Films in competition are eligible for a variety of prestigious awards bestowed by our jury, made up of individuals with original and diverse points of view from the film community. We’re no strangers to talent here at Indie Grits. Each year, we bring on the best and the brightest in the filmmaking world, who hail from across the Southeast and beyond, to help us celebrate this year’s crop of moviemaking talent. In addition, we invite audiences to vote for their favorites with the Audience Award, which goes to one film in-competition.

2019 Film Awards

Top Grit – $1000

Given to the top film as determined by our jury. Films from all categories are eligible to win this award.

Helen Hill Memorial Award – $500

Awarded to the best work by a female filmmaker, in honor of Columbia native and celebrated animator, filmmaker and teacher Helen Hill (1970-2007).

Big Grit – $500

Given to the top feature film.

Short Grit – $500

Given to the top short film.

Animated Grit – $250

Given to the top animated film.

The People’s Grit – $250

Awarded tot he film considered best as determined by a public vote.

Experimental Grit – $250

Given to the top experimental film.

Youth Grit – $250

Given to the top student film.

Local Grit – $250

Given to the top film from South Carolina.

Meet our 2019 Festival Jurors

Chloë Walters Wallace

Chloë Walters – Wallace is the manager of the Firelight Media Documentary Lab, an 18 month fellowship that provides mentorship, funding, and access to first and second time filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities. She also heads up Firelight’s newest initiative the Groundwork Day Lab, which aims to expand the pipeline of emerging diverse makers from the South and the Midwest. Previously, Chloe was program director of the New Orleans Film Society’s Emerging Voices Mentorship Program, and the brand new Southern Producers Lab, a regional program bringing together 13 emerging, diverse producers from across the South. She lives in New Orleans, LA.

Darcy McKinnon

Darcy McKinnon is a documentary filmmaker and Executive Director of NOVAC, the New Orleans Video Access Center, which has been supporting community-based media in Southeast Louisiana since 1972.  A native Floridian and decades-long resident of New Orleans, McKinnon is interested in work that highlights the unique cultures and social issues of the Gulf South. She is a co-founder of ALL Y’ALL, with Elaine McMillion Sheldon.  McKinnon’s work in documentary includes the film “Maquilapolis” and “Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE!”.  She produces documentary work with Southern filmmakers, and is currently in post-production on “Animals” a short documentary about New Orleans’ love affair with a shoe, in production on “Neutral Ground” with CJ Hunt, a documentary about New Orleans’ struggle to remove Confederate monuments, in development on “Commuted” with Nailah Jefferson, which explores the impact of Louisiana’s criminal justice dysfunctions through the portrait of the life of one woman.  McKinnon’s work has been broadcast nationally on POV and Cinemax, and her current projects have received support from Chicken and Egg, Firelight Media, ITVS and Black Public Media.

Eugene Haynes

Eugene Haynes builds bridges that connect the gaps between craft, creative voice and commerce. He is currently a film and media arts Professor at Temple University, and works closely with undergraduate and graduate filmmakers to develop film analysis skills on issues of race, class and gender. 

Prior to coming to Temple, Eugene was the Director of Production and Acquisitions at USA Films (now known as Focus Features) and has also served as the Festival Artistic Director of the International Jamerican Film and Music Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica WI with actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. His most recent film project “The Adventures of Teddy P. Brains” is an award winning 3D animated feature film for children that has been featured on television and showcased at film festivals worldwide. He also currently serves as Program Manager of the BlackStar Film Festival held annually Aug.1-4 in Philadelphia, PA. The BlackStar Film Festival is a celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent in a global context.