Winners at the Best of the Midwest Awards Gala

The Best of the Midwest Awards celebrated the finest in Midwest filmmaking as well an exceptional year and new era for the Midwest Independent Film Festival. The Awards recognized the films and filmmakers featured throughout the 2018 season at the festival in eleven categories:

Best Music Video: "4 Leaf Clover" directed by Andre Muir for Ravyn Lenae [watch]

Best Animated Film: "Lullaby Theories: Cereal Fluid," directed by Jonathan Lacocque and Clara Lehmann [watch]

Best Short FIlm: "Runner," directed by Clare Cooney [trailer]

Best Documentary Short: "Grace," directed by Rachel Pikelny [watch]

Best Actor:  Michael Blaiklock for "Cold War" [trailer]

Best Actress: Clare Cooney for “Runner” [trailer]

Best Cinematography: Matthias Grunsky for "Saints Rest" [trailer]

Best Editing: Chelsea Kiser and Diego Lopez, for "Atoms of Ashes"

Best Screenplay: Wendy Roderweiss, for "Stage Four" [trailer]

Best Director: J. Wilder Konschak and Stirling McLaughlin, for "Cold War" [trailer]

Best Feature: J. Wilder Konschak and Stirling McLaughlin, for "Cold War" [trailer]

The expanded and elevated gala event was held at The Promontory in the heart of Hyde Park, with an upstairs music venue dedicated to celebrating the eras when spacious ballrooms and jumping jazz clubs made Chicago’s South Side the capital of American music. The awards ceremony opened with a high-energy introductory video created by P3 Mediaworks, followed by nominee and winner videos for each category created in collaboration with by P3 Mediaworks and Potenza Productions.  After the awards, guests danced to the music of very special guest, renowned DJ Ca$hEra, on the heels of her performance at this summer's North Coast Music Festival, and recent UK tour.

In addition to the awards ceremony and great music, attendees also enjoyed sweet treats from Chicago pastry chef Camelia Bakes, opening cocktail hour sponsored by SAGIndie, delicious beer and cider throughout the evening courtesy of Goose Island and Virtue Cider,  and a special tequila cocktail and specialty tequila tastings throughout the night rom El Nacimiento Hand-Crafted Tequila.

We're incredibly grateful to everyone who attended, to our sponsors, and especially to the team at The Promontory, who were amazing event partners! 

Next up, we'll see you on Monday, January 28th from noon until 2 p.m. at Sundance Film Festival for Monday on Main Street, and on Tuesday, February 5th to open our 2019 season!