SGFF Announces 2024 Winners

March 5, 2024

VALDOSTA, GA – The South Georgia Film Festival announced its 2024 winners and additional screenings. Georgia filmmakers had a big night, with Best of Fest winner going to Hudson Phillips’ GUACAMOLE YESTERDAYS and Best of Georgia going to THE DAY THAT SHOOK GEORGIA by Patrick Longstreth. The South Georgia Film Festival has partnered with Wiregrass Technical College for two screenings Wednesday, March 6 at 2 pm and 6 pm of the winning films.

Along with the two top awards, recognition was given to films across the categories. GUACAMOLE YESTERDAYS also won for Best Feature Film. Matthew Hashiguchi’s THE ONLY DOCTOR captured the award for Best Feature Documentary. Georgia based Vanishing Angle captured Best Narrative Short with SHADOW BROTHER SUNDAY directed by Alden Ehrenreich. Sunflower County Film Academy, along with Florida State professor Brian Graves and Pablo Correa, captured the Documentary Short category with the film AN ARMY RISING UP. Recognized in the Best Animation category, Ryotaro Sawada and Agatha Tiara Christa of Savannah College of Art & Design won for GORO GORO. Florida State student Raven Carter won for Best Graduate Narrative with the film WHITEWASHED. Georgia native and current University of Southern California student Shannon Morrall won for Best Graduate Documentary for SPEAR.SPATULA.SUBMARINE. Keith Cohen’s documentary about service animals, HEALING PAWS, recognized for Undergraduate Student Fillm. DEAN’S LIST by Kennedy Reid of Savannah recognized for High School Student Film. Due to the number of International films, JUST… from Kazikstan by Amir Kaken recognized for International Short Film. Danielle Beverly’s film QATAR STARS was recognized for International Feature Film. The judges also recognized William H. Capps for his Set Design for the film IN THE PINES, and Safiya Songhai for Social Impact with her film INTERCEPTION – JAYNE KENNEDY AMERICAN SPORTSCASTER.

“We are lucky to be able to partner with Wiregrass Technical College and have them screen a collection of these winning films on their campus,” said Jason Brown, Festival Director of the South Georgia Film Festival. “With two screenings, Wednesday March 6, folks that were unable to attend the weekend will have another opportunity to see the films.

This year’s winners were determined by a wide variety of judges – both nationally recognized professionals and local community members. Along with screening their films and participating in panels, this year’s judges included director Dan Mirvish, Nic LaRue of Film Snobbery, Betsy Kaplin of University of Central Florida, author Heather Hale, Georgia Film Academy instructor Nicole Kemper, screenwriter Marti King Young, set designer Segrio Sanchez Selva, and previous SGFF winners Kyle Taubken and Costas Karalis.

Local judges include Kendrick King of Lowndes High School, Tim Drexler and John Patten of Wiregrass Technical College, and Jessica Ganas of the Lowndes County Courthouse.

This year’s festival included over forty visiting filmmakers from as far as California and as near as a student from Cook County. The festival added to the local economy with hotel stays, gasoline purchases, and food.

“The growth of the film industry in South Georgia is about how it can help feed the other parts of our economy as well,” Brown said.

Promoting the art and industry of filmmaking, the South Georgia Film Festival will begin accepting submissions starting in April 2024. Next year’s festival will take place March 7, 8, & 9, 2025.

This year’s festival could not happen without the support of our community sponsors, including Georgia Power, Valdosta State University, the Wal-Mart Community Grant, the Georgia Film Office, Wild Adventures, the Turner Center for the Arts, Georgia Production Partnership, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Association, Creative Vein Studios, Downtown Social, Lowndes County, and Film Impact Georgia.

For more information on the South Georgia Film Festival, visit or contact Prof. Jason Brown at 229-219-1298 or

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Photos from the 2024 South Georgia Film Festival

(l to r) Filmmakers T.L Westgate, Daniel Woods, Keri Maletto, Danielle Beverly, Drew Youngblood, and Allegra Novikov (Photo by Jason Brown)

(l to r) Jessica Ganas of the Lowndes County Courthouse and coach Tony Pierce representing the film INTERCEPTION (photo submitted)

(l to r) Hank Bagwell, director of OPERATION SONG, and Herb Harbaugh

(l to r) Student Festival Director Genesis Greenlee, GUACAMOLE YESTERDAYS’ Director of Photography Trisha Solyn and Producer Michelle Moreland, and Festival Director Jason Brown (Photo by Caleb Davis)

SGFF Announces 2020 Festival Awards

March 16, 2020

VALDOSTA, GA – Concluding the 2020 South Georgia Film Festival, several local and regional films were rewarded with trophies and recognition. The film Speed of Life, directed by Liz Manshil, won Best of Fest, while Danielle Beverly’s documentary Dusty Groove captured best Feature Film. Festival attendees chose the inaugural Best Poster award for Life Binder, produced by Valdosta State University alum Terrel Sandefur.

Director Douglas Cullen was on-hand to receive the Best Short Film award for his film Portrait of a Woman at Dawn, which was also recognized for Best Production Design. Florida State University students Skylar Theis and William O’Neal won Best College Film for King, Charles. California native Nick Sherman won Best High School film for Earth Defence Force.

Each of the category winners above received a trophy created by Harmons’ Awards in Valdosta. Those present also received a prize package from streaming service MUBI and a blu-ray of the film Matewan, featuring VSU professor Jason Brown’s film Them That Work, donated by Criterion Collection.

The festival judges also wanted recognize other films in the festival including, Imani’s Skin for Best Animation, made by Florida State student Jessica Kirby; Best Featurette to A Rodeo Film by Ryan Binse of the American Film Institute; Best Visual Effects to Journey by Radheya Jegatheva from Australia.

Along with the direct support for this year’s winners, the South Georgia Film Festival includes sponsorships from Georgia Power, Georgia Beer Company, the Georgia Council for the Arts, Valdosta State University, the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority, Wild Adventures, the Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta Main Street, the Valdosta Daily Times, Ashley Street Station, the City of Valdosta, the Williams Hotel Group, MUBI, and the Criterion Channel.

Promoting entrepreneurship through filmmaking, the festival continues to promote the regional film industry with panelists discussing both the craft and industrial impact of film for local businesses.

The 2021 South Georgia Film Festival will be held March 5, 6, and 7 and will begin accepting submissions soon. Both high school and college submissions are free until July 1, 2020.

For more information on the South Georgia Film Festival, visit or contact Prof. Jason Brown at 229-219-1298 or

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