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Winners Winter 2024

Best Comedy Short
The Meeting

Director/Writer/Producer: Olexander Leonidovich Onufriev

Country: Ukraine

Genre: Comedy

Overview: A tight-knit group of teachers at an all-girls school, where there is not a single male educator, is getting a new Computer Science teacher…His name is Edward Henrihovych Shokoladenko. This stunning news is wreaking havoc on a teacher’s meeting, pushing the estranged best friends to re-evaluate their relationships.

Best Short

Director: Charlotte Vacková

Producers: Charlotte Vacková, Kamila Ondrušková

Writer: Enni Red

Country: Czech Republic

Genre: Drama

Overview: A coming-of-age short surrealist drama about a girl stuck between order and passion. In a pure, ideal world full of rules, one schoolgirl is tempted to get a forbidden kiss and then faces the consequences of her behaviour.

Director Statement: I fell in love with the story the minute Enni Red approached me with the script. She was researching my aesthetic for a whole year at Screen Academy in Edinburgh where we studied together, and she was absolutely right.She wrote a perfect piece for me. It took me almost 7 years after that to start working on the project, but now finally I feel it is a right time. I am excited to have such a great script and very grateful to be surronded by such a amazing team of people to work on this project with. The short story Forbidden has a great potential thanks to its surreal narrative. My goal was to combine the story with a strong visual aesthetic - a central composition and a minimalistic set design in pastel colours. The storyline is very fascinating as everyone can interpret it in their own way.

Best Documentary Short

Director/Producer: Mark S Schoen

Writer: William Knight

Country: United States

Genre: Documentary

Overview: The three-minute film STIGMA demonstrates that no matter what your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity all human beings are basically the same.

Best Indian Short
Kasheer Kaete (Where is Kashmir)
Kasheer Kaete (Where is Kashmir)

Director/Writer: Arif Bashir

Producers: Viraj Sinh Gohil, Sukant Panigrahy, Arif Bashir

Country: India

Genre: Drama, Short

Overview: A young boy decides to buy his blind little sister a cake for her birthday, but runs into some trouble in the conflict ridden land of Kashmir.

Director Statement: While several large scale films are made on Kashmir conflict, few have attempted to explore the psychological impacts of conflict on children. Our film tries to highlight the tense situation for both a young boy and an army man - both victims of their own circumstantial realities - who come face to face in a situation that is beyond their control.

Best Feature Documentary
Al Primo & His Eyewitness News Revolution
Al Primo & His Eyewitness News Revolution

Director/Writer: Brian Calfano

Producer: Jennifer Dreisbach

Country: United States

Genre: Documentary

Overview: Once upon a time, your TV news report came from a white man sitting at a desk reading a script. That all changed when "Eyewitness News" took to the air in 1965. Al Primo's vision of news became the industry standard: a reporter-centric "eyewitness" multicultural ensemble resembling the community. Al Primo & His Eyewitness News Revolution documents the career and influence of the man who understood that people can tell their stories better than anyone else.

Director Statement: Reporter live shots. Anchors and reporters talking on set. The news ensemble. A news team that looks and sounds like its community. These are the recognized norms of television news. And they took shape under the artful creativity of news director Al Primo. The Pittsburgh native introduced his Eyewitness News format at KYW-TV in Philadelphia in 1965. Primo perfected his concept at WABC-TV New York beginning in 1968. From there, Primo led a revolution in how television news serves the public as its most trusted information source.

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
The Girl Who Faded Away

Director/Writer: Brent Heise

Producer: George Daly

Country: United States

Genre: Romance

Overview: The search for love happens in a place where angels fear to tread. A man is walking on the edge of deep woods, holding an old wooden case. A white owl in the trees takes notice of him and swoops down. In a puff of smoke the owl transforms and becomes a beautiful female apparition. The “Girl” warns him against going further in these woods. The man stops and he sets his wood case on a fallen tree trunk. He opens it. Inside is an old fashioned turntable, a wind-up phonograph he cranks before carefully placing the needle on an old, black vinyl record. The music crackles and plays and a story unfolds. He experiences a vision: he is approaching an exotic country estate with its entranceway resembling an exotic, metal bird cage. He’s there and he steps in and sees the Girl waiting for him. He pursues her, but she is always one step ahead, able to disappear by magic, or secretly walking behind him, uncatchable. Finally, the man is able to engage her in just one loving dance with the song that is still playing. But the beautiful apparition suddenly pulls away, fading away into thin air. And just as the music fades she deserts him. The vision gone, there at the edge of the woods, the man, abandoned by love, begins his long trek into his lonely future, literally, into his sunset with many miles ahead of him. As he departs into the stormy dark cloud fields, the owl screeches from her nest above the man. Abandoned by the man, the owl transforms one last time to the Girl Who Faded Away. She stands where the man stood, looking at him as he journeys forever away, a tear on her cheek, and mourning forever his departure.

Director Statement: In summary, this project renews attention to the growing US and world reputation of Tom Guernsey’s musical legacy. Music wrapped in a sublime, chivalric, and passionate romance. Concurrently, by way of an exotic location, it is a celebration of a Portland landmark imbued with imagination and intrigue. It’s a love story at its core, in service to several beautiful things. Watch and see.

Best Long Short

Director/Writer: Dexter Wilson

Producer: Randy Singh

Country: Canada

Genre: Thriller, Crime

Overview: Two women are haunted by their past when they receive threatening letters from a man they presumed to be dead.

Director Statement: Dexter Wilson is a writer/director from Toronto with a passion for filmmaking and telling riveting stories. A lover of all types of films and genres, his most recent short film ‘Diabolika’ can identify as a thriller but also hints at elements of crime, action, horror and mystery as well. As he continues to learn more about his craft on each film, Dexter Wilson commits to tell gripping and inspiring stories with fascinating characters, no matter the genre.

Best Feature
Fortunes of War
Fortunes of War

Director: Thomas Bill

Writers: Thomas Bill, Ian Thomas

Producer: Lucy Sanders

Country: United Kingdom

Genre: Drama

Overview: When a raid goes wrong, a handful of British commandos, led by Sergeant Mason, are forced to go on the run behind enemy lines. Pursued through open countryside they stumble upon a deserted farm and decide to lie low, but they soon discover they are not alone. A group of French labourers occupy the farm apparently making use of the old brick oven. Mason suspects all is not as it seems, but before he can investigate their German pursuers discover the hideout and attack. Surrounded, injured and low on ammunition, the commandos have nowhere to run to and a desperate siege ensues. But Mason refuses to back down, determined to give the Germans a bloody nose and uncover the secret the old farm holds.

Best Feature Screenplay

Writer: William Rush

Country: United States

Project Type: Feature Screenplay

Overview: A woman home for college break must outwit a very dangerous intruder. Cassie, a young woman returning home during a college break makes plans with her hometown boyfriend for him to come visit her at her parents’ house while they are away for a concert. She is waiting with anticipation for her visitor to arrive when he makes his entrance. However, this is not the visitor she expected. Now Cassie must fight for her life to escape this unwelcome intruder, isolated and on her own, with no means of escape. Can she fend him off until help arrives, or will she be his latest victim.

Writer Statement: The film is a thrilling horror film about a shocking home invasion and the cat and mouse struggle for survival that ensues. A strong female lead is our protagonist, and I am confident the character will captivate audiences with her intelligence and determination.

Best TV Script
My Favorite Narcissist
My Favorite Narcissist

Writer: Diane Thomassin

Country: United States

Project Type: Television Script

Overview: “My Favorite Narcissist" is a comedy TV pilot that captures the essence of shows like Loudermilk, where flawed yet endearing characters are eternally struggling to be better people, except for the mayor who is incorrigible. The series follows the entertaining and insightful journey of Olivia, a quick-witted Latina psychology student, as she navigates the absurdities of working at the office of a narcissistic mayor in the city. Alongside a diverse cast of colleagues who defy stereotypes, Olivia uses her understanding of psychology to analyze and cope with the mayor's narcissistic tendencies.

Writer Statement: As a writer, I am driven by the warrior mentality that courses through the veins of my characters and the narratives I weave. I craft stories that embody the fierce determination and unyielding resilience of warriors from all walks of life. I believe in the power of words to battle injustice, to confront adversity head-on, and to forge paths of triumph for those who dare to fight against the odds. My mission is to inspire that same warrior spirit in my audience, to awaken the valiant fighter within, and to illuminate the courage that lies in the heart of every story I tell.