Copa Shorts Ralph Parr film
“Ralph Parr: Fighter Ace of the Twentieth Century,” written and directed by veteran Daniel Bernardi, took top honors at the 4th annual Copa Shorts Film Festival.

A film honoring military veterans won the 4th annual Copa Shorts Film Fest this year.

“Ralph Parr: Fighter Ace of the Twentieth Century” was written and directed by veteran Daniel Bernardi, director of the Veterans Documentary Corps at San Francisco State University. He is active in the military reserve. The nearly 16-minute film profiled the American double-flying ace in the Korean War.

The top screenplay, “Graveyard Girl,” was written by Sixa Monmarché, a first-time screenwriter from Gilbert. The screenplay is a paranormal thriller that creates an engaging story with fully-realized characters in 12 pages, a press release said.

The festival, held virtually from Nov. 7-9 due to the pandemic, featured more than 50 short films. A workshop on writing comedy, “Creating Comedy from the Ordinary,” was presented by Pat Battistini, the Audience Choice winner from the 2019 festival.

“Moving Day,” a comedy with puppets, was this year’s Audience Choice winner. It was directed by Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta of Mesa.

The Best High School film, “Hackers: The Misfit Superheroes,” provided insights into hackers and how they operate. Written and directed by Ethan Wilk from Scottsdale, the film explains how hackers counterattack malicious large-scale hacking.

The Best College film, “Sami” directed by Eden Bailey, is a sci-fi film about a credible future world with a sidekick robot to a scientist living on a desolate planet. The engaging film included CG. Another filmmaker, Ryan Durant, offered this tribute, “Very well done. The way you humanized Lewis (the ‘bot) was particularly impressive. Bravo.”

Bailey was awarded a Canon EOS RP camera with lens package, contributed by sponsor, Canon U.S.A., for her efforts.

Durant was awarded Best Documentary for “First in Man,” and Best New Filmmaker for his film that showed a new medical procedure and the bravery of the patient. Durant’s challenge was making a film of one-take shots, since repeating aspects of the medical procedure would harm the patient.

For the first-time virtual festival, Copa Shorts Film Fest partnered with as a streaming channel.

CSFF is planning to offer Spring 2021 filmmaker workshops, possibly virtually.