Writer-director Richard Gale and horror filmmaking collective Fewdio were audience favorites at the first annual DAGGERS short film festival; so was Transrexia, a stop-motion animation treat by the multi-talented Voltaire, who appeared in person on the festival’s first night.

“While the films that won audience’s hearts certainly deserve acclaim,” observed Festival Director Peter Gutierrez, “I’m most pleased to report that eight of the nine films we screened garnered votes in both the Best Film and the Best Film ‘Pound for Pound’ categories. That points to the overall quality of the entries and the success of DAGGERS’ something-for-everyone approach to programming.”

Audience Awards for Scariest Film and Scariest Film “Pound for Pound”: Criticized (Audience Award), written and directed by Richard Gale; Creep (Honorable Mention), directed by Drew Daywalt and David Schneider, written by Drew Daywalt

Audience Award for Best Film: The Tale Of Haunted Mike, written and directed by Drew Daywalt and David Schneider, and Criticized, written and directed by Richard Gale.

DAGGERS represents only the latest in a long cycle of festival wins for Criticized, which was recently released on DVD as an extra on Uwe Boll’s Seed. The Tale Of Haunted Mike, featuring much of the same talent as Creep, was made by Fewdio, a self-described “horror troupe” based in California with a web site devoted solely to short horror.

Audience Award for Best Film “Pound for Pound”: Transrexia, written and directed by Voltaire. In a way, it’s fitting that Transrexia, at a mere 61 seconds, would win in this category as it was for creative work of such brevity that the “Pound for Pound” categories were designed in the first place; after all, it is hard for such a film to compete straight-up against one that is 20 or 30 minutes long.

“I hope readers of this news and the filmmakers themselves–both those whose films won and those who did not–can appreciate that this was no ordinary shorts program,” says Gutierrez. “The competition here was pretty much only from titles that have played prestigious festivals around the world, where in fact most of these films have already won top awards. Think of DAGGERS as the Olympics: the winners may take home gold, but all the films that screened are world-class.”

For more information on DAGGERS, or to contact the Festival Director regarding next year’s event, please e-mail: DAGGERS

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