LOS ANGELES, CA :: The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival announced this year's award winners at its West Coast Festival Finale at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood last night, followed by a red carpet after-party, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Festival.
With over 2100 submissions, this 4-day bicoastal festival seeks the next generation of writers, directors, producers & actors, while celebrating innovative storytelling from diverse backgrounds. The evening was hosted by Loni Love who was joined by presenters from other NBC series including Oscar Nunez, Amber Stevens West, Judith Shekoni and Asif Ali (an #NBCUshortsFest Alum). Winners were selected by a prestigious panel of high-profile executives and top industry players, including: Justin Lin, Kahli Small, Phil Breman, Teri Dean, Brian Dorfman, Beth Colleton, Karen Horne, Jandiz Cardoso, Wil Sylvince, Heather Washington, Maradith Frenkel, Beth Klein, Grace Wu, Reggie Lee, Monica Raymund, Janina Gavankar, Amir Arison, Doug Atchison, Jose Rivera, Kevin Seldon, Will Packer, and Academy Award Winner Geena Davis.
Best Actor Honors went to MOUZAM MAKKAR for her role in comedy The First Session and JOSHUA CHANG for his supporting role in the drama, Touch, both offered talent holding deals with NBC.
Best Writer went to writer/director CHRISTOPHER DE LAS ALAS for his film For Ofelia, receiving a prize package including annual subscriptions to Variety, TheHollywoodReporter.com & Variety Insight, as well as a Final Draft product suite and a 16g iPad Air.
The G-Technology Audience Award went to writer/director SOLVAN NAIM for Stanhope, receiving a 12TB G-Raid Hard Drive, Naim also took home Best Director honors, receiving a development meeting with Universal Pictures and a $60k Camera Package donation from the Panavision New Filmmaker Program to be used toward his next project.
Lastly, Best Short went to writer/director EMMANUEL OSEI-KUFFOUR, JR for his film, Born With It, receiving a prize package including a $10k Cash Grant provided by XFINITY from Comcast
In addition, the NBCU Short Film Festival presented two new custom awards. As part of NBCUniversal’s unifying vision for social impact: Open Possibilities NBCU also celebrated EMMANUEL OSEI-KUFFOUR, JR's Born With It as the film with the greatest social impact to inspire change, awarding a prize package including two passes to next year's AFI DOCS Film Festival in DC, plus travel & accommodations and a $5k cash grant.
The second custom award from Oxygen Media celebrated the writer/director of The Boy, CAYMAN GRANT, as best female filmmaker with a prize package including a new iMac computer, as well as development meetings with top executives at the network.
All of this year's finalists will be announced in both The Hollywood Reporter & Variety, and will receive the opportunity to air their film in over 21 million homes via Xfinity OnDemand, as well as on the NBCU Short Film Festival HULU Channel, alongside past festival winners and select finalists.
Additional Finalists include:
Writer/Director: Lulu Wang - Touch
Director: Robert Enriquez; Writer: Deborah Puette - Cash For Gold
Director: Ryan Logan; Writer: Fawzia Mirza - The First Session
CoWriter: James Peoples - The Boy
Writer/Director: Minji Kang; Co-Writers: Storm Garner, Willem Lee - The Loyalist
This year's #NBCUshortsFEST Partners include: Comcast, NBC Entertainment Open Possibilities NBCU, Xfinity, The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures, Oxygen Media, Hulu, NBCUniverso, Bravo Media, USA, Syfy, Telemundo, E, Chiller, Esquire, Variety, Focus Features, Outfest, Panavision, G-Technology, Entertainment Partners, Final Draft, Here TV, Variety Insight, SAG-Aftra, PGA, WGA-west, WGA-east, DGA, SAGindie and Keldof Marketing.
For more information on this year’s festival, visit Facebook.com/NBCUshortsFEST