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Winners Winter 2022

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Tavern for Сinderella
Tavern for Сinderella

Writer/Director/Producer: Alexander Baskakov

Country: Russian Federation

Project Type: Short

Overview: Once upon a time in a distant kingdom there lived - Cinderella. She spent a lot of time in gadgets and did not want to study. The stepmother left for a few days. Cinderella has to look after the Tavern and the fairy godfather who is on probation for drugs. Suddenly the financial inspector came and everything went wrong ...

Director Biography: Alexander Baskakov (1981, Russia, Kostroma) graduated from the National University of Science and Technology of Moscow in 2004. From 2005 to 2014, worked as a IT engineer. From 2011 to 2016, worked as a DOP and assistant for several TV-projects, sport and travel documentary and advertisement. In 2017-2019, studied in Moscow Film School, the Film Directing, Master Program of Alexey Popogrebsky.

Best Short
On The Stage
On The Stage

Director: David Nguyen

Writer: Christine Jon Nguyen

Producer: Bill Dorsey, Harrison Broker, David Nguyen

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: “On the Stage” is a short-film built around the song called “The Stage” written by Hannah Herrera and Shane Stevens. Both the song and the film capture how it feels to be vulnerable and the initial fear and anxiety experienced when trying to put yourself out in the open. As a teenager and growing up, you often feel isolated from others and judged critically by your peers, however, everyone has to take risks in order to reach their goals and pursue their dreams in life.

Best Actor/Actress
The Man Who Thought He Was King

Director/Writer/Producer/Key Cast "Julian Augustine"&"The King": Adam Kiss

Producer: Christina Kiss

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: The Man Who Thought He Was King is an age-old Quixotic and Shakespearean tale of a man in the modern day who believes that he is a Shakespearean King, and the Reporter who interviews him and comes to a startling realization about himself.

Director Statement: The Man Who Thought He Was King is a film that is meant to leave the audience thinking. My mission was to bring a little bit of a Shakespearean world, infused with a Quixotic theme, into the modern day. Few make the connection between Cervantes and Shakespeare, but they are regarded as giants of literature who both influenced the literature and spoken words of their own countries, as well as internationally. It is rumored that they died on the same day in April 1616.

Best Thriller/Horror Short
Hear No Evil

Director: Caleb Cooke

Writer/Producer: Stephen Cooke

Country: Australia

Project Type: Horror, Suspense, Short

Overview: The first in a trilogy. A spooky tale about a ghost who has attached its spirit to three wise monkey figurines. Purchased from a second hand shop in a remote country town, the monkeys are given to Sonia as a gift, having just moved into her new apartment. From the moment the figurines are brought into her home, Sonia has a feeling of being watched and when strange and frightening things begin to occur, the three monkeys become more than just simple figurines.

Director Statement: During the making of this film, I was incredibly lucky to have worked with such a talented and patient cast and crew. I placed a large emphasis on lighting, to convey a sense of unease to audience members through the use of dark colours. On behalf of the entire cast and crews, I hope that you all have as much fun watching this film as I did making it!

Best Feature, Best Feature Director, Best Feature Cinematography

Not To Forget

Director/Writer/Producer: Valerio Zanoli

Key Cast: Karen Grassle

Key Cast: Louis Gossett Jr

Key Cast: Cloris Leachman

Key Cast: Olympia Dukakis

Key Cast: Tatum O'Neal

Key Cast: George Chakiris

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature

Overview: This is a drama that stars 5 Academy Award winners. After a life of little scams, a self-centered millennial is sentenced to take care of his grandmother, who is affected by Alzheimer's. As he realizes the extent of her wealth, the protagonist gets closer to the treasure he's been looking for.

Director Statement: "There are 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. There are 11.2 million Americans providing unpaid care to someone with Alzheimer's or dementia. And, also in this case, two-thirds of them are women". During pre-production, Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers read the screenplay and provided invaluable feedback. After several revisions, I reached out to my dream cast and I convinced Karen Grassle and 5 Oscar winning actors to join me in Kentucky for an incredible experience. I had the honor and pleasure of working with talented professionals, of directing Cloris Leachman and Olympia Dukakis in their final performances, and of bringing to life a sweet story that needs to be told. I am very pleased with all my cast and crew members, who gave their best and were highly motivated by our common goal of helping the fight against Alzheimer’s. I am grateful to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which welcomed us with open arms. And I’ll be eternally thankful to Vertical Entertainment, which believed in me and this film. Not to Forget is a tribute to believing, working hard, and never giving up. It is part of the project and is an invitation for everyone to serve, find purpose, and have an impact. As mentioned in the end credits, I dedicate this film to: - All the Alzheimer’s patients, their families, and caregivers. - All the cast and crew members, especially the ones who passed away too soon. - My parents, who will always inspire me and live through me.

Best Editing, Best Feature Original Score

October 22
October 22

Director/Writer: Nauwroz Khan

Director Of Photography: James Hia

Editor: Selvanayagam Naveen

Film Scoring & Composer: Shamroz Khan

Producer: XapBox Media Pte Ltd, Jacintha Suresh

Country: Singapore

Project Type: Drama, Feature

Overview: The moment he sees her from a distant, he was able to identify that she is the one! The very first love of his life. Memories are rekindled, he remembers the days both used to celebrate their birthdays in primary school (October 22nd). He is so happy to see her again after decades, but not realizing that she is diagnosed with dementia; she is not able to remember her past. Will he be able to make her remember the days they used to be together?

Director Statement: Always tell a real-life story; that's the one that connects your audience to your film.

Best Art/Experimental Short, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design, Best Original Score
On / Off

Director/Writer: Nicolas P. Villarreal

Producers: Nicolas P. Villarreal, Alessandro Squitti

Music: Michael Brennan

Sound Designer: Andrew Vernon

Country: Argentina

Project Type: Short

Overview: Endless distractions threaten to destroy creativity.

Director Statement: ON / OFF relays my view of today's technology and how social media can be a considerable distraction to creative minds and discipline. Something that can derail you inadvertently from a passion that you may have and dedicate less time to neglecting it. It's my imagination and perspective of how geniuses like Frida Kahlo, Da Vinci, Beethoven, and Tesla would have interacted with it as well as their attitude and decision making towards their work with their counterparts today. My favorite films, shorts, features, documentaries are the ones that leave me thinking about the content after the fact, questioning my life and or inspiring me. I hope this film does the same about how we interact with technology and social media and shows us how there could be a possibly different future utilizing it for something productive, creating things that we feel we have to get out there. Hopefully, it will make them go back to that passion that they have and the urge to create something that they have been keeping in the back of their minds. You can use social media and technology for your work, but it can also be a black hole that sucks you in it. I hope the film's message leaves the audience questioning their attitudes towards their passions and thinking if they are letting aside something great that they could be doing by inconsequential and ephemeral social media content that won't affect their lives positively.

Best Director, Best Editing

Define Love

Writer/Director/Producer: Francis Owusu

Producers: Pauline Owusu, Helena Owusu, Francis Owusu

Country: United States

Project Type: Drama, Thiller, Suspense, Short

Overview: A crooked dating site, “None-Ya”, created a matchmaking system that pairs incompatible people together. They saw the opportunity in the lack of human interaction, and targeted people who were looking for love by advertising the best chemistry test engine money could buy. The dirty little secret, though, is “None-Ya” altered some of their user’s chemistry test results in order to create shorter-term relationships. This was done in order to increase subscription rates and profits for the company. People were unknowingly matched with others, only to break up a few months later so that they could re-subscribe and find “the one.”

Best Long Short
15 Roses

Director: Joe Schufreider

Producer: Mike Provenzano

Writer: Brian Rock

Key Cast "Jim": Mike Provenzano

Country: United States

Project Type: Rom-com, Romance, Short

Overview: A story about a very successful business man who struggles with his personal relationships.

Director Statement: What initially attracted Joe Schufreider to 15 Roses was the script. Writer Brian Rock beautifully wrote a naturally balanced romantic comedy with relatable characters. Having prior experience directing comedies both short and feature length, Joe felt confident he could bring the concept to the screen.

Best Animation Short
Almost Christmas
Almost Christmas

Director: NXinyuan Zhao

Country: United States

Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

Overview: “Almost Christmas” is a hybrid 2D and 3D animated film which tells a story that happened on Christmas Eve. A blind girl and a wheelchair-bound boy encounter a healing light that allows them to walk and see. Together they chase the mysterious light and try to find where the magic comes from. They are led toward the final destination where they finally discover a place full of light and hope.

Director Statement: The media, the tools, the technologies, in my own opinion, are meant to be used to bring blessings to human society. Sometimes the truth can be hidden from the government, politicians, social media, even from ourselves unconsciously. That's why there should be someone to play the role to speak out the conflict and stand for justice, that “someone”, I think, is the role that artists should play and the responsibility that artists should take. Though we all know, to speak, it requires a long time for the artists to find a language, a style, a kind of narrative, or the way to speak. I hope my films would help with this progress even in a micro-step.

Best Documentary Short
I am not like others
I am not like others

Director/DoP: Ivan Rodin

Country: Russian Federation

Genres: Student, Documentary, Autism, Short

Overview: The story of a family that is unlike the rest.

Director Biography: Ivan Rodin was born in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since childhood, he was fond of cinema. Immediately after graduating from high school, he entered the VGIK Institute in Moscow to study documentary filmmaking. His mentor is Emmy-winning director Sergei Miroshnichenko. Ivan's interests include the study of the recent history of Russia and his hometown, as well as the problems of the country.

Best Comedy Short
The Penis

Director/Writer/Producer: Audrey Noone

Country: United States

Project Type: Short

Overview: The Moon is sleeping peacefully when it has a rude awakening from an earthly intruder.

Director Biography: Audrey has written, directed, produced and acted in 10 short films, has written episodes for web shows that appeared in the LA Web Fest and has had her own films appear in 40 festivals, world wide. She is currently working on a feature film script.

Best Environmentally Conscious Documentary Short
Pantanal: A Charred Wetland

Director/Writer/Producer: Laura Pennafort

Country: United Kingdom

Project Type: Documentary, Student, Short

Overview: Located in the heart of Brazil, the Pantanal is a tropical wetland packed with the most remarkable wildlife. It has a global importance due to its characteristic water cycle and annual floods, which create waterlogged soils that function as a carbon sink. The annual floods are also essential to maintain a huge diversity of unique species. However, due to human actions, the floods are now becoming smaller and rivers are drying out, which is causing severe droughts. The consequences of this became evident in 2020, when huge wildfires destroyed over a quarter of this biome, killing millions of animals along the way. Two brave locals – Eduarda and Jorge – decided to give their all to rescue and save the lives of severely injured animals along the way.

Director Biography: Laura is a biologist and wildlife filmmaker, born in Brazil but now based in the UK. Her main goal as a filmmaker is to raise awareness about environmental issues, climate change and animal wellbeing through her documentaries, as well as highlighting the positive efforts people have had to protect our nature to inspire others.

Best TV Script

Callie Polly-Oli Cow
Callie Polly-Oli Cow

Writer: Alycia Wright

Country: United States

Project Type: TV Script

Overview: This book is the first of a series for this author. These books referred to as ALPHABET SOUP ANIMAL SERIES are a compilation of tongue-twister stories about animals. The stories over dramatize the use of words that begin with one particular alphabet letter. Callie-Polly-Oli Cow is an example. The letter ‘C’ is dominant. The result is a unique tale about a cow. Look for more stories to follow! Then, add books to your collection. The final result will be your child’s first set of encyclopedias with bright, dynamic and colorful pictures. Your child will be introduced to an advanced vocabulary; and as a toddler or elementary student; have great fun reading as a result of the tongue twisters!

Writer Biography: Ms Alycia R. Wright currently resides in North Carolina. She is a Registered Nurse and an Author. This is her 6th publication in the genre of children's stories. Follow Ms Wright on Linked In or twitter; and purchase any of her books on,, Barnes & Noble and all other major resellers.

Best Feature Screenplay


Writer: RJ Watson

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature Screenplay

Overview: A mother and daughter from Connecticut and a victim of sex trafficking from Haiti are drawn into a dangerous web of exploitation on the streets of San Francisco. While not based on a true story, the characters are amalgams of real people and documented cases. It is the tragic story of love and innocence destroyed by dark forces and contains echoes of the Persephone and Demeter myth.

Writer Statement: This story is not new; it is the basis of many of our ancient myths. But there is a break in the way sexual harassment, rape and exploitation are being treated and this new frankness and empowerment make these issues more accessible -- and more relevant. It is my hope that, in this moment, we can bring this moving story to the screen and help create a new and urgent awareness of this widespread, and largely unanswered, victimization of innocent children.

Best Short Screenplay


Writer: Joseph Leone

Country: United States

Genres: Drama, Action, Thriller

Overview: The demanding, insensitive actions of a mid-level manager toward his former employee cause a catastrophic chain of events to occur.

Writer Biography: Joe Leone is an American Screenwriter. His awards/recognition are as follows - *50(+) screenwriting awards; *250(+) film festival/screenplay competition selections from more than a dozen countries; *Six years' experience with Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Marketing Administration; *Story Analyst for Prelude Pictures and Kamin & Howell Entertainment. Screenwriter of DIRE CONSEQUENCES (SHORT SCREENPLAY) - selected in (53) Film Festival/Screenplay Competitions in multiple Countries. (7) Award Wins, (1) Honorable Mention, (12) Finalist, (13) Semi-Finalist, (7) Quarterfinalist, and (13) Official Sections to date.

Best Microfilm
Dark Dreams
Dark Dreams

Director/Producer: Nicola De Prato

Writers: Nicola De Prato, Dino Sardella

Country: United States

Project Type: Experimental, Short

Overview: "A tormented soul is lost chasing his dream in a deserted city. But his dream is someone else's nightmare"

Best Drama Short
Danno's Escape

Director/Writer/Producer: John Marshe

Country: Canada

Genres: Drama, Crime, Action

Overview: Danno Viniti (John Marshe) is a 45 year old undercover cop who is in deep with a notorious biker gang. Danno has been working hard in an effort to take down gang boss and drug lord, Joe Cinato (Flint Eagle). Over the course of 3 months undercover Danno has not been able to see his wife Anna (Jane Spence) or 6 year old daughter Lily (Amelia Makepace) out of fear his cover might get blown and put the lives of his family in jeopardy. With sheer determination Danno fights the feeling of guilt as he goes as far as taking on a gang lover named Tina Bassett (Elizabeth Kempt) in an effort to ensure his cover is not blown. Danno must escape the gang to be reunited with his family before Anna leaves him and takes his daughter away. Everything Danno loves is at stake. Will Danno escape from the gang or will he take down drug lord and gang boss, Joe, once and for all?

Best Feature Documentary
Something Ain't Right

Directors: Susan Ruth Downs, MD, Alex Voss

Producers: Susan Ruth Downs, MD, Alex Voss

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature Documentary

Overview: This documentary, with Kevin Sorbo looks at physicians who were successfully treating covid since March 2020. Yet the majority of these physicians through out the world were censored. Countless lives could have been saved had this not happened. Had this censorship not happened, would we have needed the economically destructive lockdowns? Would people be living in fear as they are today? How would our lives be different?