It was a wrap for qFLIX Worcester 2017 at the historic Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts in the city’s arts district on Sunday, September 17 finale of the first edition of the city’s and region’s four-day LGBTQ film festival in New England came to a close.

Festival and Audience Awards were announced for a total of ten qFLIX Worcester Awards presented by producers James Duggan and Thom Cardwell in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience.

The ten qFLIX Worcester Awards were divided equally with five categories of Festival Awards and five categories of Audience Awards prior to the New England premiere of “Handsome Devil,” directed by John Butler, an entry from the Irish Film Board and distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures.

The expansion of the awards allowed for greater opportunities for filmmakers to win their all-important festival laurels in the international LGBTQ+ indie film festival world.

“We enjoy the satisfaction of giving out awards to worthy filmmakers and notable honorees,” said Duggan, who conceived of the Festival Awards at qFLIX Worcester. The awards were chosen by the administration and management of the new festival in lieu of jury awards this year.

qFLIX Worcester 2017 Festival Awards were presented to:

Country People” (USA) by David Bobrow for Best Men’s Short

Taste of Love” (Austria) by Paul Scheufler for Best Women’s Short

Sis” (UK) by Dimitris Toulias for Best Trangender Short

B&B” (UK) by Joe Ahearne for Best Feature Film or Documentary-International

Thirsty” (USA) by Margo Pelletier for Best Feature Film or Documentary-National   

qFLIX Worcester 2017 Audience Awards were presented to:

The Commitment” (USA) by Albert M. Chan for Best Men’s Short

Momo” (South Korea) by Yunjoo Chang for Best Women’s Short

Dusk” (UK) by Jake Gaff for Best Transgender Short

Play The Devil” (Trinidad-Tobago) by Maria Govan for Best Feature Film or Documentary-International

Russian Doll” (USA) by Ed Gaffney for Best Feature Film or Documentary-National 

Audience awards were determined by festival attendees who rated the films on a newly-introduced phone App that proved popular and resulted in greater participation from the audience.

The two recipients of the “Harvey Milk Community Service Award” were presented on closing night, as part of the awards ceremony, by Worcester community activist and professor John Trobaugh, on behalf of qFLIX Worcester, to Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus for their efforts and success at making Worcester a more LGBTQ+ diverse and inclusive city. Through their efforts, Worcester was able to raise their Human Rights Campaign score from under 50 to over 100 in a matter of a few years. 

In addition to the qFLIX Worcester Festival Awards, producers Cardwell, Duggan, along with co-producers Bill Egan, and J Christian Rea, presented a number of special awards throughout the four-day festival, that included:

Rising Star in Acting Award to Davi Santos (“Something Like Summer”)

Producer’s Award to Carlos Pedraza (“Something Like Summer”)  

First Time Director Award to Anthony Caruso (“Brotherly Love”)

Barbara Gittings International Human Rights Award to Myriam Fougere (“Feminista”)

Community Spotlight Award to Dale LePage (New England Pride TV)

“Awards of any kind are meaningful to LGBTQ+ indie filmmakers and festivals are aware of the impact they have helping to get film distribution,” agreed Duggan and Cardwell, who also served as artistic director for programming qFLIX Worcester.

Of the launch of qFLIX Worcester, longtime resident and performer (aka Miss Crystal), as well as co-producer of the festival, Rea said, “Living in Worcester, Massachusetts, for the past 17 years has been a blessing. Even more than a blessing, a real example of how communities can come together in these times of uncertainty, is the witnessing of two American cities such as Philadelphia and Worcester, combining the LGBTQ+ film communities from across the globe to our respective qFLIX cities, to share stories that really affect us all.”