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Winners Spring 2023

Best Short, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score
The Last Garden

Director/Writer: Matthew Camfield

Producers: Peter Svatik, Matthew Camfield

Key Cast "Dr. James Alston": Peter Svatik

Country: United Kingdom

Genre: Sci-Fi, Emotional Thriller

Overview: In 2048 Earth's sun began it's solar maximus cycle, increased solar activity caused massive coronal mass ejections, decimating communication, electronic systems and the earths magnetosphere, scorching the surface of our once vibrant planet, the only escape - underground re-purposed nuclear bunkers built centuries ago at a time long since forgotten. The remaining survivors, biophysicist Dr. James Alston (Peter Svatik), along with his companion, Aeryn (Nansie Nsue) fight against the odds of a failing, dilapidated hydroponic farm, struggling to keep the last crop stores and themselves alive, in the hope that one day, they may be able to return to the surface. Fighting against his emotions, Dr. Alston must decide if mission success and the inevitable loneliness that would follow, is more important or bearable than his life.

Director Statement: I wanted to put forward a sense of a bleak post apocalyptic future that is happening already or at least could realistically happen. I also wanted people to feel something that was very potent for me, after reading the works of Philip K. Dick (predominantly - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) - it was a sense of emptiness and yet a certain clarity of realisation, that if we do not work together, then this world, even the human race itself is inevitably doomed to extinction.

Best Animation Short, Best Art/Experimental Short
On / Off

Writer/Director: Nicolas P. Villarreal

Producers: Nicolas P. Villarreal, Alessandro Squitti

Music: Michael Brennan

Country: Argentina

Genre: Animation

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 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short

Half Samurai
Half Samurai

Director/Writer: Rashad Haughton

Producers: Toshi Sasahara, Alex Lai

Country: Japan

Genre: Action, Thriller, Fantasty

Overview: A mysterious drifter wanders into a bar owned by a psychopathic yakuza gang on Halloween night.

Best Feature, Best Feature Director


Director/Writer/Producer: Eswar Polanki

Country: India

Genre: Drama, Romantic, Emotion, Comedy

Overview: "I AM ARJUNA - STILL A VIRGIN" (ARJUNA SANYASI) is a romantic and fun film about the protagonist Arjuna. Arjuna is a newly married rickshaw driver, hails from a lower middleclass family and living with his parents. He tries to enjoy the perks of being married but miserably failed due to his family circumstances of living in a small house. Life takes him through a roller coaster of a ride and he goes through varied experiences at several stages. Does Arjuna finally enjoyed the perks of being married ?

Director Biography: Eshwar Polanki is an Indian film producer and director who works predominantly in Kannada film Industry. “I AM ARJUNA - STILL A VIRGIN” is his first film as a producer.

Best Microfilm

Director/Writer: Chia-Hung Kao

Country: Taiwan

Project Type: Short, Student

Overview: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW is a proverb that means future consequences are inevitably shaped by present actions. Ocean plastic pollution is not an abstract issue anymore. On the contrary, it is related to our lives and diets. Single-use plastics that are abandoned by humans often drift into the ocean, decompose themselves into microbeads which sea creatures often mistaken for food, and eventually put those lives in danger. However, not only those animals but humans will be affected and harmed by plastics through the food chain. For example, we accumulate those plastics in our stomachs by eating fish or seafood. We hope this film can visualize the situation,”buy fish, put it in plastic and eat them in the end.” With irony and fantasy, we hope the audience will be aware that the situation is now happening to us and encourage them to reflect on the importance of environmental protection and plastic reduction!

Best Drama Short
John Doe
John Doe

Directors: Vache Garabedian, Vahe Garabedian

Writer/Producer: Jeffrey Rector

Country: United States

Project Type: Drama, Short

Overview: A homeless man with no memory of his past or who he is, helps save people on the gritty streets of Los Angeles. "John Doe" stars Martin Kove ("Cobra Kai"), Crystal Allen (Star Trek: Enterprise") and Jeff Rector ("American Horror Story").

Best Comedy Short
Lost For Words
Lost For Words

Director/Writer: Britt Coker

Producers: Britt Coker, Barry Sangster

Country: New Zealand

Project Type: Comedy, Short

Overview: Lost For Words is a superhero send up inspired by the Bechdel Wallace Test where Hollywood movies are ranked following a 3-step formula. How many films (1) have at least two women in it who (2) talk to each other about (3) something other than men. John and Steve are off to save the world but need Anna’s assistance because if she’s not in the scene, communication gets a little difficult.

Director Statement: I enjoy the transformation of little words to big screen. A film's genesis may be a scene of a woman sitting hunched over her laptop, but bringing the words to life is a collaborative process. This comes with challenges but is pretty much unavoidable. Lucky I like people.

Best Thriller Short
You're Early
You're Early

Director: Felix Wollner

Writer: Robert Bruinewoud

Producer: Benny Schmidt

Country: Germany

Project Type:Thriller, Short

Overview: Returning home late at night after class, a woman finds her partner at the mercy of a desperate burglar.

Best Long Short, Best Actor (Leighton Samuels)

Director/Writer: Richard Lounello

Producers: Richard Lounello, Christopher Gaunt, Steven O'Connor

Key Cast "Jake": Leighton Samuels

Country: United States

Genres: Sci-fi, Romance

Overview: A young physicist lives out his life in search of his greatest scientific discovery and finds one extraordinary truth.

Best Horror Short


Director: Adam Kirkey

Writers: Adam Kirkey, Mathieu Lamarche

Producers: Travis Laidlaw, Adam Kirkey, James Carmichael

Country: Canada

Genres: Horror, Thriller, Action

Overview: Five criminals pick the wrong safe house to lay low after robbing a bank. Synopsis expanded: After a bank robbery doesn’t go exactly as planned, a crew of five pick a last minute safehouse to lay low with their take and a hostage. But the safehouse isn’t so safe… Greed & Gore, a film by Adam Kirkey, is a mash of horror and thriller, with practical effects that will please all genre fans. It stars Julie Mainville (Butchers, The Good Doctor), Krishan Dutt (The Boys), Matthew Bell (Curse of the Anti-Quenched), Monica Zelak (Curse of the Anti-Quenched, Chronicles of Blood, The Enigma), and breakout stars Curt Derosier and Nick Dewolfe.

Director Statement: Whether it’s suspense, fear, a laugh, or a tear I love to get a reaction from an audience.

Best Actor (Rakesh Galebhe)


Director/Writer: Kiran Kondamadugula

Producers: Harsha Vardhan Pratap, Bhargava Poludasu, Subhash Ravada

Key Cast "Sid / Anwar": Rakesh Galebhe

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature

Overview: Priya in her fifth month of pregnancy expresses the desire to move back to India and Sid obliges as he sees this as an opportunity to move past his dark secret relationship. The couple throws a big bash before the day of travel to their friends and families/ Sid wakes up in the morning completely naked with the entire house empty and Priya goes missing. Sid will be detained and he requests the cop to search for his missing wife. There comes a shocking twist that Sid never existed in the government records. Sid tries to prove his existence but he loses the battle because he couldn’t provide any sort of evidence that proves his existence. With the beautiful world, Sid and Priya were planning to build collapsing around him, Sid makes a radical from the cops becoming a fugitive and goes on the quest to find out the truth. Sid meets a smart yet broke attorney, Dev who helps him with the quest which quickly escalates into becoming his most challenging and darkest case ever. What happened to Priya? Why was Sid’s Identity wiped out? Is Sid hiding something?

Best Feature Documentary

The American Good Samaritans

Director: Ara Mnatsakanyan

Writer: Amber Karlins

Producer: Manvel Saribekyan

Country: Armenia

Project Type: Documentary, Feature

Overview: This is a story about survivors, about extraordinary people thanks to whom remnants of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian peoples were saved from total destruction. Their mission was to save human lives. The film is about those American humanists who provided invaluable assistance to the Christian nations during the First World War.

Best Short Script

Writer: Madeline Hombert

Country: Canada

Project Type: Short Script


Writer Statement: I have been on this earth for over seventy years and I have enjoyed many careers- mostly in the creative field. I have written and produced two feature length films distributed worldwide and I have a third one in development. For two decades, I wrote and edited and produced books - biographies for businessmen, case studies/training reference books for pediatric psychologists and tourism photo books among others. Now, I am writing books as well as screenplays with writing partner Michael Markus.

Best Feature Screenplay / TV Script

Writer: Andrea Ash

Country: United States

Project Type: Television Script

Overview: Young Will wants to find his lost sister Jane, but when he unwillingly becomes the Court Jester for King Henry the 8th he is trapped in a dangerous position of exposing the king’s enemies with his jokes. Can Will keep his own secret hidden enough to escape and find Jane?

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