For inquiries, contact Lauren Kelcher Stevenson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, TX – March 5, 2018 – Documentarian Frank Stiefel took home an Academy Award® this Sunday for his short film Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405. The film won the Documentary Short Jury Award at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival (AFF) in 2016, making it eligible for its Oscar nomination. The short film explores how artist Mindy Alper’s psychologically powerful and emotionally honest work allowed her to emerge from a previously dark and isolating life.
An Academy-qualifying Festival, AFF’s Jury Award winning films in the Documentary Short, Narrative Short, and Animated Short categories have the opportunity to continue their journey all the way to the red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard each year. Other nominated films made eligible by AFF have included the 2013 Animated Short Film, Head over Heels; the 2012 Narrative Short, Asad; and 2011’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
This year, AFF saw almost a dozen films from its past programs featured as 2018 Oscar contenders, including the animated short Negative Space by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, and feature length films Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Call Me By Your Name, I, Tonya, Darkest Hour, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and Mudbound.
In addition to winning the Jury Award, Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 also took home the 2016 Documentary Short Audience Award and Hiscox Insurance’s Courage Award, given to only one film each year that best displays feats of bravery on screen.
Director Frank Stiefel has produced two short subject documentaries that have received awards at major international festivals such as Toronto Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival. His documentary Ingelore was honored by the International Documentary Association, The Museum of Modern Art, Berlinale, and others.
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 can be viewed online on YouTube and at www.frankstiefel.com.
ABOUT AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL:
Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF champions the work of aspiring and established writers and filmmakers by providing unique cultural events and services, enhancing public awareness and participation, and encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community partnerships. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. For media credentials, please contact Lauren Kelcher Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.