2021 Film & Music Competitions
We received a record number of entries in multiple categories. It is a difficult task reviewing all these projects and selecting two winners from each category but that is what competition is all about. Here are this year’s winners and runners-up.
US NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
Love is Not Love
Directed by Stephen Keep Mills
Directed by Anthony Petrucci
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
Directed by Sharmistha Mitra Chakraborty
Directed by Martin Copping
US DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
The Game Is Up: Disillusioned Trump Voters Tell Their Stories
Directed by Melissa Jo Peltier
Directed by Dale Lindquist
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Tahriib (Those Who Travel North)
Directed by Daniel Smith
My Rembetika Blues
Directed by M. Zournazi
US NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Directed by Myles Clohessy
I Can See You
Directed by Lyanka Gryu
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Directed by Jake Hatt
Directed by Pat Lafeline
US DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
West Virginia - Covid and Hunger Collide
Directed by Brian Boenau and Cydney Tucker
Behind The Ink
Directed by Mark Pendergrass, Rhasaan Smith, Terance Murray and Korey Townsend
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Nothing Can Stop the Autoramas
Directed by Bruno Vouzella and Manoel Magalhães
Talk With Us
Directed by Fabio Costa Prado
STUDENT NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Directed by Jack Campise
Directed by Kevin Orzel
STUDENT DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Directed by Lucza Brewer, Isabel Hiestand and Tioné Hoeckner
Mental: Diagnosis and The Mental Illness Experience
Directed by Alissa Fagin
ANIMATED FILM COMPETITION
Directed by Marco Bolognesi
Directed by Arantxa Chavarri
MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION - ENGLISH
Trial By Fire: No Room For Padded Walls
Directed by Jason Roberts
Fashion Bird Danger Danger: Hunted
Directed by Lisa Hammer
MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION - INTERNATIONAL
Directed by Benjamin Mercer
Directed by Aashish Rego and K. C. Loy
TV/WEB EPISODE COMPETITION
Lower East Asides
Directed by Steve Becker
NOC - Non-Official Cover
Directed by Ian Voglesong
FILM/TV/WEB TRAILER COMPETITION
Knights of Early Los Angeles
Directed by Ron Cooper
Small Sacrifices Series 2023
Directed by RaeAnne Hadley
Directed by Ryan Tian
Directed by Roberto Serrini
The Invisible War
by Alberto Bellavia
Born to be Alphas
by Sandrine Rudaz
ORIGINAL SONG COMPETITION
by Tim Janssens and Whitney Vlasaty
I Am What I Am
by Fred Kimmel and Martin Breeson
Judging the works of so many talented writers is truly hard. In the end our judges have to assign numeric scores in multiple categories to each screenplay and these scores are tallied up. So you may miss being included in the list of winners below by very few points but this is how competitions work.
Daniel W. Smith
A female teacher for a rural Afghan school for girls demands protection from a Taliban attack. A lone tribal guardian, an Arbakai, learns the value of female education.
Because the Night
In October 1977, seven students are murdered from Islands High School over the course of six weeks. After multiple failed attempts to stop the gruesome killings, the Chatham County PD send in a rookie female undercover cop as a high school senior in a last ditch effort to catch the killer.
She Wasn't There
Twenty-five years after the death of her five-year-old twin brother, Sarah Prescott struggles with day-to-day life. To make matters worse, her cold and resentful mother blames Sarah for her brother's death, despite years of effort from Sarah's father to repair the family's fractured relationship. Aside from her well-intentioned father, the one person who gives Sarah the love, support, and comfort she needs is Dominic, a childhood friend who has always been there for her since her brother's passing. Only after the sudden death of her beloved father, when Sarah needs Dominic the most, he is nowhere to be found. Now alone, Sarah has no choice but to confront the consequences of her childhood trauma and accept certain realities that may be hard to swallow.
The Last Spear
The Man Inside
An aspiring art student hoping to submit his controversial sculpture into a gallery exhibition, enters into a forbidden romance with his college dean.
Gloria J. Browne Marshall
African-American Army Sergeant Stella Freeman's college-bound daughter Keisha goes missing on the day Freeman becomes the first woman to train the Army's new Urban Terrorism platoon. A single mom and widow, Freeman is fighting to find her daughter while the Army pressures her to represent women in this life-changing assignment to lead a Special Urban Forces platoon but it's filled with in-fighting soldiers. To rescue her daughter, Sergeant Freeman must enter the enemy's lair of White supremacists led by a rogue ex-military criminal terrorizing a poverty-stricken Pennsylvania town he's using to horde weapons for a race war.
(in alphabetical order by title)
The time is the turbulent mission era, prior to the Spanish leaving California. A mixed-blood young man, having witnessed the slaughter of his tribe and mother, now serves as an unbaptized mission guard struggling to find a home, a place in this rapidly evolving world.
Between the Salt and the Sky
Annika and Luis carry on a passionate affair, and she remains fearful that Erich will find out, not only of her infidelity, but that a medical report she has hidden confirms that he is unable to father children. When she discovers that she is pregnant, it is time to flee. Will they be able to shepherd the two little girls to safety? Will Erich discover the medical report and realize her affair and stop her escape?
Jada, a black female Iraq vet/turned Uber driver with PTSD who lost custody of her daughter, Josie, when she killed her abusive white cop husband and was found guilty by an all-white jury can earn the legal fees to be reunited with Josie by using her Army Military Police skills to prove a real estate exec is innocent of murdering her boyfriend.
A woman (Liliane) is pushed over the edge of her terrace to the ocean beneath. It is not certain who she is or whether she survives. Flash forward to a young Mexican couple, Juan and Rosa, throwing a party on the same terrace. Flashback three years earlier: Juan is building the very same terrace. Liliane and her husband Elliot have just moved to Baja from the US after retiring. Elliot hires Juan to fix up the house. Liliane innocently admires Juan's good looks but wouldn't dare act upon her desire. Elliot and Liliane treat Juan like the son they never had. Juan recommends an acquaintance, Rosa, to come to work for the couple as a cook and housekeeper. Rosa is young and sexy in a demure way. Liliane feels jealous when her husband and his friend ogle Rosa at a party. It is not long before Elliot suffers a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital. Liliane and Juan strike up a passionate romance after a night out while Elliot is in the hospital. Elliot returns after a few days, his health greatly deteriorated. He is now confined to a separate room where a nurse must attend to his needs. Liliane and Juan become more heavily involved as Elliot's condition worsens. Elliot takes a tragic fall, and, against her better judgment, Liliane allows Juan to convince her to hold off on calling the ambulance. Elliot passes away in Liliane's arms. Liliane experiences guilt and confides everything to her psychiatrist, including her affair with Juan. A fellow French neighbor, Yves, a gay man, with flamboyant style, falls upon hard times and asks if Liliane will give him a room in exchange for minor household chores. While Liliane is away visiting family, Yves discovers Juan is having a romance with Rosa. Afraid of being exposed by Yves Juan tries to frame Yves for killing Liliane's dog. Liliane does not want to believe Yves when he tells her about Juan and Rosa and the dog. Juan manipulates Liliane using her own guilt and her insecurity about her age. Even though Liliane is afraid of Juan, her attraction to him is overpowering. She begins drinking more to cope. When Liliane confronts Juan about Rosa, he explodes and embarks upon a plot to kill her for her money. Flash forward to the opening scene where Liliane is pushed off the edge of the terrace. She survives the fall. Liliane flies to Mexico City, where she and Elliot own an apartment. A montage sequence shows her transformation as she undergoes a series of surgeries, physical therapy sessions and how she later emerges as a newly improved, stronger woman. Flash forward 1 year later, Liliane returns to the same community disguised as an American tourist. She approaches Juan in a bar and seduces him. Unsuspecting, Juan brings the disguised Liliane back to the house for sex. Juan doesn't immediately recognize her. She slips drugs in his drink while he is distracted. Juan notices her distinctive bracelet and recognizes Liliane. They struggle, and Liliane grabs a gun from her purse, but falters. Juan takes control and tries to drown her in the pool, but Rosa enters the house, finds the gun and delivers a fatal blow to Juan, saving Liliane. Liliane surviving the ordeal, regains her self-esteem, sells her house and embarks on a journey with a renewed joy for life.
It's Just a Game
Four lawyers meet for the first time and decide to play a game that makes changes to their careers and lives.
A 100-year-old vampire falls in love with a man who is about to commit suicide. She thereby bestows on him the one thing he was desperately trying to avoid: eternal life.
Men, Meet Women
In 1942 the war has come to a small Portuguese fishing village. Luis Ferraz secretly works for the partisans by passing messages and ammunition. A German officer, Erich Herzog and his wife Annika settle into the town, and Luis soon finds that Annika is a Resistance worker spying on her husband's radio messages and planning to smuggle two little Jewish orphan girls to Lisbon. The nuns at the local church are aiding her efforts in spite of several local fishermen who prepare their boats to earn money from the Nazis for spying up and down the coast. A married couple's attempt to scam a charity-based, home make-over TV show leads to a major conflict with the show's host, whose efforts to expose them brings trouble for all involved.
Shipwrecked after their rocket crashes, twelve year-old Norah and her family find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime in this extraordinary tale set a hundred years in the future.
Remember Who Your Friends Are
When a childless psychologist tries to solve an orphan's inexplicable memory problem, her growing affection for the girl draws her into a life or death struggle with a mysterious power for the child's future.
ROOMIES "The Box"
Christopher Moore & Carlos Garcia
Gay men aren't always novelties, and straight men don't always stand to piss. But one thing is for sure: straight men don't get tested nearly as often as they should, and for that reason alone, gay men are superior. Well, at least according to Chris they are.
(in alphabetical order by title)
At the Mercy of Faith
A 14-year-old preacher renounces his faith in God in the wake of a terrifying and traumatic encounter. 18 years later, the psychopathic demons of his past, viciously return to wreak havoc on his home, and to rip-out-his-soul, for the god of their hell.
Black Hawk: The Pilot Episode
A young boy must become a warrior to protect his people.
Heart of Darkness
A re-telling of Joseph Conrad's famous novel but told from the perspective of the Congolese and from the elephants who were murdered for their tusks.
It Happened in Silence
Shaun R. Delliskave & Karla Jay
Resolute but mute, young Willow Stewart leaves her Georgia mountain home to bring back a preacher for her mother’s funeral and to find her estranged brother, Briar. Briar left the family homestead after the death of his oldest brother in a mining accident, vowing to never return. However, while wandering in his new life, he stumbles into a corrupt town and finds himself on a prison chain gang – a popular Georgia labor tactic in the 1920s. Ardith Dobbs, an up-and-coming star in the women’s KKK movement, with a past as dark as the movement she leads, weaves a life of deceit and manipulation that includes fraud and murder. Their lives entangle as Willow finds Briar after the law determines she too must pay her debt to Georgian society. Willow now must escape the clutches of Ardith, to whom the law has bound her, and rescue her brother before he perishes in the Georgia penal system.
Long Black Veil
A young Vietnam Vet faces the consequences of choosing between love and honor.
Match of the Century
A scientist and his teenage son from the mainland are transformed by the culture, romance and magic of the Big Island of Hawaii as different worlds collide.
ROOMIES "The Funeral Debut"
Christopher Moore & Carlos Garcia
Chris is thankful his mother always comes prepared with a purse full of miniatures; otherwise, he may not survive his grandmother's funeral. Although he was tasked with delivering the eulogy, his conservative relatives stand in the way as they find issue with Chris's lifestyle.
Santino & Theresa
Set in 1910, Santino Castiglioni desires a wife from the Old Country and sends his cousin, Emilio to find one for him. Emilio decides the picture of Santino he carries is just too ugly to garner any results so he substitutes a photo of opera singer Enrico Caruso. In Italy he meets Nicolina who believes her sister, Theresa may be a perfect mate for Santino. But she tells Emilio that Theresa looks just like opera singer Elenora Duse. Correspondence blossoms between Santino and Theresa. Santino, though, is a hapless sweetheart who leans on Emilio to give him the words to woo Theresa. Theresa books passage to America on the HMS Titanic! She misses the boat and returns home. Santino waits for her at Ellis Island and believes she has perished. When she ultimately shows up at his doorstep, she is shocked to discover Emilio is not Santino and Santino is definitely Enrico Caruso. With a number of plans concocted by Emilio, Santino must convince her again and again that they are destined to be married. Each plan turns into a disaster until, finally, with the help of Nicolina, one plan succeeds and both Santino and Emilio find the perfect women for each of them.
Trail of Blood
Father Lawrence, a priest with a background in stem cell research witnesses a strange miracle - a statue of Christ bleeds human blood. The possession of a vial of the sacred blood lands Lawrence on the government radar, and he becomes a fugitive on the run, sought after by the secretly sinister, President of the United States, whom he suspects may be the antichrist.
A young woman in her 20s and a teenage boy go through the same trauma in different circumstances. She is Italian, comes from an upper class and has been in a relationship with her girlfriend for few years. He is Afro-Italian lower class, lives in public housing with a super Christian dad. His mom has recently passed away. They both become victim of sexual predators, in ways that most people think are rare or impossible. The story explores topics such as sexuality and assault. We follow them through the struggle of dealing with that trauma, their relationships and accepting who they are. Their lives cross at the station while waiting for the train to come. They have no idea they aren't alone in their suffering and when they peek into each other's eyes they get to connect for a brief second. Who knows what will happen next for them.
Laura P. Valtorta
Unequal Justice tells how the U.S. government attacked Dr. Aaron Goldwasser for revealing the side effects of pharmaceuticals worth billions of dollars in sales.