Antiwar short film The Boot of War won top honors at the Haydenfilms 3.0 Online Film Festival, taking home the festival’s $10,000 grand prize. The festival also paid tribute to independent moviemaker Michael Attardi, awarding him its first annual Innovator of the Year Award for his short film, Once Upon a Christmas Village, which has racked up much acclaim on the festival circuit.
As one of the first exclusively online film festivals, the Haydenfilms Online Film Festival exhibits entries online, with 54 semifinalists chosen from hundreds of submissions by people’s choice voting. The Boot of War competed against an international field of finalists: the Spanish-U.S. co-production Blindness; Encounters, from Mexico; and the Scottish Forgotten Souls. “The Boot of War exemplifies the incredible independent filmmaking talent represented from around that globe, that we have been able to attract to the Haydenfilms Online Film Festival,” says Haydenfilms president and founder Hayden Craddolph. “Equally important, all of our finalists our chosen by the public. We are deeply honored to have top filmmakers like Michael Attardi involved with Haydenfilms.”
The Boot of War, the story of a wounded WWII solider, was a labor of love for Parisian director Reda Mustafa. “I had been dreaming about this movie for a long time before we succeeded in making it,” says Mustafa. “I want it to be seen by everyone, for that’s the reason for our work, to tell stories. Winning this award means a lot to me and my young crew. It’s a true honor and we thank Haydenfilms and its audience.”
Attardi’s Once Upon a Christmas Village boasts vocals from Jim Belushi and Tim Curry, and has won more than 15 film festivals. Pennsylvania State Senator Michael O’Pake, known for supporting Pennsylvania moviemaking, presented Attardi with his award. “The technology exhibited in ‘indie’ films rivals that of the major production studies around the world,” says the senator. “The creativity of individuals is continuing to raise the bar throughout the filmmaking industry. It is this level of creativity that we wish to recognize this evening with the presentation of the first Hayden films Innovator of the Year Award.”
Visit www.haydenfilms.com for more information.