Stony Brook Film Festival

Welcome    About Films  Calendar Events Directions Contact Us News/Press  Sponsors  Past Festivals  Box Office






Winners of the 21st Annual Stony Brook Film Festival

presented by Island Federal Credit Union

2016 Jury Award-Best Feature

East Coast Premiere - Finland, Estonia, Germany - 93 min

Directed by Klaus Härö. Written by Anna Heinämaa.

With Mart Avandi, Ursula Ratasepp, Lembit Ulfsak, Liisa Koppel, Hendrik Toompere Sr.

In Estonian and Russian with subtitles


Fleeing the Russian secret police, a young Estonian fencer returns to his homeland where he becomes a teacher at a local school. But when the past catches up with him, he must choose between letting his students down or putting his own life in danger. Based on the real life story of an Estonian fencer Endel Nelis, this beautiful, brilliantly understated film was Finland's entry into this year’s Academy Awards.


 Between Sea and Land

2016 Audience Choice-Best Feature

Columbia - 98 min

Director: Manolo Cruz.  Co-director: Carlos del Castillo.

Written by Manolo Cruz.  With Manolo Cruz, Vicky Hernández, and Viviana Serna.

In Spanish with subtitles


A man yearns to go in the ocean across the street from his house, but suffers from an illness that prevents him from doing so. This absorbing journey into the lives of those who live off Colombia’s Caribbean coast boasts an incredible performance by the film’s writer, Manolo Cruz, as the young man with a debilitating neurological disorder.  Vicky Hernandez brings her talent to the sensitive, loving role of the mother.  A haunting and original story you’ll not see anywhere else.


2016 Jury Award-Best Short

East Coast Premiere - Italy, United Kingdom - 10 min

A film by Francesco Gabriele

In Italian and English with subtitles

In a small Italian village, Antonio translates the confession of an English-speaking woman to the local priest…kind of.


2016 Audience Award-Best Short

Switzerland - 16 min

In French with subtitles

A film by Anaelle Morf

Unhappy in love, Mary Lou decides to reconnect with her religious roots by marrying a practicing Jew.




Venice (tie)

2016 Audience Award-Best Short

Australia - 4 min

In English and Italian with subtitles

A film by Venetia Taylor.

Josh is in Venice, Mum is in Sydney. Josh doesn't understand backpacking, Mum doesn't understand Skype.


Lee Wilkof

2016 Special Recognition by the Jury - Achievement in Filmmaking

World Premiere - United States - 92 min

Directed by Lee Wilkof. Written by Ethan Sandler. With Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing), Nathan Lane (The Producers, The Birdcage), Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, The Aviator), Boyd Gaines and Jon Michael Hill (Elementary).


A film about about hanging out, hanging in, and hanging on. Gabriel Byrne, playing comically against type, portrays aging actor Lester Rosenthal, a man who has lost his way with his career, his family, and his friends. A hilarious Nathan Lane, along with Frances Conroy and Boyd Gaines, portray his fellow thespians, all waiting for the right role to come along as they hang out in the Actors Equity lobby.


John Putch

2016 Special Recognition by the Jury - Spirit of Independent Filmmaking

World Premiere - United States - 85 minutes

Written and directed by John Putch.

With Wil Love (Route 30), David DeLuise (Route 30, Mojave Phone Booth), Dendrie Taylor (The Fighter), Charity Farrell, Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager), Alicia Fusting, Catherine Blane, Carl Schurr, Kevin Horton, Katrina Yaukey, Jamie Rose.


Director John Putch (Pursuit of Happiness, Mojave Phone Booth, Route 30) returns to the Stony Brook Film Festival for the fourth time with the World Premiere of his latest feature The Father and the Bear. A retired character actor with diagnosed dementia (WIL LOVE), longs to perform at his beloved summer theater one last time.  Against his daughter’s wishes (DENDRIE TAYLOR), he accepts a role from the newly installed artistic director (DAVID DeLUISE) who is unaware of the man’s condition.


Delaney Ruston

2016 Special Recognition by the Jury - Timely Social Commentary

New York Premiere - United States - 70 min

Written and directed by Delaney Ruston.


Young people spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on cell phones, computers and other devices, and that doesn't include the time they use screens for school and homework. How can parents help their kids find a healthy balance between social media, video games, academics and the internet, especially when they have to struggle with the same issues themselves? Filmed by Dr. Delaney Ruston, local physician and mother of two, this fascinating documentary explores the question of how much screen time is too much.




Thanks to HBO for sponsoring the Closing Night Awards Reception

Additional sponsors generously supporting the Stony Brook Film Festival are:

Additional Festival Sponsors