Pizza guys with delivery issues, a cop gone mad over a missing Harry Potter video, and seemingly sweet neighbors with a creepy secret — the Second Annual Statesboro Film Festival was filled with talented productions by area citizens.
Held Thursday night at Emma Kelly Theater, the film competition featured 13 entries, with a film called "Love Thief" sweeping the Viewer's Choice Award with more than 1,500 votes.
A bumbling guy, in love with his neighbor, appears to be a goofball as the woman's rich, arrogant boyfriend abuses him. The rich boyfriend has a plan to steal $5 million from his school, but things get turned around quickly and the rich guy ends up dead — and the goofy guy gets the girl and the cash.
"Love Thief" was produced by David Cone, and was also nominated for Best Film and Best Editing. Cone won a large screen television provided by Farmer's Furniture.
The runner-up for the Viewer's Choice Award, with 1,200 votes, was a spoof of the old Sci-Fi show "Captain Video, produced by Neil Russell, was named tops in the Best Editing category. Russell starred as Captain Video himself as he battled his old nemesis Dr. Pauli, who threatened to destroy the earth. Russell's film was also nominated in the Best Directing and Best Film categories.
A film by Hodges Usry won the Best Film category. Called "Control Freaks," it began with a quiet neighborhood scene. A man comes home, waves at his elderly neighbor planting her flowers, and reminds her of a dinner invitation.
Then he enters an underground bunker in his back yard, where a young girl is chained. He has a heart attack and she is able to get the shackle keys, but her compassion overrules her will to escape and she tries to revive him. She escapes when the wife appears, but as she leaves the underground prison, she is shot. The camera shows the elderly neighbor holding a gun, and then the couple appears, discussing mundane issues as if everything is normal.
"The Unnatural," produced by Ramsey Eden, tells the tale of a man who is out of his "Vitameds." He begins to hallucinate, imagining a girlfriend who tells him she will leave if he takes the medicine, and imagines himself covered in blood after violent episodes.
Eden's film won the Best Cinematography category, and was nominated for Best Editing, Best Directing, and Best Film.
A film about an aged pizza delivery man who battles steep stairs and is late in delivering his wares, "20 Minutes or Less," produced by Steve Nyberg, was named top in the Best Director category. An angry customer curses him and flings an obscene finger gesture in his face, but a hungry neighbor offers to buy the pizza, gives him a hefty tip and tells him about the elevator nearby.
Nyberg's film was also nominated in the Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Film and Viewer's Choice categories.
A film by James Kicklighter called "The Car Wash," has several nominations throughout the night. Tin “The Car Wash,” a young man's Tweeting is interrupted by an elderly lady who wants to talk about her life, and by the time she leaves, the young man begins to think about what is important - and what is not - in life. The Car Wash was nominated for Best Film, Best Directing, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
Other nominations included "The Interrogation," produced by Jon Irvan, for Best Cinematography and Viewer's Choice.
The Statesboro Film Festival, hosted by the Statesboro Herald, was also sponsored by 119 Chops and Gailey Trophy,
Statesboro Herald reporter Phil Boyum served as Master of Ceremonies and Matt Bankhead, who founded the film festival, presented the awards.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.