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IMFF 2024
Awards

The 9th Indie Meme Film Festival comes to Austin in-person from April 17 - 21, 2024 and is held at the Austin Film Society Cinema.

Indie Meme Film Festival awards are announced during the Closing Night Party. Most films which were selected for In-Theater exhibition or for Virtual Festival are eligible for both Jury Awards and Audience Choice Awards in their own respective categories.

Jury Awards

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Best Narrative Feature

Jurors: Neeraja Rao, Tania Romero, Kamal Khan, Christian Raymond

The film is a powerful social commentary on patriarchy, gender bias, social inequality, and Colorism. What stood out for the jury was the beautiful use of all the navraas or 9 emotions —laughter (hasya), love (shringar), fear (bhayanaka), anger (raudra), courage (vira), sadness (karuna), amazement (adbhuta), disgust (vibhatsya) and calmness (shanti). There was a certain musicality and pace in the entire film, with a strong use of sound to support the compelling story. There were also Natural Performances by non-actors, with realistic treatment and a fine eye for smaller details blending in without being didactic. Even when you know what the next plot point is and you wait for a rebellion, you’re taken aback by the suddenness of the climax. All in all, we loved the film's message:  BE EDUCATED BE ORGANISED & BE AGITATED.

 

The jury’s favorite is a Film that’s a slap in the face of society: Jayant Digambar Somalkar’s STHAL!

Narrative Feature:
Special Mention

Jurors: Neeraja Rao, Tania Romero, Kamal Khan, Christian Raymond

The film is a riveting exploration of grief with nuanced performances from young actors, fascinating character study, unpredictable expectation defying plot turns, and a heart-wrenching, "edge of your seat" finale. A Special Jury Mention is awarded for the poignant coming-of-age story about loss and displacement. This movie had heart-wrenching, real raw performances that tugged your heart. We were fascinated by the character arcs and the treatment. The film has weaves many parallel storylines that gradually reveal themselves, but it is left up to the audience to explore, as the Director keeps the focus firmly on the protagonist's private world. We loved how the director slowly starts building up the mood to something sinister, leading to the edge-of-the-seat finale.

 

The jury is still trying to figure out how the director and the young actors could pull off an end scene that's heartbreaking and powerful!

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Best Documentary

Jurors: Syed Akbar Hyder, Mike Blizzard

AGAINST THE TIDE is a beautifully shot documentary, acutely sensitive to colors as they spring from the spectacular landscape. The colors themselves tell such a poignant story. The film itself plays like a narrative, with incredibly intimate access to the family, as the members struggle with the pressures of overfishing, climate change, pollution, health care, and balancing traditions with the pressures of the modern world.

The film's characters will linger in your mind for a long time afterwards, and you may find yourself wanting a follow-up, to show where they are today. Truly a groundbreaking, must-see documentary film.

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Best Debut

Jurors: Jake Martinez, Sweta Rajesh

IN FLAMES is a film that contextually has never been made before. Perhaps due to societal implications, perhaps because our world was simply not ready for it. This film is a deep exploration of the gender, cultural, and spiritual dynamics of the Arab world. However, the overall message is universal. Strong depictions of trauma, grief, and the subsequently afflicted personal hells through virulent yet beautiful camera work and audio engineering placed us vividly close to the characters and the circumstances they inhabited.

 

We were kept engaged, moved, scared, and many times at the edge of our seats, all the while being provoked into many avenues of thought and mind as to what the characters experienced, and what we ourselves have experienced. IN FLAMES will evoke this even further in new audiences around the world, and we are excited to witness it happen.

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Best Short

Jurors: Vanessa Uhlig, Alex Salahi, Lila Mali, Gabriel Ornelas

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER is a testament to the power of using tight and efficient storytelling to craft a story of momentous scale. Fresh dialogue, nuanced performances, and breathtaking cinematography unexpectedly give way to haunting final moments. There is a quiet control over the central dramatic question, as we learn along with the brothers at the heart of the film the truth behind the mysterious sounds they hear. All of this plays out with careful, rich sound design that meets the majesty of the Himalayan landscape.

Weaving talk of folklore and ghosts with modern environmental crises, the film’s message of a rural village losing its way of life, and our dependence on one another, slices like a shard of cleaving ice.

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