2015


The inaugural year

FAST FORWARD 2015


Presenting the 2015 Fast Forward Film Festival winners…

Most Inspiring, Compelling & Engaging
Winner: Ain’t No Fish by Tom Gasek
Runner Up: Changes by Michael Ramsey & The Science Stars

Most Unique Perspective
Winner: Paper by Ben Doran
Runner Up: Kristen the Science Girl by Kristen Smith

Strongest Call to Action
Winner: Just Add Water by JeffMead/Water for South Sudan
Runner Up: Epiphany by Michael Tomb

Audience Choice Award
Ain’t No Fish by Tom Gasek

Young Filmmaker Award
presented by the Fast Forward Film Festival & Lori’s Natural Foods Center
“The Science Stars” of East High School

Congratulations to all of our Rochester filmmakers! Category winners received $1,000 and the Fast Forward Film Festival Award. Category Runner Ups, winner of the Young Filmmaker Award, and winner of the Audience Choice Award were awarded $250.


2015 Fast Forward Film Festival Trailer

Fast Forward Film Festival Trailer from Fast Forward Film Festival on Vimeo.


2015 Festival Program

[click to view]

Festival Program cover page


 2015 Festival Sponsors

GEH logo Little Theatre logo NY State Pollution Prevention Logo RIT logo WXXI logo

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2015 Festival Jury

Jack GarnerJack Garner, nationally renowned film critic and author

Jack Garner was a film critic and entertainment writer for the Democrat and Chronicle for 30 years and chief national critic for the Gannett newspapers for the last twenty of those years. Now retired, he continues to write for the newspaper as a freelancer, doing a weekly entertainment column, and articles about jazz and classic film. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Eastman House Council, and recipient of the 2013 Impact Award from the Rochester Media Association. Jack has taught at Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology and served on the boards of Writers & Books and BOA Editions.

Jack Garner is also author of the book From My Seat on the Aisle, a memoir and anthology of his work published in September 2013.


Enid CardinalEnid Cardinal, RIT’s senior sustainability advisor to the president

Enid Cardinal is the senior sustainability advisor to the president at Rochester Institute of Technology. In this role she is responsible for facilitating a campus culture of sustainability with respect to operations, curriculum, and research; developing metrics for the Institute’s progress in sustainability and directing RIT’s efforts to achieve its commitment to climate neutrality by 2030.

Prior to joining the RIT community, she was the Director of the Office of Sustainability at Illinois State University. There she expanded alternative transportation options for the community, authored Illinois State’s inaugural sustainability report, established an annual sustainability across the curriculum workshop and launched a community wide food waste composting program. She has also worked as a consultant on projects for organizations like Audubon International and Calvert, a socially responsible investment company. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent a year in AmeriCorps*NCCC and later served as a crew leader for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. She is LEED –accredited professional and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and history from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Bard College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central and Western NY chapter of The Nature Conservancy.


Deborah DicksonDeborah Dickson, independent filmmaker and Academy Award nominee

Deborah Dickson is a three-time Academy Award nominee whose award-winning films include The Education of Gore Vidal, Ruthie and Connie, Lalee’s Kin, Witnesses to a Secret War, The Lost Bird Project and the acclaimed Carrier series.

In addition to producing and directing, Deborah Dickson teaches directing at the Masters program in Social Documentary at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.


Todd McGrain, sculptor, filmmaker, author, creative director and co-founder of The Lost Bird Project

Todd McGrain’s sculptures, memorials to five extinct North American birds, have been permanently placed at locations directly related to each bird’s decline. Groups of all five sculptures are currently on view at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole. McGrain’s book about the personal journey, which led him to the extinction stories of the lost birds and the sculpture project that followed, was published in September 2014. McGrain is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, New York City in Social Documentary Filmmaking and is currently working on a film about the plight of forest elephants in central Africa. McGrain is the artist-in-residence at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the winner of the 2014 Audubon Award for Art Inspiring Conservation.

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