Not Film Festival

The Civil Dead continues its strong film festival run, taking home two top awards at the fifth annual Nòt Film Festival, which just wrapped in Santarcangelo, Italy. 

The slacker comedy won Best Film in the Shooting Stars category at Nòt Film, and director Clay Tatum won Best Director. I served on a jury alongside actress Greta Ferro and moviemaker Gavin Booth in the Shooting Stars category, where we highlighted The Civil Dead‘s “infectious, low-key charm that belies the craft inherent for something to appear so effortless.” (It previously won awards at Slamdance and the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.

Giving Birth to a Butterfly also took home two awards: a Special Mention for Cinematography in the Shooting Stars category and the Director’s Cut Award. The latter award is given out each year by Nòt Film’s artistic directors, Alizè Latini and Giovanni Labadessa, to two films of their choosing. Documentary Il Gabbiano Piú Inutile del Mondo by Giuseppe Lanno took home the Director’s Cut award on the nonfiction side. 

Nòt Film, celebrating its fifth year, keeps adding exciting new initiatives with each edition. This year saw the addition of the “Not A Chance” category, in which three young filmmakers are given a prompt on the opening night and then to write, film, edit and present shorts based on that prompt on the closing night, just six short nights later. Italian director Ludovico Di Martino (I Viaggiatori) mentored the young filmmakers, and Luca Severi Production Group provided professional equipment for the minishoots. 

“This is a flourishing moment to make cinema and we have to make cinema, and we hope in our little to inspire many young filmmakers to continue to get involved, create, make mistakes and start again, cutting out for them the place that independent cinema deserves,” Latini and Labadessa said.

The prompt for the inaugural “Not a Chance”? “There are only three days to the end of the world, and men are to blame.” 

Two of the three “Not a Chance” filmmakers took a comedic approach to a decidedly morose topic: Elisa Possenti’s short equated the world’s end to a very bad kiss between teenagers, while Pablo Proietti’s comical short imagined a business ecosystem quickly developing around the end of the world. But Felippo Marasco won with a stark and decidedly more serious approach. 

Di Martino told MovieMaker that the festival would like to grow the program next year, but aims for smart, steady growth.

Here is the full list of Nòt Film Festival winners:

Moonwalker Features

Best Film: Troubled Minds

Best Performance: Only Human

Best Director: Sarah Carter for In Her Name

Special Mention: The Days I Lost and Troubled Minds

Shooting Stars Features

Best Film: The Civil Dead

Best Director: Clay Tatum for The Civil Dead

Best Performance: Madeline Coghlan for We Burn Like This

Special Mention for Best Cinematography: Giving Birth to a Butterfly

SuperDocs Features

Best Film: Why Are We (Not) Creative

SuperDocs Shorts

Best Film: “Victory”

Experimental Shorts

Best Film: “Reconstruction”

Best Performance: “Other Half”

Special Mention: “Avery”

Music Bomb and Fashion Popcorn

“Enough” and “Yoshi Funabashi”

NòtStream Award


“Vuja De”

“Figli Delle Stelle”

ER Talents Jury Shorts:

Best Film: “The Pitch”

Best Director: “Ghosted”

Special Mention: “Every Other Week”

Director’s Cut Award

Il Gabbiano Piú Inutile del Mondo

Giving Birth to a Butterfly

The fifth annual Nòt Film Festival ran from August 23-28 in Santarcangelo, Italy.

Main image: Ludovico di Martino (second from right) and the three “Not a Chance” filmmakers (L-R): Pablo Proietti, Felippo Marasco and Elisa Possenti. Courtesy of Nòt Film Festival