South Georgia Film Festival Announces Winners


film festival winners


VALDOSTA, GA – The South Georgia Film Festival presented awards at its inaugural event Saturday, March 4 at the Valdosta State University Student Union Theater.


Featuring films from around the South and across the world, the festival awarded trophies to the Best High School and College films for those competing in the festival’s timed competition. The festival’s judges also recognized the quality worked submitted by filmmakers outside of the timed competition.


Ryan Adams, a Valdosta State University student, won the Best College Film award for PEANUTS FOR BRETT, about a military veteran visiting his friend who died overseas. Ryan’s production team included VSU students Bryce Whitford, Akerius Dixon and Shawna Lucas.


Bennett Atkins, from Birmingham, AL, won the Best High School Film award for ONE LAST THING TO FIX, about a man leaving a last message to a loved one.


Filmmakers Dan Kelly and Jotja Bessems judged the films and choose the winners. Dan Kelly, an instructor at the Georgia Film Academy in Fayetteville, GA, is currently a quarterfinalist for the Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting. Jotja Bessems, a filmmaker from the Netherlands, screened her film OUR SOLDIER Thursday at the Turner Center for the Arts and Friday at the VSU Student Union. OUR SOLDIER has won at several festivals and has been broadcast nationally on Netherlands’ television.


The event was sponsored by the Valdosta State University Communication Department and Mass Media Program. Along with help from the VSU student Film & Video Society, the festival distributed awards made at Harmons Awards in Valdosta and passes from Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta. Wild Adventures opens their season March 11, and Splash Island opens April 1. Student from the Film& Video Society along with the Video Workshop class participated in bring this year’s festival to life.


The festival also featured films submitted outside of the timed competition and recognized the following films for their excellence: Best Production Design (A BEAUTIFUL DAY), Best Performance (HOW WAS YOUR DAY), Best Editing (LABELED), Best Use of Prompts (TED THE HANDY MAN), and Best Direction (A SHARE OF SHARE).


For more information and pictures, feel free to visit the festival’s website at or its Twitter account @SouthGAFilm . If you have any additional  questions, please contact festival director Jason Brown at or 229-219-1298.