Still from Tangles and Knots, written and directed by Renee Marie Petropoulos '17

Alumna Renee Marie Petropoulos '17 Wins Best Female Director at Hollyshorts Film Festival

September 16, 2019

Headshot of Renee PetropoulosRenee Marie Petropoulos '17 won the Best Female Director Award at the Hollyshorts Film Festival last month, for her film Tangles and Knots, which she wrote and directed. 


"Receiving the award for Best Female Director at the Hollyshorts Film Festival was a truly incredible (and surprising) experience," Petropoulos told us, "The Hollyshorts Film Festival is a prestigious forum for emerging talent and particularly female voices in film. So I'm truly honoured to receive this award and although I couldn't be there in person to accept, I'm eternally thankful to fellow Columbia University alumni and talented filmmaker Carver Diserens '17 for accepting the award on my behalf. Additionally, I have to thank Stampede Ventures for sponsoring this amazing accolade and supporting female voices in film. I honestly never imagined that Tangles and Knots would receive such an incredible reception at Festivals. It has been such a moving experience. A lot of the time when you make something as a filmmaker, it can be such an insular process for so long that you forget about the most important people, the audience. It has been such a phenomenal experience to screen the film at internationally renowned festivals such as Berlinale, SXSW, Palm Springs Shortsfest, Hollyshorts, Denver Film Festival, Athens International Film Festival and also locally at home in Australia at the Sydney Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, MIFF and Flickerfest to name a few. It has truly been amazing to get such a strong reaction to something that was so personal and heartbreaking to write and I couldn't have done any of this without the support of the Columbia University community." 


HollyShorts Film Festival is an organization devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panels and forums. The HollyShorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced at 40- minutes or less.  


Tangles and Knots follows the sticky, intimate relationship between a mother and a daughter that becomes threatened when the mother helps her teenage daughter throw a party to impress her new and popular friends.


It also screened last week at the CinéfestOZ Film Festival in Australia.


Petropoulos also recently made waves when she became a finalist at the Atlanta Festival Screenplay Competition for her short script Circles.


Renée Marie Petropoulos is an award winning filmmaker from Sydney, Australia. Her films have received acclaim both locally and internationally, most recently with her short film, Tangles and Knots (2017), premiering at Berlinale 2018 as part of the Generation 14Plus Competition followed by screenings at the SXSW 2018, as part of the Narrative Shorts program. While receiving her MFA in Directing at Columbia University, Renée has continued to push her cinematic practices, with a particular focus on female driven stories.