An Elk Grove Village movie director and his team of filmmakers won first prize and $1,000 Saturday night at the fourth annual Elgin Short Film Festival at the Hemmens Auditorium in Elgin.
Rocco Cataldo, 35, took first prize for his black comedy short "Wednesday's Child," a darkly comic look at a little girl who begins her story with the sentence, "I didn't mean to kill my parents."
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Second place, and $500, went to an imaginative documentary on the personal importance of three people's tattoos, "Tattoo Underground," made by a group of Minnesota filmmakers. They were not in attendance at the fest.
Third place and $300 went to "Your Milkman," a slice of life drama about a would-be Lothario milkman in a diner who hits on the more than willing wife of a local politician. Director Daniel Skubel, a Chicago resident, said the story was inspired by one of his relatives, a real-life milkman who delivered more than cow's milk.
"We had 32 submissions from California to Maryland," said Joe Vassallo, the festival's co-chair.
A blue ribbon committee of Elgin residents with an interest in the arts gave the original submissions the first pass to come up with the five finalists.
Two of those finalists -- the psychological thriller "Memoirs of a Parapsychologist" and the personal poem of remembrance "Toolshed" -- were submitted by Hoffman Estates filmmaker Andrew Papke, who recently moved to Los Angeles.
An estimated 600 people attended the fest Saturday, an event hosted by comedian and master-of-ceremonies Mike Toomey. Entries for next year's film fest will be accepted beginning March 1 and must be postmarked no later than Aug. 16.