Produced by Michael Zaytsev and High NY, the festival consisted of 15 shorts and two features, along with plenty of pizza and medicated popcorn. Numerous CBD companies set up shop in the club's lobby and films were screened in the main theater, with seating for about 200 attendees.
The shorts dazzled. Some focused on medical use and policy, while others veered off the main topic. The winner for Best Short went to Plants - a female-driven pot dealer story with a cool twist.
Other winners included:
Best Medical Documentary: Out of Options: Parents treat their children with CBD in Texas with mixed results.
Best Journalism: Dimebags vs. Dispensaries: Vice profiles an African-American grower who moves from Atlanta to Oakand to go legal with his company Gas House.
Trailblazer Award: The Secrety Story: How Medical Marijuana Was Re-Legalized in the U.S.: John Entwistle explains how medical-cannabis pioneer and gay icon Dennis Peron started the drive to legalize marijuana in California.
Best Feature: One Bedroom: Released in May, Darien Sills-Evans' directorial debut is a relationaship drama starring himself and Devin Nelson. On the verge of breaking up, they go at it for practically the movie's entire 83 minutes. Set in Brooklyn, Nate and Melissa (he's a pothead, she's not) engage in an endless – though highly entertaining (featuring numerous flashbacks) – psychodrama. Like Woody Allen's Annie Hall, the couple learn a lot about each other in the process, but have to accept the bittersweert resolution.
Best Web Series: High Herstory: Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic female astronaut, is the focus of the submitted webisode. It's a clever video mixed with animation and pithy commentary, and the main narrator smokes a joint at the end.
Most High: Bodega?: David Leigh explores New York's corner groceries in the era of gentrification.