The Drone Focus Film Festival was a new installment in the Drone Focus conference held on May 31 through June 1 in Fargo, ND. The inaugural festival drew in submissions from across the globe with over 41 submissions from 21 countries. Winners of the five categories were announced on the main stage during the Drone Focus Conference with over 600 attendees. The film festival also garnered national attention with an article published by the Associated Press which was picked up by news outlets across the nation and globe. The Drone Focus Conference organizers currently have plans to make the film festival an annual event with the next festival scheduled for May 30-31, 2018. Here are the official 2017 Drone Focus Film Festival winners.

Narrative Category – Ludovico Einaudi & Greenpeace “Elegy for the Arctic”

Video Overview: “Through his music, acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has added his voice to those of eight million people from across the world demanding protection for the Arctic. Einaudi performed one of his own compositions on a floating platform in the middle of the Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway).”

Country of Origin: Spain

Country of Filming: Norway

  • Director/ Writer – Raul Alaejos
  • Producer – Marta San Roman / Greenpeace
  • Key Cast – Ludovico Einaudi
  • Drone Pilot – Roberto Fernandez Silva / CopterClouds
  • Communications Director  – Laura Pérez Picarzo / Greenpeace

Lifestyle Category – “Awaken” Iceland

Video Overview: “An aerial exploration of a land galvanized in ice. Discover the unseen on a visual journey through the volcanic beating heart of Iceland’s glacial landscape. From Landmannalaugar, deep within the highlands, to Thorsmork, the hidden Garden of Thor. View Iceland’s otherworldly landscape through the lens of Mike Bishop and Donal Boyd along with friends Benjamin Hardman, Kiara Schwarz, Ben Rehn, and Raf Maes.”

Country of Origin: Canada

Country of Filming: Iceland

  • Director – Mike Bishop

Student Category – Across the World

Country of Origin: United States

Country of Filming: Norway & United States

  • Director/ Producer / Editor – Spencer Kuhlman

Landscape/Architecture Category – Echoes of the Midwest

Video Overview: “2016 Summer/Fall visual narrative of the Midwest.”

Country of Origin: United States

Country of Filming: United States

  • Director / Producer – Brian Dressel

Showreel Category – Great white sharks to skyscrapers

Video Overview: “Great white sharks to skyscrapers and all sorts of amazing drone footage shot by drone aerial cinematographer Douglas Thron.”

Country of Origin: United States

Country of Filming: Mexico, Panama, United States

  • Director / Producer / Drone Pilot– Douglas Thron

Lindsay Breuler