Los Angeles, CA – The 11th Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL recently
honored its eight finalist films and filmmakers with a finale screening and awards ceremony at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood. Comedian-actor Lil Rel Howery (The Carmichael Show, Last Comic Standing) began the evening with a screening of the finalist films, Day One, Guest Room, Parachute Girls, Password Deals, Rosa, Things I Hate: Lady Grooming, Vámanos and You Can Go in front of an audience of 600 industry professionals including film, network and cable executives as well as managers, agents and producers.
The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival is the first and only film festival created and run by an entertainment studio solely dedicated to celebrating the importance of diversity in entertainment and discovering the next generation of storytellers. The annual bicoastal program is a nationwide search for diverse talent, both in front of and behind the camera, including those from ethnically diverse backgrounds, members of the LGBT community and female filmmakers.
Presenters, Nico Santos (Superstore), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat, Trainwreck), writer-director David E. Talbert (Universal Pictures’ upcoming Almost Christmas), Essence Atkins (NBC’s upcoming sitcomMarlon), Bresha Webb (Ride Along 2, Marlon), Veronica Falcón (Queen of the South), Tiffany Haddish(The Carmichael Show, Universal Pictures’ upcoming Girls Trip), Chrissie Fit (Pitch Perfect 2) and directorJustin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond) via pre-taped video message handed out awards in seven categories to the finalist filmmakers including the Xfinity Best Drama, Seeso Best Comedy, Best Writer and Best Director.
“Our festival finale screening and awards ceremony gives us an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the immense talent of burgeoning filmmakers,” said Karen Horne, SVP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment. “As with our other NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs, our short film festival is meant to serve as a launching pad for the next generation of diverse storytellers. We have no doubt that this year’s honorees will go on to be amongst the most esteemed filmmakers in the industry.”
The winners of the seven categories are:
Xfinity Best Drama: Day One
Day One writer-director Henry Hughes, who was also nominated for an Academy Award® for the short film, received a $10,000 cash grant from Xfinity, the brand under which Comcast Cable provides video, high-speed internet and phone services to residential and business customers.
Seeso Best Comedy: Things I Hate: Lady Grooming
Writer Molly Anne Coogan and director Liam Edward Brady won a $10,000 cash grant from Seeso, the ad-free streaming comedy channel from NBCUniversal’s Digital Enterprises with more than 2,000 hours of original programming, and NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs (NBCU TIPS), the company’s robust diversity and inclusion programs that are dedicated to discovering and nurturing on screen and behind-the-camera talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds. Coogan and Brady also received a meeting with Seeso executives.
Best Writer: Daniel Solé – You Can Go
The winning prize included a $5,000 cash grant, two tickets to the 2017 Writers Guild Awards (East coast ceremony) and a writer’s software suite.
Best Director: Henry Hughes – Day One
Director Henry Hughes received a development meeting with Universal Pictures; a post production services package from NBCU Studio Operations including lighting, grip, sound mixing, costumes and backlot access; and a $60,000 rental camera package from the Panavision New Filmmaker Program to be used toward his next project.
Best Actor: Lynn Chen – Parachute Girls
Among Lynn Chen’s prizes include an NBC talent holding deal, an announcement with her headshot in The Hollywood Reporter and tickets to the premiere of Universal Pictures’ upcoming animated musical Sing (in theaters this December).
NBCU Open Possibilities Social Impact Award: Vámanos
Vámanos was honored as the film that best represents an important social issue and will inspire change. NBCU Open Possibilities, a part of NBCUniversal’s unifying vision for social impact, sponsored the award.Vámanos director Marvin Bryan Lemus and writers Moira Morel and Erick Castrillon received a $5,000 cash grant as their prize to advance their filmmaker careers.
Audience Award: Day One
The audience at the finale screening voted Day One as its favorite film amongst the eight finalists. Director Henry Hughes received $1,000 toward purchases on Amazon and an 8TB G-RAID hard drive with Thunderbolt.
Filmmakers of all eight finalist films received an array of prizes including the opportunity to stream their film on the NBCU SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Hulu Channel, a Miroir HD projector, premiere software editions of both Movie Magic Budgeting and Movie Magic Scheduling, a GTech 1TB hard drive and an annual subscription to THR.com.