2023 Festival Award Winners Announced

Wicked Queer is proud to present the films which won the Jury and Audience Awards at this year's festivals. Here are the winners, with Jury Statements. Congratulations to the winners and to all films that screened!

Wicked Queer is proud to present the films which won the Jury and Audience Awards at this year's festivals. Here are the winners, with Jury Statements below.

Narrative Feature

Grand Jury Prize: Blue Jean

We are proud to award the Grand Jury Prize to Blue Jean, directed by Georgia Oakley. This gorgeous, timely and powerful film follows the journey of a young woman as she confronts homophobia in her school environment during a time when Clause 28, a law banning the "promotion of homosexuality," was in being passed. Oakley's expert direction and the exceptional performances by the cast bring this story to life, highlighting the personal impact of this legislation and the political push to silence LGBTQ+ voices and legislate us out of existence.

Blue Jean sheds light on the unfortunate reality that, even today, LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination and intolerance — particularly in education, and the importance of fighting for acceptance and understanding. It is a beautifully crafted film that addresses important social issues in a meaningful and impactful way, and we believe it will leave a lasting impression on all who see it.

Honorable Mention: Unidentified Objects

We are thrilled to award an Honorable Mention to Unidentified Objects, directed by Juan Felipe Zuleta. This thought-provoking and innovative film showcases exceptional performances by the cast and delves into important themes of identity, existence, and community. Zuleta's direction is bold and unyielding, crafting a unique and daring vision that deserves recognition. We are honored to highlight Unidentified Objects at this year's festival.

Special Recognition: Isaac Kranser in Big Boys

We are also delighted to present a Special Recognition to Isaac Krasner for his outstanding performance as Jamie in Big Boys. Krasner's portrayal of Jamie is layered, subtle, and complex, showcasing his remarkable talent as a young actor. His performance was a standout in the festival and left a lasting impression on the jury. We are thrilled to recognize Krasner for his exceptional work in Big Boys.

Documentary Feature

Selecting the Jury Award for documentary was not easy, as all the jurors appreciated the work put into all of the films, and the final rankings were varied, but in the end, the Jury Award for Documentary went to…

1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted A Culture

Interestingly enough, the jurors came from varied religious backgrounds with two being raised Catholic, yet all of the jurors agreed that this film was incredibly informative and showed them all something new. The film was very well executed with so many different angles examined and explored, creating a very emotional, sometimes difficult, and engaging experience. Structured like a piece of investigative journalism, the jury appreciated the twist of having Kathy Baldock, a straight Evangelical Christian woman emerging as the unexpected hero of the film. Kudos to director Sharon Roggio for putting this film together while also remaining an engaging character in her family’s journey.

Honorable Mention: Heels Over Wheels

Filled with immense joy and a powerful spirit, the jury appreciated the color and diversity of the film’s various subjects and how they had fun and gently ribbed the world around them, yet at the same time came together for such a powerful reason, supporting each other, while lending their talents to a great cause.

Audience Award Winners

Narrative Feature: Joyland

Honorable Mention: Big Boys

Documentary Feature: 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture

Honorable Mention: Daddy and the Muscle Academy

Honorable Mention: Fiona Clark: Unafraid