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  • 2015 Fowler Audience Awards Announced

    Films With Local Ties Win Audience Awards at 2015 SouthSide Film Festival

    The 2015 Linny and Beall Fowler Audience Awards have been awarded to two films with strong local connections. The Favorite Short Film Award went to Letters to Frieda: A Julian Farris Films Production, and the Favorite Feature Film Award went to Arctic Alchemy, this year’s opening night film.

    Presented in honor of Linny and Beall Fowler, who have provided financial support individually and through the Fowler Family Foundation to the SouthSide Film Institute, the awards were voted on by an audience throughout last week's film festival. The winners were announced at the festival's closing night party on Saturday evening.

    Letters to Frieda, directed by Amy Unger, tells the story of Michele Willner Levy’s early life in during World War II. Much of the film is told in letters from Frieda’s parents who were still in Germany and hoping to be reunited with their daughter and the granddaughter they had never met. Sadly, that never happened, and eventually the Willners immigrated to the United States.  Unger is also an executive producer and features reporter for WFMZ-TV in Allentown. Jaccii Farris, president of Julian Farris Films, was the film’s executive producer. Farris, an Emmy-Award winning journalist, is senior news reporter and docujournalist for WFMZ-TV in Allentown.

    Arctic Alchemy, by director Nastia Tarasova and cinematographer Irina Shatalova, details how Christopher Bowen, an adventurous home brewer and beer historian from Bethlehem, Pa., embarked by motorcycle on an unexpectedly harsh 2,000-mile journey to the Canadian Arctic, to recreate an historic and mysterious beer, Allsopp’s Arctic Ale. The story began in England where Allsopp’s was first brewed and ended in the Northwest Passage were Bowen and his friends brewed 100 gallons of the ale at a portable brewery using water from the Rupert River.