The Doc Sunback Film Festival in Mulvane, Kansas, honored "Elephants in the Coffee" with its award for Best Documentary on June 24, 2017.
"Elephants" competed against more than 400 films that were entered in the competition. More than 90 were screened during the festival.
Organizers Nancy Farber-Mottola, Sheri Kaufman-Marsh and Kenny Linn did an amazing job. Along with a small group of screeners, they watched all the films that were entered (sometimes multiple times) and picked a great selection. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the entries. Many of the documentaries were very well shot and produced. I was surprised and very pleased when "Elephants" won.
Though I am hardly qualified to assess the narrative films, would like to say that Ellen Crispin's "King," the overall winner of the festival, was an outstanding work. I love its metaphorical visualization. The animation, such as the winner "The Bigger Picture" by Daisy Jacobs was extremely creative and, in this case particularly, quite moving. "What Would Beethoven Do?", the outside Kansas winner, was both stylish and thoughtful.
Austin Snell's "Dust, Blood and Fire" shows what remarkable feature-length work a small budget filmmaker can do with a lot of creativity. "Sphere Cycle" showcased a teenage filmmaker who is incredibly bright. Isaiah Marcotte the kind of student I'd like to recruit to ABAC. He has a passion for film. And the makers of "Bag Full of Trouble," Nate Jones, Roy Nugen and Gina Nugen, are so creative they can, literally, pull a story out of a bag. The audience favorite was "Mr. Lee" by IX Film Productions, a dark comedy about filmmakers.
We would like to thank everyone at Doc Sunback for the support. And we'd also like to thank our good luck charm, Bhaskar's son Srikar, who still carries the trophy around with him wherever he goes.
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College