplay
Mischa Jakupcak for The Hero Pose

Best Cinematography
Mathias Boucard for Lapsus

Best Production Design
Alexis B. Preston for Sheltered Love

Best Visual Effects
Andrew Scott & John Mamikon for Lost in the Sky

Best Editing
Stuart Doherty for V for Visa

Best Sound
Nassim El Mounabbih & Alexis Jung for Lapsus

Best Original Music – Feature
Elliott Goldkind (Score), Maggie Baird & Finneas O’Connell (Original Songs) for Life Inside Out

Best Original Music – Short
Bence Kutrik (Score) & Nick Dahlquist (Original Song) for Four in the Morning

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Sing Me the Blue Whiskey Blues

Big Paraid Album Cover

The Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) takes over Palatine and Arlington Heights from July 20th to 27th, 2014, bringing over 30 films from around the world to the comfort of one screen. On Wednesday, July 23rd, the festival’s film programming takes a musical intermission, moving to Durty Nellie’s (180 N. Smith Street, Palatine). The Blue Whiskey Festival Centerpiece concert features performances by local Chicago bands Big Paraid and Jackpot Donnie. However, staying true to the festival’s film roots, the night exhibits five music video official selections. It’s a night focused on independent music.

Doors open at 7:00pm, and Jackpot Donnie kicks off the night at 7:30pm, filling the hall with their unique sound. The band blends reggae, hard rock, funk and blues. RedEye Chicago says, “Jackpot Donnie offers throaty, imploring vocals, a sumptuous ska undertone and choruses that captivate listeners.” They are currently working on their latest EP with producer and engineer Steve Gillis (former drummer of Filter) at Transient Sound Studios in Chicago.  Their first full-length album “Music Nightly” was released in 2008, followed by the “New Mode” EP in 2010.

Formed in 2003, the band is comprised of Matt Love (vocals/guitar), Brian Wise (guitar), Adam Campbell (drums), and David Langley (bass).  Newcomer Peter Spero (keys) joined the band in 2011, bringing years of experience as a MCA (The Lonesome City Kings) and RCA (TAMI Show) recording artist.  The band has established its identity as one of Chicago’s most energetic rockers, and has been spreading rock and roll across the city and beyond.

After Jackpot Donnie, the music videos will screen. Each videos style is unique, ranging from an 8-bit retro video game, artistic black and white folk, picturesque underwater shots, a story told through dance, and even an energetic, whimsical circus.  All videos are done by independent directors for independent artists.  Videos include: “Wandering”, “We Are All Alone in This Together”, “Future Warrior”, “Ocean”, and “Midnight”.

At 8:45pm the evening’s headlining act, Big Paraid (, takes over Durty Nellie’s stage. Big Paraid is a trio made of Evan Hand, Joe Shadid and Rob Gould. Their first full length, self titled, album was released in March 2013. Sincethen, they have appeared on Mancow Morning TV Show, Chicago’s JBTV, and have been heard on WXRT, WBEZ, WLUL and more. Big Paraid’s live experience will have the audience moving. Whether it just be the trio, or their full Paraid the group promises to deliver a fun night of dancing.  The Big Paraid is known for its bombastic shows which encompass high energy original rock songs, choreographed dancers, and a confetti cannon.

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival’s Centerpiece Concert is sponsored by The Foxhole Chicago, an artistic facility and creative company dedicated to fostering the growth of local Chicago artists and businesses. This is an all ages show. Tickets for the Festival Centerpiece Concert are $10.00, and can be purchased from our website under Tickets & Passes on the top of the page, or at the door day of at Durty Nellie’s. College and high school students can get in or free with an ID. Individual session, weekend, and full festival passes are also available for purchase.


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Rolling Out the Blue Carpet for Opening Night


The Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF), kicks off with its Blue Carpet Opening Night this Sunday, July 20th, at the Star Cinema Grill in Arlington Heights at 7:00 pm. BWiFF, voted one of the top 25 coolest film festivals in the world by MovieMaker Magazine, is ramping up for its fifth year, screening over thirty films from around the world in a week’s span.

One of the highlights of opening night will be the Illinois premiere of the sci-fi, thriller Coherence, directed by James Ward Byrkit. On the night of astrological anomaly, “Coherence” follows eight friends at a dinner party as they experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Byrkit says the film “attempts to evoke the spirit of Ray Bradbury and the best “Twilight Zone” episodes, when those stories would generate an overwhelming sense of strangeness by altering reality by just one degree.”

Following the evening’s theme of intellectual suspense, Coherence is preceded by the Sci-Fi, drama Sorry About Tomorrow directed by Motke Dapp and the thriller Lapsus directed by Karim Ouaret. Both Dapp and Ouaret will be Skyping in following their screenings to do a Q&A with the audience. Sorry About Tomorrow is an intensive short film depicting the pain of time travel. Baldwin, a man threatened by his tragic future and haunted by his past, travels back in time to end things with the love of his life.

Lapsus, coming to BWiFF out of France, follows a man who is the hero in his own mind while having disastrous consequences for those around him. Terry Lawrence is not the gentleman gangster he believes himself to be, but instead a psychologically disturbed predator with a laundromat as his playground.

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival’s Blue Carpet Opening Night will be sure to encapsulate with thrilling mystery that pulls you into world of each film. It will be an engaging night that is sure to captivate the audience, using film as a means to stretch the mind, while exploring and creating new realities.

Audience members can enjoy the full experience of Star Cinema Grill including a full menu and speciality Blue Whiskey cocktails. And of course, they are rolling out the blue carpet. Monday, the 21st, the festival will move to Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center in Palatine and continues through the week with jam packed programming. To purchase your ticket, click the Tickets & Passes tab to at the top of the page. There are individual session, weekend and full festival passes available.

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BWiFF 2014 | Official Selections

BWiFF2012 - Official Selection Laurels [COLOR-WHT]Thank you to all who submitted to the 2014 Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival!  After receiving a record-breaking number of submissions this year, we are proud to present the list of 2014 Official Selections.  We have selected seven (7) feature films, seventeen (17) short films, two (2) series pilots and five (5) music videos.

Congratulations to our selections and we look forward to showcasing these incredible films this July!

2014 Feature Film Selections

Directed by Susanne Suffredin

The Lengths
Directed by Tim Driscoll

Life Inside Out
Directed by Jill D’Agnenica

Directed by David Midell

Not Exactly Cooperstown
Directed by Jon Leonoudakis

One: A Story of Love and Equality
Directed by Becca Roth

Plato’s Reality Machine
Directed by Myles Sorensen

2014 Short Film Selections

Black Water
Directed by Ryan Ovadia

The Fall
Directed by Kristof Hoornaert

Four in the Morning
Directed by Alexander Jeffery

The Hero Pose
Directed by Mischa Jakupcak

LA Miner
Directed by Thomas Wood

Directed by Karim Ouaret

Lost in the Sky
Directed by Matt Landry

A Man on the Edge
Directed by Edward Lyons

Directed by Craig Elrod

Najes (The Unclean)
Directed by Bahram and Bahman Hajabulu

Nice is Cool
Directed by Ben Petrie

Directed by Jeff Wolfe

Directed by Nic Barker

Sheltered Love
Directed by Alex Italics

Sorry About Tomorrow
Directed by Motke Dapp

V is for Visa
Directed by John McPhail

Wooing Wes Wilson
Directed by Thad Vassmer

2014 Series Pilot Selections

Blood Brothers
Directed by Andrew Eckblad

Called to Serve
Directed by Michael Van Orden

2014 Music Video Selections

Directed by James R.W. Hiatt for Ships Have Sailed

Directed by Tory Nelson

Directed by Jon Mancinetti for Future Warrior

Directed by Joe Presser

We Are All Alone in This Together
Directed by Michael McCallum for Graham Lindsey

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