Last night ÉCU РThe European Independent Film Festival, Europe’s premier event for independent cinema, announced its 25 award-winners for 2015. One of the 25 awards went to Irish short film Sophie at the Races, with Siobhan O’Kelly taking the prize for Best Actress for her portrayal of Harriette.

Sophie at the Races is a family drama from writer/director Alan Friel, starring Michael Power, Siobhan O’Kelly, and Susie Power. The film follows Sophie as she journeys to the races on a promise from her troubled mother Harriette that she will meet her father for the first time. The film was produced by Fiona Kinsella for Jumper Productions, with financing through the Irish Film Board Signatures scheme.

The festival screened 84 films from 32 countries over , with films competing in 14 categories, with 7 open to non-European competitors. The awards were judged by a panel of internationally acclaimed industry experts, according to their quality, creativity, and independent spirit in both form and content.

ÉCU РThe European Independent Film Festival is an annual international film festival dedicated to independent cinema. Held in Paris, France, it was created in 2006 by Scott Hillier. The festival is dedicated to the discovery and promotion of the best independent film making talents from Europe and beyond, showcasing films that demonstrate quality, innovation, and creativity in both form and content.

The full list of winners:

Best European Independent Film 2015 Here Lies (United Kingdom) Duncan Ward
Best European Independent Dramatic Short The Anklet (France) Guillaume Levil
Best European Independent Dramatic Feature Roseville (Bulgaria) Martin Makariev
Best European Independent Documentary Gazi to Gezi – A Stones Throw Away (United Kingdom) Ross Domoney
Best European Independent Animation Mend And Make Do (United Kingdom) Bexie Bush
Best European Independent Experimental Film Out of Reach (Rain Night) (Belgium) Pablo Diartinez
Best European Independent Music Video Entomophobia (United Kingdom) Robin Rippmann
Best European Independent Comedy De Smet (Belgium/Netherlands) Thomas Baerten & Wim Geudens
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Short Catching Fireflies (USA) Lee Whittaker
Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Feature Flytrap (USA) Stephen David Brooks
Best Non-European Independent Documentary Trip Along Exodus (Syrian Arab Republic/Lebanon) Hind Shoufani
Best Student Film Exit Neverland (Denmark) Chadi Abdul-Karim
Best Short Script Long Road Home (United Kingdom) Richard Flynn
Best Feature Script The Competitors (United Kingdom) Ruth Greenberg
Best Actor Roseville (Bulgaria) Kalin Vrachanski
Best Actress Sophie at the Races (Ireland) Siobhán O’Kelly
Best Editing Being an Angel (Spain) Luigi Abanto Varese
Best Cinematography 127 (New Zealand) Leigh Elford
Best Director Before the Bomb (USA) Tannaz Hazemi
Special Jury Mention Oh! My Princess (Republic of Korea) Heewook SA
The Barbiers Blade (Germany) Hakan Can
Touch (United Kingdom) Andrew Richardson
Audience Award The Dandelion (Belgium) Sophie-Clémentine Dubois
The Ahmed Khedr Award for Excellence in Arab Filmmaking Amongst (Saudi Arabia) Mohammed Alsalman
Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking Final Stroke (Germany) Anne Chlosta

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