LIVERMORE, CA – (May 17, 2016) – The Livermore Valley Film Festival “Where Science Meets Art” closed on Sunday, May 15, 2016 with an awards ceremony celebrating all the films and filmmakers who participated in the inaugural three-day event. The short film “KIRK,” a fascinating film portrait of renowned San Francisco Bay Area kinetic sculptor Jerome Kirk, took top honors; it was nominated for nine awards and won four including “Best of Bay Area/California Film” “Best Direction” and, in the Science Meets Art Short category, both “Best of Fest” and “Audience Choice.” The LVFF, which attracted submissions from around the world, focused on how science and technology are both portrayed in films and used in the filmmaking process. Over the course of the weekend, several hundred attendees including filmmakers, students, and enthusiasts of all ages viewed nearly 50 films, attended workshops, and took advantage of numerous opportunities to intermingle and share ideas and experiences.

“We were very fortunate to have been able to attract films of such high quality across a range of genres in our first year,” said Film Festival Director Lynn Monica. “Films such as cinematography winner ‘Chasing Shadows’ would be an exceptional example of its kind in any competition. Every aspect of filmmaking was well represented across the festival, from the charming “Right Person for the Job” which won for Best Script/Story, to the suspenseful “Ctl Alt Delete” which won both Best Editing and Narrative Best of Fest award,” she added.

Among the films with strong local connections, the winner for Documentary Best in Fest was “Eleven,” an inspiring oral history of eleven naval airmen who served off Guadalcanal Island and on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier. One of the eleven, plane captain Kermit “Tim” Enander, also won for Best Performance. The film was directed by Bay Area-native George Retelas, who found that the stories in his late grandfather’s naval journal sparked his interest and sent him to seek out his grandfather’s remaining comrade-in-arms. The USS Hornet is now decommissioned and serves as a Sea Air and Space Museum on Alameda Island where the film “Eleven” made its premiere on Veterans Day in 2014 and will be shown again on May 30, 2016 in honor of Memorial Day.

A total of 20 awards were given on Sunday evening, including one each for the Open and Student divisions of the LVFF Filmmakers Crush. More than a dozen teams were given just 48 hours to produce a five-minute film with four key elements that could be incorporated in any way that appealed to the filmmakers’ creativity: “where science meets art,” a foreign phrase, Pluto, and a food item being crushed. In addition to the student division of Filmmakers’ Crush, LVFF made an effort to support both professional and novice or student films including a Best of Bay Area/California Student Film award which went to first-time filmmaker Ryan Slattery for “Square One.”

Broadway actress and comedian Julie Halston, whose special guest appearance lit up the stage at the Red Carpet Premiere Friday evening and again at the Awards Ceremony Sunday, complimented LVFF saying, “I have been to many film festivals, and this was the best organized, most gracious, and had the highest quality films of any that I have attended.” Feedback was very positive from attendees and filmmakers alike. “The success of this event gives us great momentum for the future. We heard from many people that the event exceeded their expectations and they are enthusiastic about coming back,” said Scott Kenison, Executive Director for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. “The scope of the films, bookended by ‘A Beautiful Equation’ and ‘Lights, Camera, Independence’ on Friday and by a repeat showing of ‘Eleven’ on Sunday, truly represent the diversity of our community and the many ways we all interact with science,” he said. Plans are already under discussion for next year’s LVFF to be held in May of 2017.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center provides wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. Between them, they have offered more than 500 public activities each year, from classes and workshops, to concerts, festivals and performances, as well as ArtWalk and extensive educational arts outreach. A list of upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater, as well as activities scheduled at the Bothwell Arts Center, is available online at or via the LVPAC mobile app.

Livermore Valley Film Festival 2016 Award Winners

Filmmakers Crush – Open Division: Dad’s Home

Filmmakers Crush – Student Division: Toaster by The Wolf Pack

Science Meets Art Short – Best of Fest: KIRK

Science Meets Art Short – Audience Choice: KIRK

Social/Health/Disability Shorts – Best of Fest: Pursuing Dreams: Stories of Refugee and Immigrant Youth in California

Social/Health/Disability Shorts – Audience Choice: Before the Bomb

Student Film – Best of Fest: The Power to Print

Student Film – Audience Choice: Hidden Genes

Documentary – Best of Fest: Eleven

Documentary – Audience Choice: Lights, Camera, Independence

Narrative – Best of Fest: Ctl Alt Delete

Narrative – Audience Choice: Pete’s Allstars

Best Script/Story: Right Person for the Job

Best Direction: KIRK

Best Cinematography: Chasing Shadows

Best Editing: Ctl Alt Delete

Best Performance: Eleven – Kermit

Best of Bay Area / California Film: KIRK

Best of Bay Area / California Student Film (First time filmmaker): Square One

Best Use of Theme: Chasing Shadows