Cinequest Wraps with Award Winners and Records


As the worldwide, preeminent discovery ground for both cinema and media innovation, Cinequest Film Festival 23 (CQFF23) unleashed record-breaking premieres and audiences, leading edge technologic innovations, and a spectacular class of Maverick Spirit Award recipients. Over o ne hundred thousand participants enjoyed 86 World and U.S. Premieres from 48 countries in world class venues. The organization that led the revolutions of digital film making, internet distribution, and digital exhibition proudly became an all-digital experience sporting Sony 4K and Barco projection systems and an all digital international lineup. Artist & Innovator forums integrated the amazing worlds of creativity and technologies focusing on the opportunities of 4K film making and film viewing as well as the role of social media in financing and marketing films. 

Legends Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Phil Molyneux (President & COO, Sony Electronics), Chris Cookson (President, Sony Pictures Technologies) and Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children) received Maverick Spirit Awards- inspiring Cinequest artists and audiences with illuminating conversation and insight. Previous recipients include: J.J. Abrams, Kevin Spacey, William H. Macy, Deepak Chopra, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jackie Chan, Sir Ian McKellen, Edward James Olmos, Robert Wise, Alec Baldwin, and Sir Ben Kingsley.

CQFF23 opened with Sally Potter's (Orlando) latest, Ginger & Rosa, starring Elle Fanning and Christina Hendricks and closed with Deepa Mehta (Fire, Earth, and Water) helmed Midnight's Children. Additional film highlights included: Jessalyn Gilsig in Somewhere Slow; Mads Mikkelsen in The Hunt, Jamie Chung in Eden, and Tommie Lee Jones in Emperor.

Knight Foundation Audience Award Winners, and recipients of a $25,000 cash prize each, were: Wampler's Ascent (Knight Foundation Audience Award, Documentary) and The Sapphires (Knight Foundation Audience Award, Dramatic Feature).

Jury Award Winners included: One Small Hitch (Best Comedy), Stable Life (Best Documentary), and Solace (Best Drama).

"This festival is the bar by which other festivals must try to live up to. I don't know how it could possibly get any better, but I'm excited to see how it will. And after meeting the heads of the departments, and the two co-founders of the festival, I have no doubt that they have something planned and it will be amazing," said John Burgess, Director of One Small Hitch, winner of the Best Comedy.

Cinequest Picture the Possibilities Season Three: April 1, 2013 - March 2, 2014

Cinequest Film Festival 24 Dates: March 3 - 16, 2014


Knight Foundation Audience Favorite Narrative

$25,000 Prize

The Sapphires

Director: Wayne Blair


Knight Foundation Audience Favorite Documentary

$25,000 Prize

Wampler's Ascent

Director: Elizabeth Wampler


Jury - Best Narrative Feature: Drama


Director: Vandon Gibbs


Jury - Best Narrative Feature: Comedy

One Small Hitch

Director: John Burgess


Jury- Best Feature Documentary

Stable Life

Director: Sara MacPherson


New Visions Award

The Playback Singer

Director: Suju Vijayan


Global Vision Award

Loveless Zoritsa

Directors: Christina Hadjicharalambous and Radoslav Pavkovic


Kaiser Thrive Award

Wampler's Ascent

Director: Elizabeth Wampler


Best Animated Short


Director: Isabel Peppard


Best Narrative Short

No Rest for the Wicked

Director: Ryan Schifrin


Best Documentary Short

Sky Burial

Director: Tad Fettig


Best Student Short


Director: Chantelle Burgoyne





Blindman's Land

Writer: Mark Heck


Second Place Award

Black Mustard

Writer: Michael Clevenger


Third Place Award

Hancock Park

Writer: Steven Wolfson


Remaining Seven Finalists:

Accidentes: Written By Thomas Heys

Snapper:  Written By Claire Fowler

Dime Store Saint:  Written By Nate Lane

Butterfly Children: Written By Melanie Schiele

Mrs. Seyerling: Written By Marie-Juliette Steinsvold

Through Maria's Eyes: Written By David Rich

Open Book: Written By Philip Chidel


CQ23 Premium Partners: HP (NYSE: HPQ), Sony (NYSE: SNE), AT&T U-verse (NYSE: T), The San Francisco Examiner, Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR), and the City of San Jose.

CQ23 Partners: Adobe (NYSE: ADBE), CBS Radio (NYSE: CBS), Comcast (NYSE: CMCSK), Dolby (NYSE: DLB), eBay Foundation (NYSE: EBAY), Harmonic (NYSE: HLIT), Jen's Cakes, Kaiser Permanente, Knight Foundation, Liquid Agency, Macy's (NYSE: M), Panasonic (NYSE: PCRFF), Peet's Coffee & Tea (NYSE: PEET), San Francisco Bay Guardian, Synaptics (NYSE: SYNA), United Airlines (NYSE: UAL), Valley Transportation Authority, Stella Artois (NYSE: BUD), NBC Bay Area, Yelp, Hilton San Jose, Hyatt Place San Jose, The Fairmont San Jose,, Williams Party Rentals, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), POPSUGAR Inc., PayPal, and Tito's Handmade Vodka.

For a full list of CQ23 sponsors go to:



Cinequest fuses creativity and innovation to empower through Picture The Possibilities global youth and leadership movement, Cinequest Mavericks Studio, and Cinequest Film Festival.  Based in the Silicon Valley, Cinequest Film Festival is one of the seven biggest film festivals in the world and the leader in technologies and innovation.