BEVERLY HILLS—Winners of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the annual Beverly Hills Film Festival (BHFF) have been announced. The event was initially scheduled to end on April 5, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be cancelled.

Created in 2001, the BHFF attracts more than 44,000 attendees each year. According to its official website, it “is considered among the most exclusive and influential film festivals globally” and aims “to merge today’s filmmaking pioneers with the wealth of cinematic heritage of Beverly Hills.”

This year’s Golden Palm Award went to “OPEKA” by Cam Cowan. The film is about Pedro Opeka, an Argentine priest who “fights poverty and politics to bring dignity and hope to the poorest people of Madagascar,” as per the official description.

Mark Schmitz’s “SHORES OF A NEW BLOOD” won the Golden Palm Award for the BHFF Screenplay Competition, with Frank Baruch’s “SAINT IN THE SHADOW OF BLUEBEARD” and Armelle Lajus’s “MALICK” finishing as 1st and 2nd runners-up respectively.

“LOST BAYOU” by Brian C Miller Richard was chosen as the Best Feature Film, and “Office Song” by Marcus Markou as the Best Short Film. The judging panel also decided that Pins Sébasten’s “TRACES” had the Best Cinematography and Kate Amend’s “Dave Grusin: Not Enough Time” had the Best Editing.

“PUNCH IT” by Perrier Olivier won the Best Foreign Film award and “FROM ARTISTS TO ARTISTS” by Viachelav Lisovskyi won the Best Animated Film accolade. Jianan Ma created the Best Student Film: “DOG EAT DOG.”

Two films by Derek Wayne Johnson received awards: “STALLONE: FRANK, THAT IS” was selected as the Best Feature Documentary, and “40 YEARS OF ROCKY” as the Best Short Documentary.

Sarah Lancaster’s “JOSIE & JACK” won two awards; Lancaster was voted the Best Director and Olivia Dejonge, who played Josie, the Best Actress. William Baldwin won the Best Actor award for starring in “TALK.”

The full list of awards can be viewed at