Low Key Arts' 16th Annual Arkansas Shorts wrapped Sunday, and Marc E Crandall's Banana Triangle Six took away the 2023 Best Arkansas Film award.
Other award-winners include Jon Huggins' Sugar Crash for the Audience Choice Award. Both Huggins and Crandall took home a $500 award provided by SQZBX Pizza.
Janie Gentry's Inception to Projection Film MEOW! received second place in the Audience Choice Award, and third place was tied between Katie Windham's Inception to Projection Film Show and Tell and Daniel Beltram's Baking.
The best film outside of Arkansas was awarded to Gabriela Ortega's Huella.
The weekend of short film was "the most successful" in its history with more days than ever before, more tickets sold and more films screened, program director Jen Gerber said.
Gerber said that this is the first program since 2020 where COVID-19 wasn't the main concern, and as a result, the energy was "incredible." Other contributing factors to this high energy were the numerous filmmakers in attendance and supporting organizations like Made in Arkansas, Arkansas Cinema Society and Women in Film Arkansas.
Another unique factor in the 2023 Shorts was the increased Inception to Projection films screened. Inception to Projection is the Low Key Arts film program that expanded to a year-long program in 2022. Of the 66 films screened at Shorts, 28 of them were from the program, giving many first-time filmmakers an opportunity to see their work on the big screen.
Gerber was "blown away" by the audience's reaction to the products of Inception to Projection, and she is left "glowing with pride" in the program.
"I'm humbled and moved and inspired to keep going," Gerber said.
Most Inception films can be seen on the program's YouTube Channel.
Arkansas Shorts branched out to two days of film in 2022, and this year extended to three days. Gerber said they will expand the program as needed but noted that it won't be getting shorter in the years to come.