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The Woods Hole Film Festival announces winners

Filmmakers Susanna Styron (left) and Karen Allen at the Woods Hole Film Festival. Gene Chambers/Woods Hole Film Festival/Woods Hole Film Festival

For many years, Woods Hole Film Festival winners had local ties. The prize films were made about — or by people from — New England.

But this year, the list of honorees is broader — and international.

The prize for best narrative feature — comedy went to “What Children Do,” by Minnesota’s Dean Peterson, about sisters who take care of their grandmother; the award for best narrative feature — drama went to Byron Davis’s “Jagveld,” a South African film about a woman who witnesses a murder; the prize for best documentary feature went to Madeleine Gavin’s “City of Joy,” about the women’s leadership center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the best animation short went to Simon Hewitt’s “A Little Grey,” out of Mexico.


Festival Executive Director Judy Laster said the 26-year old event, which wrapped its 2017 festivities over the weekend, still celebrates local filmmakers and their projects, but “we’ve also expanded our horizons. Over the last five or six years, we’ve seen a real expansion of films from other countries.”

Laster noted that while the audience and jury’s tastes have aligned in recent years, that didn’t happen in 2017.

Audience awards went to Christopher J. Hansen’s drama “Blur Circle,” Louisiana Kreutz’s comedy “Quaker Oaths,” Thomas D. Herman’s “Dateline-Saigon” for best feature documentary, and Han Zhang’s “Stars” for best animated short.

The big star at the festival this year was actress Karen Allen, who screened her directorial debut, “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.” Allen also took part in the festival discussion “Survival Strategies for Independent Filmmakers” sponsored by Women in Film & Video/New England.