Los Angeles film maker wins Louisiana Film Prize. Again.


For the second time in three years, a Los Angeles filmmaker has won the $50,000 Louisiana Film Prize.

Jonnie Stapleton, director of “Funky Butt,” the story of a young girl left in the care of her grandfather while her mom works. The film incorporates music and dancing into a poignant story.

Stapleton also won the top prize in 2016 for his film, “The Man from Mars.”  

Isaac Clay, who plays the child’s grandfather, won the LAFP Best Actor Award, while Jaya McSharma won Best Actress for her performance in “Brownbridgetmd.”

The seventh annual event culminated this weekend with the Prize Fest Festival and today’s award ceremony held at the Remington Hotel in downtown Shreveport.

In addition to “Funky Butt,” top five winners included “Lilac Ocean Pumpkin Pine,” directed by Sarah Phillips; “War Paint,” directed by J.C. Doler; “Edmeralda,” directed by Paul Peterson and Rachel Emerson; and “Girl Steals Painting,” directed by Alexander Jeffrey.

This year’s Founder’s Circle Award Trophies, which come with a $3,000 grant to be used to produce an entry in next  year’s  competition, was presented to the makers of the following seven films: “Creatura,” directed by Hugo Christian; “Gloria,” directed by Camille Schmoutz and Christine Chen; “Lilac Ocean Pumpkin Pine,” directed by Sarah Phillips; “Funky Butt,” directed by Jonnie Stapleton; “War Paint,” directed by J.C. Doler and Taylor Bracewell; “Esmeralda,” directed by Paul Peterson and Rachel Emerson; and “Girl Steals Painting,” directed by Alexander Jeffrey.    

Three hundred films were entered this year, and from those 20 finalists were selected. Today’s winners were selected from the top 20.

Other films in this year’s top 20 included “Brownbridgetmd,” directed by Jacob and Jaya McSharma; “Carter: Not Your Ordinary Hero,” directed by Christine Chen; “Daisy does Daisy,” directed by Jency Griffin Hogan; “Divulge,” directed by Haven Nutt; “Fat Animal,” directed by Kalah Roberts; “The Honeypot,” directed by Melissa Munds; “Oysterman,” directed by Travis Bible; “Sad Man’s Club,” directed by Chris Alan Evans; “Sammy Dees: Car Salesman Extraordinaire,” directed by Josh Munds; “Sparky and Butch,” directed by Kyle Kleinecke; “Sweetie Pie,” directed by Garrett Kruithof; “Warrior Spirit,” directed by Finch Nissen; and “Who is Martin Danzig?” directed by Michael Baker.

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