The John Steven Kellett Freedom of Vision Award Bestowed to Iranian Film At The End Of Evin

QFest, Houston’s International LGBTQ Film Festival, has concluded with AT THE END OF EVIN as this year’s recipient of The John Steven Kellett Freedom of Vision Award, the festival’s highest honor. The film, a taut, psychological thriller, centers on Amen, a transgendered female, who has been promised gender reassignment surgery by a mysterious, wealthy benefactor. Asked to live within the benefactor’s vast but stark estate, Amen begins losing all sense of time and self, gradually coming to realize their benefactor’s outward generosity may actually conceal truly sinister intentions.  The Iranian film is directed by Mohammad Torab-Beigi and Mehdi Torab-Beigi.

The Freedom of Vision prize was created to recognize a singular work that the jury has deemed to possess any one or combination of the following characteristics:

·         a wholly original or unorthodox point of view that resonates as groundbreaking

·         an aesthetic approach that reinvents, reinterprets, and/or reinvigorates the “language” of film in such a way as if to feel as though it were paving the way towards a new theory or philosophy of cinema

·         a vision of humanity that transcends categorization, challenges complacency, disrupts the status quo, and/or challenges an audience to reconsider its preconceived notions about a place, a culture and its people, and/or a time in history

2021 QFest Competition Winners

The John Steven Kellet Freedom of Vision Award

WINNER: At The End Of Evin

Grand Jury Prize: Best Picture (Feature Only)

WINNER: When The Olympus Collides With The Pampas

Best Short Film

WINNER: Dearly

Best Featurette

WINNER: The Fish With One Sleeve

Best Director (Feature Only)

WINNER: Virginia Nardelli for “There’s A Wolf In The Park Of The King

Best Performance, Ensemble, or Documentary Subject (Feature only)

WINNER: When The Olympus Collides With The Pampas


Special Jury Prize (Feature Only)

WINNER: Invisible

Special Artistic Prize (Awarded by Artistic Director)


Special Humanitarian Prize (Awarded by Artistic Director)

Dealing with Death


 Members of the 2021 QFest Juries include:

·         Byron Canady (Houston, TX);

Founder/CEO: Colorbox Multimedia/Gulf Coast Cosmos Comicbook Co.


·         Heyd Fontenot – San Antonio, TX

Consulting Director at Sala Diaz; QFest Alum 1999)


·         James Hays – Houston, TX

Arts Administrator: Rothko Chapel


·         Kalil Haddad – Toronto, Ontario

Filmmaker; QFest Alum 2019/2020


·         Mark McCray – Houston, TX

Technical Director: TBWA\Chiat\Day


·         Debra Miller – Los Angeles, CA

Performer; Writer; Multi-Disciplinary Artist; Film Festival Consultant


·         Michelle Mower – Friendswood, TX

Independent Writer/Producer/Director; Former SWAMP President


·         Melelani Petersen – Houston, TX

Houston Media Source; Idea Fund Recipient)


·         Stephanie Saint Sanchez – Katy, TX

Writer/Filmmaker/Producer; Founder of Señorita Cinema


·         Emily Sloan – Houston, TX

Mystic Lyon; Curator; Artist


·         Matt Stenerson – Minneapolis, MN

Screenwriter; QFest Alum 1999


·         Addie Tsai – Houston, TX

Professor/Houston Community College; Author: Dear Twin

QFest proudly celebrated a quarter of a century with a final film slate offering the largest selection of films in QFest history (52) and the largest percentage of female-directed work (28) since 2014. Three in-person screenings were presented by QFest Fiscal Sponsor Aurora Picture Show (Competition Shorts on September 24) and original QFest founding partner, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (SWAN SONG on September 26 and October 2).  QFest’s virtual platform partner Cinenso returned to host the online QFest 2021 competition slate and special feature presentations September 30 – October 4. Please visit at for additional information.

QFest 2021 is proudly presented by HomeLight, the place to find the perfect real estate agent and sell your home faster and for more money!

QFest is dedicated to promoting the arts as a powerful tool for communication and cooperation among diverse communities by presenting programs by, about, and of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

QFest Presented by HomeLight is generously underwritten by The John Steven Kellett Foundation, The Hollyfield Foundation, and funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

QFest is a sponsored project of Aurora Picture Show, a 501c3 presenting artist-made, non-commercial film and video, and dedicated to expanding the cinematic experience and promoting the understanding and appreciation of the moving image. | |