At the very first Flyway Film Festival in 2008, actor/director Bill Elverman appeared in two short horror films and was killed by an ax murderer in both of them. Elverman won the Minnesota/Wisconsin Showcase for one of those shorts, The Wintress. The award he took home was a small, etched glass rectangle – the kind of award that might be given for 25 years of corporate service.
It happened that there was a sculptor in the audience: David Culver of Bay City, Wisconsin. When he saw the underwhelming token given to the 2008 awardees, he sidled up to Flyway director Rick Vaicius and said, “You know, I could make something a little more impressive than that.”
It was a short trip from there to the ax. Culver, who worked as a lumberjack, sawyer and stonemason before becoming nationally recognized for his sculpture and painting, thought the ax would evoke both the rural environs of the Flyway and the unfortunate fate of Elverman’s characters. And so it became tradition.
Of the many talented and deserving filmmakers who screened their work at the Flyway this year, these awardees took home the weighty sculptures:
Best Narrative: TWO STEP by Alex R. Johnson.
Minnesota/Wisconsin Showcase: BEYOND THE DIVIDE by Jan Selby.
The Keystroke Award, a newly established award given by regional film bloggers, went to Bradley King for TIME LAPSE.
Breakout Filmmaker: Josephine Decker, whose films BUTTER ON THE LATCH and THOU WAS MILD AND LOVELY both screened at Flyway this year.
The Flyway Spirit Award went to Seed&Spark for its inspiration and support of independent filmmakers.
Champions of Flyway Awards went to Derick and Julianne Dahlen of Villa Bellezza, Linda and David Brassfield of Lake Pepin Real Estate, and John and Val Becker of Red Wing Framing & Fine Art Printing. These people have supported and championed the Flyway throughout the region for years. In addition, the Flyway Spirit Award was renamed the “Linda and David Brassfield Flyway Spirit Award.”
Congratulations to all!