The 2018 Nominees Are In!
Best Feature Film Nominees
- Heroin - (Ryan Sellers, director-producer; Rico Salam, writer-producer; USA; 2016; drama; 1 hr. 45 min. 14 sec.; English ) A man's addiction to heroin, causes a domino effect of tragedy and violence, that puts him and his daughter's lives in the hands of a killer. Watch the Trailer/Preview (Rated R)
- Mazurkas - (Marty Krzywonos, director-writer-producer; USA; 2016; drama, romance; 58 min. 40 sec.; English) An elderly piano teacher who lost his wife 35 years ago still has not gone through the grieving process which can have disastrous results. Watch the Trailer
- Lovers - (Matteo Vicino, director-writer-producer; Italy; 2017; comedy, romance; 1 hr. 41 min. 39 sec.; Italian ) Lovers symmetrically approaches four stories where the five main characters, interpreting different roles, are all connected in a spiral driven by the reasons of love. Watch the Trailer
- I Did Her Wrong - (Francisco Campos-Lopez, director-writer-producer; Alexander Barnett, wrier; David Schiff, Kyoko E. Ruch, producers; USA; 2017; drama; 1 hr. 25 min.; English) A Hollywood actress’ escape is disrupted when her previously estranged and eccentric father shows up at her doorstep with one request: he’s recreating Shakespeare’s King Lear and wants her to act in it with him. As they clash, painful memories resurface, and their reunion takes a dangerous turn. Watch the Trailer
- All Too Human - (Tavis D. Brown, director-writer-producer; Mandy Stockholm, director; USA; 2017; dark comedy; 1 hr. 36 min. 36 sec.; English) A highly intellectual young man decides suicide is the only answer to his problems, but life keeps impeding his goal. Watch the Trailer
Best Foreign Film Nominees
- Dead Again - (Dave Silberman, director-writer; Jay Silberman, producer; Republic of Korea; 2017; romance, horror, thriller; 1 hr. 31 min. 20 sec.; Korean) Thomas stumbles upon an old diary in an antique district. As he begins to read the haunting tale of love and loss, Thomas realizes the diary carries a terrifying curse. Written many years ago by Junghoon, an aspiring author, anyone merely exposed to the diary becomes a cunning facilitator of the curse. Even Thomas's girlfriend becomes his enemy. Watch the Trailer
- Firdaws - (Mayur Puri, director-producer; Ulka Puri, producer; 2017; India; film short, fantasy, drama; 17 min. 33 sec.; Hindi, Urdu) An exploration of questions about the root cause of terrorism - the idea of a promised paradise - and turns it on its head by asking what if this pursuit was futile and there was no ‘pure bliss of forgetfulness’ after all? Watch the Trailer
- An Educator - (Lemuel Lorca, director; Archie Del Mundo, writer; Carl Balita; Philippines; 2017; drama; 1 hr. 39 min. 47 sec.; English ) Three generations of courageous women will teach you the most important lessons in life. A poor dreamer who reaches the top, an Aeta teacher who dreams of passing the licensure exam, a veteran educator who believes a teacher never quits. They all meet in a place where the dreamers and the dream become one. Watch the Trailer
Best Documentary Nominees
- No Place Like Home - (Lee Sangrok, Nam Kisun, Yang Jinwoo, Lee Minju, Kim Jongheon, directors; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; 2016; documentary, family; 1 hr. 6 min. 58 sec.; Korean) The daily struggles of the Tsukaguchi parents, who both work as performance directors, make us reflect on what it's like to be a family and what families are for after all. Narrated by the couple's daughter, Gaeul. Watch the Trailer
- The Louisiana Project - (Levilyn Chriss, director-producer; USA; documentary, history, news; 52 min. 36 sec.; English) A few strong willed survivors of Hurricane Katrina who tell how their life has been for the past 10 years and the challenges they encountered due to the storm. Watch the Trailer
- The Legacy of Blumberg - (Tracey Jenkins, director-writer-producer; USA; 2009; documentary, urban, history; 58 min. 54 sec.; English) A North Philadelphia resident explains the good and bad that came from within his urban neighborhood.
- Rey Rivera: Inside the Athlete - (Daniele Salvatore Sestito, director; USA; 2017; documentary, sports; 11 min. 41 sec.; English) A documentary centered around Rey Rivera, a five-time NJ track & field state champion and the 2017 national 800m champion. Weeks before Nationals, a confident and eager-to-win Rey discusses his career and his love-hate relationship with running, while he prepares to win States one last time.
- The Shepherds - (Elvis Lu, director; Taiwan; 2017; documentary, LGBTQ; 60 min.; black and white, color; Chinese) A heterosexual female pastor founded Taiwan’s first LGBT-affirming church in May 1996. For LGBT Christians, who had been rejected by the Christian community, this church finally provided them with a safe haven. Today, while the founder has passed away, the church members continue to struggle in the conflicts of the religion as Taiwan’s LGBT marriage equality bill is being put forward. Watch the Trailer
Best LGBTQ Film Nominees
- Apricot Groves - (Pouria Heidary Oureh, director-writer-producer; Ali Sadraei, producer; Armenia; 2016; romance; 1 hr. 19 min. 40 sec.; Armenian) Aram, the Iranian Armenian youth who emigrated to the US in childhood, returns to Armenia for the first time to propose to an Armenian girlfriend Aram met and lived with in the US. Aram sees many cultural, religious, and national differences on the one day trip, but harder obstacles are ahead. Watch the Trailer
- Arianna - (David Ambrosini, director-writer; Andrea Garofalo, writer-producer; Maria Stella Di Nardo, writer; Italy; 2017; film short; 11 min.; Italian) Arianna, a young and brilliant transexual lawyer is ready to deal with an interview for the job she desires. Now, after a long path to self-acceptance, the only thing she needs is a job that would permit her to be independent and have a normal life. Watch the Trailer
- August in the City - (Christie Conochalla, director; Lisa Tedesco, writer-producer; USA; 2017; film short, drama, romance, women; 15 min. 52 sec.; English) Two young women find themselves completely drawn to each other but one fears the repercussions of society in 1978 Brooklyn. Watch the Trailer
- A Bone to Pick - (Lewis Tan, director; Marisa Szczepan, director-writer-producer; Joanne Tan, producer; USA; 2016; film short; 10 min. 51 sec.; English) A day in the life of a lesbian dog walker in Los Angeles.
- Raw Footage - (Antoine Allen, director-producer; Julia Aaryn Montanez, writer; Lester Greene, producer; USA; film short; 7 min. 40 sec.; English) Filmmaker Justin Gladwell is put to the test when his passion is called into question. With the world watching, how far will he go to capture your attention. Watch the Trailer
Best Tri State Film Nominees
- Breathless - (Anaiis Cisco, director-writer-producer; Andrea Cisco, Roopali Mukherjee, Jonathan Buchsbaum, William J. Clinton, John Peter Pittman, producers; USA; 2017; film short, drama; 7 min. 9 sec.; English) When Brooklyn father “figure” and street “entrepreneur” Larry stops by Major Deli for his usual coffee and cigarettes, he breaks up a fight between neighborhood teens, resulting in an illegal cigarette transaction. Two undercover officers spot the buy and Larry’s encounter with the police escalates with deadly consequences. Watch the Trailer
- Deadbeat - (Antwione Saunders, director-writer-producer; USA; 2017; film short, drama, family drama; English) A story of a broken home and a child that has to suffer through it. A father struggles to keep a strong relationship with his son and a mother that makes it hard for him to do so. Watch the Trailer
- Jokes - Anger Management - (Dwayne Alistair Thomas, director-writer; USA; 2017; film short, other; 19 min. 55 sec.; English) A visualized look at an idea pitching session between a writer and his agent
- A la mémoire de Lune - (Johnny Zito, director-writer; Nora Lune, producer; USA; 2017; film short, experimental; 12 min. 56 sec.; English) For 17 years, despite the distance between Paris and New York, Lune and Johnny were more like siblings than friends. Then on November 13th, 2015, Lune was murdered by terrorists at the Bataclan during the Paris Attacks, leaving her one-year-old son, husband, family, and friends devastated. How does one cope with the overwhelming grief? Johnny seeks comfort in his memories of Lune. Watch the Trailer
- Show and Tell - (Melissa Skirboll, director-writer-producer; Natasha Straley, director; Montserrat Mendez, producer; USA; 2017; film short, romance, drama; 13 min. 20 sec.; English) A couple dances around the idea of love as they stand at the crossroads of fantasy and reality. The fantasy: a daydream told through dance of love, pure and innocent. The reality: an affair where hearts are guarded behind walls of words. Watch Clips
Best Short Film Nominees
- Traits - (Krystal Foster, director-writer-producer; Ashley Campbell, producer; USA; 2017; drama; 18 min. 42 sec.; English) A housewife suffering from the deadly Sickle Cell Disease makes a last attempt to reconnect with her estranged sister.
- Lies & Oblivion: Sessions Vocal Unit - (Jezabel Montero, director-writer-producer; USA; 2017; comedy; 15 min. 24 sec.; English) Two sisters hash out their differences, over their dead father and jailbird mother, in a therapist's office. The only thing is, the malnourished therapist hasn't had a decent meal in over a month. What can go wrong? Watch the Trailer
- Rebirth - (Jill Von D, director-writer; Anirudh Pisharody, producer; USA; 2017; sic-fi, drama, thriller, horror; 12 min.; English) A young woman gets her beauty and vanity taken by a masked figure.
- Standing Eight - (Brian Kazmarck, director; Kazy Tauginas, writer; Louis Peduto, producer; USA; 2016; drama, sport; 20 min. 46 sec.; English) A professional boxer is forced to contend with life outside of the ring after being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. Watch the Trailer
- Silent Cries: The Prelude - (Shauntay Cherry, director-writer-producer; Okema T. Moore, producer; USA; 2017; drama; 15 min. 30 sec.; English) An underemployed construction worker begins to buckle under the pressures of fatherhood as his son's 7th birthday approaches. Watch the Trailer
Best Student Film Nominees
- Conscience - (Austin Drakes, director-writer; Saladin White II, producer; 11 min. 51 sec.; English) Anthony struggles to get over his past relationship. He gets advice from some unusual friends.
- Journey-Man - (Joseph Bologna, director-writer; Brian McQuade, Shane Sebeck, producers; USA; 2017; drama, sports; 18 min. 49 sec.; English ) Journey-Man follows a troubled boxer, Ted, struggling with bipolar disorder in and outside of the ring. When his methods of controlling his emotions comes into question, however, Ted is forced to choose between his only known means of escape and the risk of trying to find a better path. Watch the Trailer
- Eternalness - (Alyssa Lara, director-writer; Karen Morey, writer; USA; romance, drama; 4 min. 53 sec.; English) A teenage girl learns how to cope with the grief of her boyfriend's death.
- Thoughts of Love - (Agnieszka Gasiorek, director; Sebastian C. Christensen, writer; Maria-Louise Westring Madsen, producer; Denmark; 2017; romance, drama; 12 min.) Nigel and Iris go to a festival. But something is wrong with Nigel, because he has started to be in doubt of whether he is in love with his best friend or not. Iris gives him a hard time because she flirts with the eccentric guy, Keith. Nigel decides to run away to the ocean, to figure out what to do. When he comes back to the party his mind is clear, he will let Iris do what she wants. When she then starts to show interest in Nigel, he is again in doubt because is it worth risking their friendship?
- Virginity and Beyond - (Yuhao Chang, director; USA; 2017; abstract, experimental; 4 min. 19 sec.; English) Virginity and Beyond is a video installation that interprets people’s first-time sexual experiences ranging from a kiss to love making. The visuals are abstractions created by mixing liquids, such as milk, oil, soap water, glow stick liquid and more, presented as wall projections. The installation tries to recreate and reawaken in people their highly-charged/engaged and intense moments of first-time experiences.
Best Animated Film Nominee
- RISE - (Shana Dixon, director; USA; 2017; animation, African, fantasy, environment; 3 min. 19 sec. ) A girl discovers snow for the first time
Best Web Series Nominees
- Side Chick - (Ashley McArthur, director-writer-producer; USA; 2017; drama; episode runtime: 9 min. 54 sec.; English) Follow the emotional millennial roller coaster of Lynn's affection towards James who is engaged to an honest, caring woman named Kia. Unlike some females, Lynn doesn't fit the role of "the other woman" but she is misled and deceived into dating James, who loves his fiancée but is also intrigued by Lynn. As their emotions grow fonder, conflict unfolds, morals are questioned and love is tainted. Ultimately, Lynn, James and Kia are forced to examine what love truly means. Watch the Trailer
- The Book of Nimrod - (Carla Paullette Morales, director-writer-producer; USA; series debut 2016, currently 2 seasons; drama, action, urban; episode runtime: 48 min. 53 sec.; English) In a back alley deal, a Philadelphia drug dealer gets a little girl named Baby. He raises her as his own, but with his twisted sense of parental guidance. Watch the Trailer
- Shakespeare Republic: #LoveTheBard - (Sally McLean, director-writer-producer; Billy Smedley, Shane Savage, Perri Cummings, producers; Australia; series debut 2017, currently 2 seasons; anthology; episode runtime: 6 min. 30 sec.; English) A female-led, culturally diverse anthology series that explores Shakespeare’s relevance for today’s audiences by recasting excerpts of the plays in modern settings. Episodes have included Hamlet as a media advisor, Macbeth as politician targeting a rival, and a lesbian Juliet Skyping with her girlfriend. Watch the Trailer
- Hunters the Series - (Jeanna Lue, director-writer; Laura Aguinaga, producer; USA; 2017, currently 1 season; episode runtime: 13 min. 24 sec.; English) A woman decides to step into her power and choose her own destiny when she becomes willing to do the unthinkable in search of truth and justice for her deceased parents.
- Working Out the Kinks - (William Alexander Runnels, director; J Nycole Ralph, writer-producer; Brianna Graham, Lance Liverpool, Artesia Balthrop, producers; USA; 2017, currently 1 season; sitcom; episode runtime: 7 min. 42 sec.; English) Jada and her three closest friends/roommates (Tyrell, Crystal, and Moné) pursue their artistic ventures in the Big Apple while juggling the ups and downs that come with black hair – particularly natural hair.
Tyrell, Jada's bestfriend and self-proclaimed "personal stylist", is moving out and to her three friends' disbelief, his replacement is Madison, a sheltered red head from Kansas trying to pursue her acting career, too! Things get tangled as Madison encounters her first pile of weave in the bathroom. When Madison runs out of the bathroom screaming bloody murder, Jada has to do damage control!
- The Break Up - (Tyrone Blassingame, director-writer-producer; Ja'Nell Hall-Ragin, writer-producer; Ronnie Baker Jr., writer; Lamika Jenkins, producer; USA; 2017; romance, drama; episode runtime: 7 min. 49 sec.; English) A young man named Robert makes bold attempts to break up with his girlfriend Alexandra. But the break up doesn't go as planned. You know what they say. Not all love stories have happily ever endings. Watch the Trailer
- Makeup x Breakup - (Eric J. Dickens, director-writer-producer; Kevin C. Spence, producer; USA; 2016; episode runtime: 12 min.; English) When Brooke blindsides Blake and ends their two year relationship, Blake doesn't hesitate before jumping back into the New York dating scene. Instantly he finds a new love interest and regains his confidence. Once things begin to get serious, Brooke resurfaces and wants to claim what was once hers. Confused, Blake finds himself caught in the middle. When the dust settles, who will win him over in the end? Watch the Trailer
Best Music Video Nominees
- Abandoned - (James Knight, performer; Lamont Fountain, director; Fae Brown, lyrics; Maurice Wilcher, music; Maurice Wilcher, Terrance Nelson, song producers; USA; 2016; R&B; 6 min. 8 sec.; English) Post-apocalyptic music video based loosely on the movie "I Am Legend" and "The Walking Dead" TV Show. After having an argument and bitter breakup with his girlfriend, James finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Obsessed with searching for her, can he maintain his sanity and keep himself alive long enough to find her alive? Watch the Trailer
- Mission to Mars - (George Andrew Pasles, director; Andrew Wilkinson, cinematographer; Overlord, music; USA; 2016; indie rock, sci-fi, historical fiction; 3 min. 52 sec.; English) In 1969, NASA shelved the long-planned manned exploration of Mars in favor of the less expensive Space Shuttle program. But what if preparations had been made for a Mars expedition, just as the sinking economy of the 1970s doomed its extravagant goals? What if one astronaut's childhood dream is crushed, but not quite killed? 'Mission to Mars' shows the ill-fated 1977 journey that could have happened. Watch the Trailer
- Dear New York - (Brian Benjamin Dwyer, director-producer-director of photography; Bryan Pepper, music/soundscape; Ireland, filmed in the USA; 2017; 5 min. 24 sec.) A visual love note to New York as seen through an outsider's eye. Watch the Trailer
- Givenchy Walk - (Randell Jackman, director; Kasanova, producer; David Escorcia, director of photography; USA; 2017; rap, hip-hop; 5 min. 28 sec.; English) Performed by Philadelphia rapper YOG JP Watch a behind-the-scenes clip
- The Twindows-Pulp - (Tedd Hazard, director-writer; Val Lacera, writer-producer; The Twindows, music; USA; 2017; rock, animation, psychedelic, political) A music video analogy of the "corporately manipulated government and the resulting products that doom us as a society" for the song "Pulp", by The Twindows. Watch the Trailer
Best Screenplay Nominees
- Sean Royal - (John Hunt, screenwriter; USA; film script; crime drama, based on a true story; 90 pages) A fictionalized screenplay based on actual case files of a homicide that rocked the national news media. Sean Royal is a detective on the hunt for a pair of thrill killers who murdered an immigrant tech worker, only to find his own life is in a tailspin. Sean's wife is missing and now the case is a manhunt across the Eastern seaboard. Sean must balance his nightmare life with his nerve-racking chase to find the killers.
- Madness - (Cory Huizar, screenwriter; USA; film script; horror, comedy, satire; 112 pages) A white cop having a crisis of conscience arrests a young Black athlete shortly before a virus is unleashed in Chicago turning the infected into extremely rabid, prejudiced monsters.
- Goodbye Kid, Hurry Back. - ( Terri Kauffman, screenwriter; USA; film script; drama, coming of age; 111 pages) A charming, coming-of-age tale about a small-town boy's unlikely friendship with an elderly man and his eccentric nursing home pals.
- The Saints - (Carla P. Morales, screenwriter; USA; TV script; drama, religion; 48 pages) The pastor of a growing inner-city Baptist church must navigate the challenges of guiding and protecting, not only his congregation, but also his community, while struggling with his own human frailties.
- Red Light - (Dempsey Tillman, Ted Dewberry, screenwriters; USA; film script; horror, sic-fi; 93 pages) A slacker husband with a child on the way gets a rude awakening when aliens invade his home and target his family.