ERMP Press Release

Raleigh, North Carolina

January 25, 2015

The North Carolina Film Awards announces Official Winners for the Fall 2014 Contest

Patrick Manss, Program Director for the North Carolina Film Awards, headquartered in Raleigh, NC announced Sunday morning the official list of movies that won the Fall 2014 North Carolina Film Award contest.

Founders Award – Our most prestigious award

Empirica 2014

EMPIRICA is a feature film created by Raleigh artist and film maker, Patrick Shanahan and a crew of only six other North Carolinians. The film was shot half in Raleigh and Half on the road from Raleigh to San Diego. EMPIRICA is a neo Americana road film about two estranged brothers, one over medicated and the other home from war in the Middle East. They leave their home in North Carolina on an all-out cross country scramble in a beat up 57 Chevy to make a new life for themselves in what they believe to be the land of opportunity: California. The left for freedom, though what they found…they’ll never forget.   This film was experimentally shot in three formats: 16mm for all outdoor scenes, 35mm for inside structures and digital for car interiors. We believe that those three formats add to the visual undertone of those three different environments.

Producer, Director, Screenwriter

Patrick Shanahan


“If The Trees Could Talk”

A young Jewish girl and her family escape the ghetto and seek refuge in the forest. Struggling to survive, their horror is compounded by what may be the girl’s ultimate demise. Can she be saved by a spiritual force more powerful than we can imagine?


Michael Weinstein



What could be easier than robbing a small bookie place on the outskirts of town? It’s during the year’s biggest horse race event and the betting center Washington’s Tobacco looks like the ultimate hit for some fast cash. Mousse is a man of pride and principles and is fed up with living as a second-class citizen. But what happens when he faces principles different to his own?

John Hellberg



Black Rock Creek

A young girl takes a mystical walk along beautiful Black Rock Creek.

Malone Lumarda



The Man Who Fed His Shadow

A man intrudes into rich people’s dinners claiming that he can collect the food from their table and feed his shadow which, curiously enough, is a female figure.

Mario Garefo



Raise Up: The World is Our Gym

A documentary film about an underground urban fitness movement that risks losing its identity as a social tool as it becomes a new international sport.

B. Rain Bennett



Director’s Award – Our award for superior effort

DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till

In an acting tour de force, one man performs 36 roles in the telling of the Emmett Till tragedy. In DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till (*15 BEST FILM AWARDS*), experience the story, trial, and unbelievable confessions of those accused of Emmett’s murder in this riveting true-crime drama. ‘His death was a spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in America,’ Ed Bradley, Emmy Award-winning journalist. ‘A TRIUMPH …an exceptional film with multiple, powerful performances by Mike Wiley,’

Rob Underhill



One Small Hitch

On a flight home to Chicago for a family wedding, childhood friends Josh and Molly innocently agree to fake a wedding engagement to make Josh’s dying father happy. Things quickly get out of hand with their two boisterous families, and a series of events causes them to pretend to be a couple and start planning a phony wedding.

John Burgess



The Means 2012

When an emotionally damaged young man befriends the quirky girl across the street, he learns that her charming demeanor conceals something more sinister. Subtle and understated, The Means is an edgy, psychological thriller that explores the concept of emotional manipulation as a tool for survival.


LaMont Johnson


The Caramel Corn Riot

This city is getting worst and worst when three different personalities encountering in divergent spaces: the junior assistant brutally instructed by the senior cameraman, the real estate agency girl suffered cases of aborted sales, and the abandoned workers are blocking train tracks to resist……

Guang Cheng Shie



Miami, NM

‘Miami, NM’ paints a portrait of cowboy life through the lens of a ranch family living in Colfax County New Mexico. This short documentary carefully maneuvers through a variety of issues affecting the decline of the traditional cowboy way of life in the United States while still fulfilling its primary goal of painting a broad portrait of this uniquely American persona. In this way, ‘Miami, NM’ preserves what may be the final chapter of a centuries old romance with the American cowboy.

Cole Smith




Victor is a short film about imagination, solitude and the sometimes blindfolded quest for happiness. This whimsical journey follows Victor, a peculiar man who has some interesting ideas about how to make friends. With an optimistic plan and a few technological tricks, Victor shows that sometimes all you need is a little help to notice what’s been right in front of you all along.

Chad Thompson



The Esteem Coach

You can always feel better about yourself, right?

Robert David Duncan




SWAG is a short silent comedy film about identity. David, a dull, boring and insecure office worker is lacking excitement in his life. He sees a ‘cool guy’ on the tube wearing a baseball cap. Later David finds himself buying a similar hat – something which is completely out of character. He becomes infatuated with it and it starts to take over his life affecting him both personally and professionally. This short silent comedy film explores how a little addition can have a big impact.

Matt Holt



President’s Award – Our award of distinction


Lydia Walters was a beloved actress that died suddenly, leaving all of her ‘friends’ potentially implicated in her death. All she wanted was to trend on Twitter. Is that too much to ask?

Kevin Machate



Murder Mill

Four teens break into a local abandoned mill for a night of partying. They get more than they bargained for when they discover the truth behind the legend of ‘Murder Mill’ and its connection to the recent town suicides

Tyler Borden




Wallace, the security guard of a small-town grocery store, stops at nothing to prevent the store’s first-ever burglary.


David Over


Thicker Than Water

A tragic tale of brotherhood and retribution.

Brandon Warnock



Christine At The Crossroads

A young married woman must come to grips with her repressed sexuality when she falls in love with a female co-worker.

Ernie and Heather Smith



The Farm

A wanderer stumbles across an abandoned farm and discovers he is not alone.

Malone Lumarda



On my way to NYC!

This stop motion animation supports the GoGoGoICP crowdfunding project to raise money so that Mélanie Duault can stay in New-York to finish her one year of study at the International Center of Photography.

Mélanie Duaul



9:10 – 4:45

The unsung heroes who keep a space-station running, barely.

Michael Edward Staley



Paradise River

Six lives intersect at a key moment in time at a place called Paradise River. This is a story about redemption and the yearning for freedom no matter what the cost.

Alessandro di Martini



One Way Out

Former thieves search the retail market for a house but are having trouble getting out of the thief life, especially the husband. He tries to steal valuables from a room ending up trapped and trying to get out anyway possible. An entity is in the room and will not allow him to leave until he returns the valuables. When he returns the valuables he is able to leave the room and then leave the house with his wife never to return.

Sean Alexander



Alabama Smith and the Mysterious McGuffin

A, down-on-his-luck, Private detective is hired to find a mysterious, stolen heirloom, only to discover that he is in way over his head.

James (Jay) LoDolce