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Wed, Nov. 20

‘Wish Man’ wins Prescott Film Festival Audience Choice Award
Audience had a lot of passion, director says

The audience at the Prescott Film Festival made its voice heard, voting for “Wish Man” to receive the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Prescott Film Festival Director and Founder Helen Stephenson said she was really delighted to have the locally-made film receive the award.

“I was thinking it would win but you never know,” Stephenson said. “It’s all about the numbers. Every person gets one vote.”

Frank Shankwitz, the Prescott resident whose story and the events that led to the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation are told in the biographical drama, is delighted to have had the film connect with the audience in such a way, she said.

Other Audience Choice Awards for this year’s festival are “Skid Row Marathon” for Best Documentary Feature, “Stag” for Best Narrative Short and “Teaching in Arizona” for Best Documentary Short.

“There seems to be a lot of passion in the audience for what (the filmmakers) worked toward,” Stephenson said of the audience’s response to “Teaching in Arizona.”

As far as this year’s jury awards, “Storm Boy” won best Narrative Feature, “The Weight of Water” won Best Documentary Feature, “Have It All” won Best Narrative Short and “A New View of the Moon” won Best Documentary Short.

“Ruben Brandt: Collector” won the Director’s Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature and “Skid Row Marathon” won the Director’s Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature. Additionally, “Theta” won the First Place the High School Film Awards with director Jonathan Umali receiving $1,000 toward Film and Media Arts classes while “Tragedy on Ruth Street” and “Four Year Marauder” tied for second place and directors Lleyton Howard and Alex Loyd received $500 toward Film and Media Arts classes.

For anyone who wants to check these films out, each filmmaker has their own distribution plans, Stephenson said. However, subscribers to the Prescott Film Festival email list will get an email detailing where they can find the films. People are more likely to see the shorts online than the features, Stephenson said.

The filmmakers of “Teaching in Arizona” are trying to get the film out to as many people as possible and have the option for anyone interested to host a screening on their website at www.teachinginarizonafilm.org.

“Wish Man” is also showing at Harkins Theatres in Prescott Valley, 7202 Pav Way.

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