Gasparilla International Film Festival 2015 Award Winners


Gasparilla International Film Festival 2015 Award Winners


GRAND JURY BEST COLLEGE SHOWCASE-  Legend of the Flying Tomato, Directors Aurry Tan, Michael Yates, and Sharon Huang

GRAND JURY BEST SHORT FILM- Odessa, Director Grace Santos

GRAND JURY  BEST FLORIDA PRODUCTION- Dutch Book, Director James Repeci

GRAND JURY BEST WORLD SHOWCASE-  The Break In, Director Marcus Ovnell


GRAND JURY BEST MALE PERFORMANCE- Phillip Thomas from When the Ocean Meets the Sky

GRAND JURY BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE-  Call Me Lucky, Director Bobcat Golthwait

 GRAND JURY BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE-  Wildlike, Director Frank Hall Green



 AUDIENCE CHOICE of University of Tampa FILM SHOWCASE-  Tresure Man, Director Christian Fernandez

 AUDIENCE CHOICE BEST COLLEGE SHOWCASE- Florida State’s First Seminole, Director Ryan Watson

 AUDIENCE CHOICE SHORT FILM- Skyship Chronicles, Director Christian Cashmir

 AUDIENCE CHOICE FLORIDA PRODUCTION- American Hostage, Director Mounir  Chakor

 AUDIENCE CHOICE WORLD SHOWCASE-  Ben’s at Home, Director Mars Horodyski

 AUDIENCE CHOICE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE- The Poet of Havana, Director Ron Chapman

 AUDIENCE CHOICE NARRATIVE FEATURE- The Challenger, Director Kent Moran

Congratulations to the winners.  I will also like to congratulate all that served a role in making “The Gasparilla International film festival ” a reality.

Looking forward to Gasparilla International Film Festival 2016!

GIFF 2015 (Gasparilla International Film Festival)

Now in its ninth season, GIFF has emerged as an anchor event
for Tampa Bay, rallying our community around the love of film
and the art of storytelling. Last year’s festival captured more than
15,000 attendees from 980 cities around the world. This year
should prove an even bigger success, not just in record-breaking
attendance but in film quality and quantity.

GIFF continues to be one of the fastest-growing film festivals in Florida.  There truly is something for everyone.

The board of directors believe in the power of film to entertain, educate and inspire!

The Grand Jury which recognizes films in Narrative, Documentary and Shorts Programs Competitions
gives a ranking award to the best from the independent film community this year:

Film & Theater Critic
Lauren Wissot is a freelance film and theater
critic, a contributing editor at Filmmaker magazine,
and an award-winning short filmmaker
who has published an erotic memoir with Random
House sub-imprint Nexus Books. She is
also the programming consultant for the Santa
Fe Independent Film Festival and a member of
the Bermuda International Film Festival’s international advisory
board. She blogs at
English Professor
Phillip Sipiora is a Professor of English and Film
Studies at the University of South Florida. He is
the author and editor of four books. He has also
published approximately three dozen scholarly
essays. He has lectured nationally and internationally
on twentieth-century literature and film. In
addition, he is the Editor of The Mailer Review.
He is currently working on a book length project on Ida Lupino.
Tampa Bay Times Movie Critic
A founding member of the Florida Film Critics Circle,
Persall was practically born into a career as a movie
critic. He was conceived behind a drive-in theater, in
a house that was part of his father’s deal to manage
the place. Persall grew up in projector booths and behind
concession stands, reading the works of Pauline
Kael and Vincent Canby like other kids read comic
books. After 16 years of teaching high school social studies and stringing
for the St. Petersburg (later Tampa Bay) Times, Persall accepted the movie
critic position in 1993, currently making him Florida’s longest-tenured
journalist on that beat. He’s a founding member of the Florida Film Critics
Circle, and also a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association.
His commentary on all things cinema is heard weekly on Tampa Bay’s
Eagle 107.3 and WWBA-820 AM, and internationally,
along with occasional television appearances on four local stations.
Associate Professor at The University of Tampa
Gregg Perkins is an artist and writer whose artwork
has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His
writings have appeared in Coterie, New Art Examiner,
ArtUS, TimeOut Chicago, and His film
Cannon Falls was screened at the Dallas, Sarasota,
SoundUnseen and Wisconsin Film festivals. He has
taught art and art history at the University of Wisconsin
– Madison. In addition, he has been a guest faculty at The School of
The Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, Perkins is an Associate Professor
and Chair of the Communication Department at The University of Tampa.
HBO Film Programming VP
Leslie Cohen is the Vice President of Film Programming
at HBO, celebrating 20 years with the network
in 2014. She is responsible for the acquisition of
Spanish language films and series for HBO Latino as
well as acquisition of films from the major studios
for both HBO and Cinemax. Previously at HBO,
Leslie worked on the launch of HBO’s international
ventures in Asia and Central Europe. She has also performed financial
forecasting and deal analysis in HBO’s strategic planning group. Leslie
serves as a Board Member of the Picture House Regional Film Center
in New York and an Advisory Board Member for Florida’s Gasparilla
Film Festival. She earned her BA degree in English at Dartmouth College
and an MBA from New York University. She is originally from
Tampa, but resides in New York with her husband and two children.
Film & Television Editor
Stacey is currently editing FOX’s comedy series,
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH for producers Phil
Lord, Chris Miller, and Will Forte. Other recent
works include FX’s YOU’RE THE WORST, IFC’s
AND DOWN. In addition to television her credits
include several feature-length comedies, dramas,
and documentaries. She was an assistant editor to Bill Kerr on
the feature film Grudge Match. Stacey began her career as an editor
working at several commercial post production companies in New
York City. She studied production at the University of Florida after
graduating from River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, FL. She
currently makes her home in Los Angeles where she takes every opportunity
to look at the Pacific Ocean and say “Not as nice as the Gulf…”
JOE BELCASTRO (Former Radio Show Host movie critic on WSPF-DB RhinoOnAir)
Florida Film Critics Circle & Southeastern Film
Critics Society
Joe began as a freelance journalist based in Tampa,
Florida. His vast coverage of the local, national, &
international film industry led to his work appearing
across the globe in respected print and online
publications. Joe’s reviews, interviews, and op-eds
were regularly featured in The Tampa Tribune,,, and He also appears
on a plethora of local radio and television shows, along with serving on
multiple film festival grand juries and panels, discussing his knowledge
of film. As Vice Chairman of the Florida Film Critics Circle and voting
member of the Southeastern Film Critic Association, let’s just say the
guy sees just about everything that hits the big screen. Currently, Joe is a
script writer for one of the longest running shows in television history.


Ann Marie Cash Levasseur

Founder and General Mgr of Rhino On . Founder of The Best of St. Pete, Entrepreneur,Publicist,PR-Marketing, Writer/Journalist. Internet Radio Personality Host of Connect The Dots & St. Pete Buzz.. Ambassador St. Pete Chamber of Commerce, Iconic Woman 2014 Nominee.

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