Originally created 01/22/06

Everyone's a winner at Southern Fried event



Here's a success worthy of celebration.

Two weeks ago, the Imperial Theatre held its second annual Southern Fried Flicks Film Festival and attracted more than 100 filmmakers from across the region and more than 1,500 film fans eager to celebrate the Southern cinematic aesthetic.

The festival, which after a modest beginning in 2005, truly came into its own this year. Entries and interest were way up, and Imperial Theatre Executive Director Lara Plocha was so encouraged that she already is planning for bigger and better next year.

Although just having a self-produced film screened in front of an eager audience is reward enough, the Southern Fried filmmakers also were in the running for a variety of honors and awards. Here's a rundown of the winners:

BEST DOCUMENTARY

First - Secret City: The Oak Ridge Story, Keith McDaniel

Second - Happy Crying Nursing Home, Niklas Vollmer

Third - Sphere of Influence, Stace Treat

BEST FEATURE

First - 29 Reasons to Run, Damon O'Steen

Second - Deep Green, Tim Johnson

Third - Marcus, Rich Robinson and Bob Hardison

BEST SHORT

First - Song for Robbie Miller, Sean Bates

Second - Dear Sweet Emma, John Cernak

Third - Would You Cry If I Died?, Bob Pondillo

BEST STUDENT FILM (COLLEGE)

First - SYN, Benjamin Chavda

Second - Voodoo Doll, Roberto Minervini

Third - Tears in the Rain, David Estrada

BEST STUDENT FILM (HIGH SCHOOL)

First - Lunchroom Perspectives, Alex Taylor and Billy Probus

Second - Sorry, Hodges Usry

Third - Poof Fantasies, John S. Davidson Fine Arts School junior class

BEST LOCAL FILM

First - Deep Green, Tim Johnson

Second - Artists at Work, Charlene Gowan

Third - What'll It Be, Duane Brown

AUDIENCE CHOICE

First - For the Title, Josh Long

Second - The Ugly Couple, Chris Flowers

Third - All That Remains, Aaron Brownlee

It should be noted that no fewer than five of the winners were produced locally, making Southern Fried a victory not only for the Imperial but also for Augusta's burgeoning moviemaking community. Congratulations to all.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.