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2021 Award Winners



A young couple cuddles on top of a red fire escape. Viscera.


Dir. Ashlee Macropoulos, 10 min.

An experimental variation on ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. A young woman struggles with love, sex, drugs and memory. Alice has the perfect life, she loves her boyfriend and parties with her friends all the time. She never considered that her behavior might be fueled by avoidance. VISCERA is the visual depiction of Alice's internal journey to unlocking herself.

It's Time for Tea

Dir. Matthew J. Kaplan, 10 min.

After the death of their young daughter, all that remains in Rebecca and Allen's home is an extensive toy collection and profound grief. Both are attempting to process their loss: Rebecca chooses to repress her pain, while Allen regresses to their child's age in order to replace her. When an unconventional therapist visits with them, he assures Rebecca he can bring her husband back. But first, she must enter into Allen's land of make-believe.

A toy phone on a blue background that concentrates to a white light in the center. It's Time for Tea. We all process grief differently.
A middle aged man wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette. Sure Fire. Fake it till you make it.


Dir. Michael Goldburg, 16 min.

Benny Boon, a New York City con man, needs to come up with $50,000 in 3 days in order to pay off a gangster - or else. Luckily, he meets a washed-up actress, Kitty Kinkaid, who's desperate for a comeback and claims to have the money to bankroll a screenplay.

Trouble is My Business

Dir. Tom Konkle, 1 hr. 30 min.

A dark tale of love and betrayal, told in the classic style of film noir. Private detective Roland Drake has fallen on hard times in a harsh world. Drake is being evicted from his office and disgraced by a missing persons case, which has ruined him in the public eye and with police officials. It seems like it's all over for him. Then, redemption walks in... with curves.

A collection of film noir characters around the title, Trouble is my Business.
A couple on a beach with the man's head in the woman's lap, who is looking away. He wears a black suit and she wears a white dress. Eternal.


Dir. Shin Saito, 1 hr. 30 min.

German war-time experiments, Symphony No. 9 led by Furtwängler, and conch shell poison. This is a tale of love and science fiction depicting the fate of a couple shaped by these three entwining elements unbound by time.


Dir. Jennifer Plotzke, 6 min.

Rideshare gone very wrong.

A woman driving a car looks at the camera. A man in a red turban is standing on the passenger seat poking out of the sunroof with his arms in the air. Both are smiling. Shyft: ride share gone wrong.
A young couple walk down a tunnel together as the sun sets. Sundown.


Dir. Megumi Haggerty, 13 min.

A woman with Alzheimer's and her husband experience an unexpectedly magical day in New York City.

Leave It All Behind

Dir. Paul Santoli, 16 min.

A struggling actor tortured by his past finds an opportunity to make his dream come true.

A man in a hoodie is looking at a retro poster that says "Hollywood Diner". Leave It All Behind.
A family is gathered in their living room all looking at the camera. All of them look disgusted or confused but the youngest daughter is smiling. The image is slightly warped like an old TV. Wink: a John Gallagher movie.


Dir. John Gallagher, 9 min.

The morning after a wild party, a hungover couple, Tori and Michael, discover something odd in the middle of their living room. Tori's sister, mother and neighbor all come to take a look. As details about the night are revealed, the couple's future changes forever.


Dir. Eric Whitten, 19 min.

The plans of an innocent and gullible man to reconcile with his estranged son are thwarted when he becomes an unwitting accomplice in an international plot to take down the Vatican Bank.

A collection of characters clustered on the poster like a superhero movie, including a man doing jazz hands in a blue suit, a woman smiling over her shoulder, a worried young man, a priest, an older woman with glasses and cardigan, and a shirtless bald man. The characters are set against a sun-colored backdrop over a city skyline. Daybreak.
Two adults and two teenagers all look in shock at something off camera. The House on Cox Curve... a bit more than a bed and breakfast.

The House on Cox Curve

Dir. Amanda Brooke Lerner, 19 min.

The Jeffersons, a stiff, dry couple on the rocks, drag their begrudging teenage daughter on a family weekend away to what they assume to be a quaint bed and breakfast.

Almas Rotas

Broken Souls

Dir. Juan Pablo Arroyo Abraham, 1 hr. 97 min.

Julián decides to embark on a journey with no destination, leaving everything behind. Ten years later he returns in search of his past and finds María, the woman who was once his wife, in the company of Santiago, a writer that has given her solace. Julián's arrival then takes all of their lives down an unexpected path.

A woman looks directly at the camera. A man behind her looks at her. A man in front of her looks away from both. Almas Rotas, Broken Souls.
Several friends at a cosplay convention are in the midst of battle with blasters. Pew! Pew! Pew! A sci-fi cosplay action-comedy...

Pew, Pew, Pew

Dir. Loren Dunn, 13 min.

When Miles tries to rejoin his geeky crew at a cosplay convention, Anita is having none of it. But before she can send him packing, the devious Lord Moro ambushes the crew, forcing these old friends to reunite in an epic, cosplay "blaster" battle.

Physical Thoughts

Dir. Anne Hollowday, 4 min.

After a dramatic injury puts a professional dancer out of action for six months, she reflects on how our physical thoughts reveal who we are, perhaps even more than what we say.

A dancer sits in a chair with crutches in front of a white concrete wall. Physical Thoughts: a film by Anne Hollowday.
A young boy holds up a stone in front of a dusky sky. The Glowing Stone: a film by Li Youen.

The Glowing Stone

Dir. Li Youen, 20 min.

Wen Jiefang, a 9-year-old-boy, who picks up a glowing stone that could fulfill his wishes. A series of the story happens around him and his family and the stone.

Lost Treasure of the Valley

Dir. Robert Husted, 25 min.

A photographer and an adventurer discover that all of the abandoned shopping carts in LA's San Fernando Valley lead to a hidden cave off of Sepulveda Blvd. with a lost treasure inside - guarded by a dragon!

An Indiana Jones-style illustrated poster showing an adventurer and photographer in front of a cave containing a shopping cart monster. Above the cave, a dragon. Also on the poster, a bearded man, a woman with a book, and a woman with furrowed eyebrows. At the bottom of the poster, denim-wearing people walk through tall grass. Lost Treasure of the Valley.
bobby mortal.jpg

Bobby Mortal

Dir. Rodney Ferrer, 1 hr. 20 min.

New York comedian Bobby Mortal was once the hottest ticket in town. After a struggle with the bottle, a cocaine addict brother, and an ex-wife who married his agent, he is ready for a comeback with the cops hot on his tail.

Brass Ring

Dir. Zachary Ross, 10 min.

A fanatic finally meets his favorite over-the-hill wrestler at a mediocre comic book convention and attempts to make him relevant again.

An angry-looking wrestler and a nerdy-looking young man. The poster is made to look like a beat-up old VHS cover complete with "adult action" sticker. Brass Ring
A cartoon image of a car full of people crashing through a wall. Inside the room, a man in a white outfit and purple cape, holding a scepter, is making a speech at a podium. The congregation in front of him looks shocked and angry. A banner reads, Welcome to Daddydelphia.


Dir. Harold Eric, 30 min.

Five twenty-somethings become lost while on a road trip to a weekend getaway due to their navigator's alcohol-fueled gross negligence. As a result, they are no longer destined for sunshine and pool time.

The Island

Dir. Aimée Schaefer, 12 min.

When his friend goes missing in the summer of 1989, Jimmy learns that the Island isn't the only thing that's changing. Based on true stories from the community of Roosevelt Island, NYC.

A young boy's face and the empty outline of another boy next to him, over the silhouette of the Queensboro Bridge. The Island.
Three images: a blond woman smiling at a priest, a similar-looking brunette woman taking money from a priest, and a hand holding a cigarette. Moonlight Motel.

Moonlight Motel

Dir. Jordan Paley, 7 min.

After losing his faith, a former priest pays for the company of a woman that bears a striking resemblance to his long lost love.


Dir. David Tyson Lam, 9 min.

Cat's resentments peak against her unruly 5-year-old for causing the decline of love in her relationship with her husband, when one day she suddenly finds herself empowered to end her misery with one single act.

Most of the poster is taken up by the back of a man's head and shoulder. In front of him, half of a woman's face, facing him and us. Motherhood
A man with his hands on his head, looking down. Nice Guy. Jim is looking for his soulmate... poor guy.

Nice Guy

Dir. Mark Daniel Cade, 10 min.

Jim is a single guy who doesn't want to be single. He believes that if he approaches dating in a logical, rational way that he will surely find his soulmate. Jim has a few things to learn...


Dir. Michael Charof, 13 min.

A desperate family struggling with substance use and child neglect resort to physical violence against each other to gain a drug prescription.

A watercolor painting of a man, a woman, and a little girl, all looking in different directions, on a tan background. Reck.
A woman lying in bed facing away from the young man on the other side of the bed, who is looking over at her. Stepson.


Dir. Niav Conty, 21 min.

A woman, confronting her past after her wealthy husband's death, must turn to the one person she thinks she can trust: her stepson, but, the young man's feelings for her might push them both into a complex life they can't survive.

Blood on the Risers

Dir. Caleb Fanning, 19 min.

Charlie Evans, a paratrooper who jumped into Normandy on D-Day. After three years of being gone, he comes home to his wife, Afton, who has no idea about the burdens and trauma that Charles is bringing home with him. The film tells the story of his struggle to reconcile the trauma of war and his peaceful life at home.

A man in combat gear screaming, lit by red light. Blood on the Risers.
A bright blue eye in which the ocean is reflected. Mirando al mar.

Mirando al Mar

Staring at the Sea

Dir. Angel Puado Veloso, 1 hr. 30 min.

Staring at the Sea is a film about two lives that cross paths at the end of their journey only to find themselves beginning the journey anew.

Angel is a man from Madrid that goes to spend a few days in Alicante and meets Chelo, who turns his life upside down. Between the two, a romance is born and Angel sees it as his last chance to find happiness.

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