Best of Awards 2023

A spectacular awards program recognizing the best talent in independent cinema from around the globe.

The 2023 Best of NFMLA Awards will honor 125 nominees across 16 Award categories including narrative, documentary, animation, new media, direction, screenplay, performance, sound design, score, cinematography and editing. The nominees are comprised of the content that screened as part of the 2022 NFMLA Monthly Film Festival cycle which ran from January 1st, 2022 through December 31st, 2022.

Winners

Best New Filmmaker

Gabriela Garcia Medina

Best Feature Film

We Burn Like This – Directed by Alana Waksman and Produced by Neda Armian, Eleanor Nett, Jeri Rafter & Alana Waksman

Best Documentary Feature Film

UÝRA – The Rising Forest – Directed by Juliana Curi and Produced by João Henrique Kurtz, Lívia Cheibub & Martina Sönksen

Best Short Film, Documentary

F1-100 – Directed by Emory Chao Johnson and Produced by Emory Chao Johnson & Farrah Su

Honorable Mention: Seahorse – Directed by Nele Dehnenkamp and Produced by Nele Dehnenkamp & Christine Duttlinger

Best Short Film, Comedy

Wei-Lai – Directed by Robin Wang and Produced by Andy Yi Li & Naomi Shroff-Mehta

Best Short Film, Drama

Mancha – Directed by Nicole Mejia and Produced by Nicole Mejia, Don DiPetta & Blanca Balleste

Best International Short Film, Comedy

See You Garbage! – Directed by Romain Dumont and Produced by Patrick Francke-Sirois & Isabelle Grignon-Francke

Best International Short Film, Drama

No Ghost in the Morgue – Directed by Marilyn Cooke and Produced by Kelyna N. Lauzier & Macha Houssart

Best Short Film, Animated

Love is Just a Death Away – Directed by Bára Anna Stejskalová and Produced by Jakub Kostal (Bionaut)

Best New Media & Experimental

Megan Thee Stallion – Thot Shit – Directed by Aube Perrie and Produced by Boris Labourguigne

Best Screenplay

About him & her – Written by Ice Mrozek & Independence Hall

Best Performance, Comedy

Sandro Iocolano, How to do Sh!t with Guido Gagootz

Best Performance, Drama

Issaka Sawadogo, Ousmane

Best Cinematography

Joewi Verhoeven, Drifting

Best Film Editing

David Codron, Last Weekend

Best Sound Design

Carlos Sanches, Bertie the Brilliant

Best Score

Nascuy Linares, UÝRA – The Rising Forest

nominees

feature

A Place in the Field
USA
//
81 Mins
Dir. Nicole Mejia, Writ. Don DiPetta, Xochitl Portillo-Moody, Bluesmon Del Vecchio, Khorri Ellis & Prod. Nicole Mejia, Heliya Alam, Don DiPetta, Niyah Edwards
Triple Threat
USA
//
99 Mins
Dir. Stacey Maltin, Writ. Stacey Maltin, Jay DeYonker & Prod. Margarita Zhitnikova, Jackie Schwartz, Martha Frances Williams, Carrie Radigan
him & her
USA
//
97 Mins
Dir. Ice Mrozek, Writ. Ice Mrozek, Independence Hall & Prod. Independence Hall
We Burn Like This
USA
//
81 Mins
Dir. Alana Waksman, Writ. Alana Waksman & Prod. Neda Armian, Eleanor Nett, Jeri Rafter, Alana Waksman
Apache Leap
USA
//
84 Mins
Dir. Christian Rozier, Writ. John Lewis Tandy, Christian Rozier & Prod. Carrie Sage Curley, Douglas Miles Sr., Selina Curley

documentary feature

With This Breath I Fly
Afghanistan, UK, USA
//
78 Mins
Dir. Sam French, Clementine Malpas & Prod. Leslie Knott, Sam French
UÝRA – The Rising Forest
Brazil, USA
//
72 Mins
Dir. Juliana Curi, Writ. Martina Sönksen & Prod. João Henrique Kurtz; Lívia Cheibub
AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman
USA
//
65 Mins
Dir. Dante Alencastre, Writ. John Johnston & Prod. Dante Alencastre, John Johnston
How (not) to Build a School in Haiti
Haiti, USA
//
90 Mins
Dir. Jack C. Newell & Prod. Dinesh Das Sabu, Sebastien Narcisse
Pieces of Us
USA
//
92 Mins
Dir. Cheryl Allison, Writ. Cheryl Allison & Prod. Mark Von der Heide, Carina Rush, Cheryl Allison, Mykel Dicus

documentary short

Women of the Earth, Twila
USA
//
29 Mins
Dir. Chiara Hollender, Writ. Chiara Hollender & Prod. Chiara Hollender, Lauren Nolan
Goor-Jigeen (Man-Woman)
Italy
//
30 Mins
Dir. Alberto Amoretti, Writ. Alberto Amoretti, Giovanni Hänninen & Prod. Alberto Amoretti, Giovanni Hänninen
Bendix: Site Unseen
USA
//
26 Mins
Dir. Anthony Scalia & Prod. Anthony Scalia, Erin DuBee
Long Line of Ladies
USA
//
22 Mins
Dir. Shaandiin Tome, Rayka Zehtabchi, Writ. & Prod. Garrett Schiff, Pimm Allen
No Soy Oscar
USA/Mexico
//
15 Mins
Dir. Jon Ayon, Writ. Jon Ayon & Prod. Emily Ruth Smith
Bad Hombrewood
USA
//
24 Mins
Dir. Guillermo Casarin, Writ. Guillermo Casarin & Prod. Marian Cook, Santos Herrera
Inside The Beauty Bubble
USA
//
31 Mins
Dir. Cheryl Bookout, Cheri Gaulke, Writ. Cheryl Bookout, Cheri Gaulke & Prod. Cheryl Bookout, Cheri Gaulke, America Young, Stacy Sweeting
F1-100
USA, Malaysia
//
14 Mins
Dir. Emory Chao Johnson, Writ. & Prod. Emory Chao Johnson, Farrah Su
COVER/AGE
USA
//
25 Mins
Dir. Set Hernandez Rongkilyo
Seahorse
//
16 Mins
Dir. Nele Dehnenkamp, Writ. Christine Duttlinger & Prod. Nele Dehnenkamp, Christine Duttlinger

new media & experimental

The Pitch
USA
//
8 Mins
Dir. Eno Freedman Brodmann, Writ. Eno Freedman Brodmann & Prod. Gon Tarragona
Shadow Self
USA
//
23 Mins
Dir. Jesse Randall, Writ. Alyssa Brayboy, Jesse Randall & Prod. Alyssa Brayboy, Jesse Randall, Elisa Vazquez
Open To It (Episode 1)
USA
//
11 Mins
Dir. Greg Wolf, Writ. Frank Arthur Smith & Prod. Jonathan James, Sabrina Cooper, Frank Arthur Smith
The Man Of My Dreams
USA
//
5 Mins
Dir. Tristan Scott-Behrends, Writ. Tristan Scott-Behrends & Prod. Emily Backerman, Ben Silbert
At Dawn
USA, Spain
//
3 Mins
Dir. Fany de la Chica, Writ. Fany de la Chica & Prod. Miriam Arrebola
Cary in Retrograde
USA
//
28 Mins
Dir. Priya Domfeh, Philipp Yaw, Writ. Priya Domfeh, Philipp Yaw & Prod. Taylor Rae, Priya Domfeh, Phillip Domfeh
Emeka The One – Pamu Pamu
USA
//
4 Mins
Dir. Aubrinae Washington , Writ. Emeka The One & Prod. Emeka The One
In the Air Tonight
USA
//
11 Mins
Dir. Andrew Norman Wilson, Writ. Andrew Norman Wilson & Prod. Andrew Norman Wilson
Megan Thee Stallion – Thot Shit
USA
//
5 Mins
Dir. Aube Perrie, Writ. Aube Perrie & Prod. Boris Labourguigne

animation

It’s Nice In Here
Netherlands
//
16 Mins
Dir. Robert-Jonathan Koeyers
The Ocean Duck
USA
//
7 Mins
Dir. Huda Razzak, Writ. Huda Razzak & Prod. Huda Razzak
Zoon
Germany
//
4 Mins
Dir. Jonatan Schwenk, Writ. Merlin Flügel, Jonatan Schwenk & Prod. Jonatan Schwenk
Nuevo Rico
USA, Puerto Rico
//
16 Mins
Dir. Kristian Mercado, Writ. Kristian Mercado, Juan Arroyo & Prod. Debora Perez, Kate Chamuris, Angel Manuel Soto
The Crow
Iran
//
9 Mins
Dir. Ahura Shahbazi, Writ. Ahura Shahbazi, Vida Shirazi & Prod. DEFC (Documentary & Experimental Film Center), Ahura Shahbazi
Night
Palestine
//
16 Mins
Dir. Ahmad Saleh, Writ. Ahmad Saleh & Prod. Fabian Driehorst, Jessica Neubauer, Saleh Saleh
Love is Just a Death Away
Czech Republic
//
12 Mins
Dir. Bára Anna Stejskalová, Writ. Bára Anna Stejskalová & Prod. Jakub Kostal (Bionaut)
Encaged Love
USA
//
10 Mins
Dir. Carlos Alberto Mendez, Writ. Carlos Alberto Mendez & Prod. Carlos Alberto Mendez
Charlotte
USA
//
12 Mins
Dir. Zach Dorn, Writ. Zach Dorn & Prod. Zach Dorn
Mercy
USA
//
4 Mins
Dir. Nalani Williams, Writ. Nalani Williams & Prod. Nalani Williams

international comedy

Pig (Varken)
Netherlands
//
8 Mins
Dir. Jorn Leeuwerink
La Isla de Alfredo (Alfredo’s Island)
Spain
//
6 Mins
Dir. Curtis Matzke, Writ. Curtis Matzke & Prod. La Selva Ecosistema Creatiu
I’m A Vampire
Mexico
//
15 Mins
Dir. Sofia Garza-Barba, Writ. Sofia Garza-Barba & Prod. Sofia Garza-Barba, Juan Jose Montes Iglesias
All Because Of The Damned Blonde’s Son
Dominican Republic
//
18 Mins
Dir. Danilo Vargas Martinez, Cristian Roberto Hernandez Figueroa, Writ. Cristian Roberto Hernandez FIgueroa & Prod. Kisarys Garcia, Vicente De Pea, Kimberly Taveras, Ana Martinez
Shit Sponge
Canada
//
6 Mins
Dir. Brianne Nord-Stewart, Writ. Riley Madincea & Prod. Brianne Nord-Stewart, James Hutchison
Followers
Canada
//
3 Mins
Dir. Gavin Seal, Writ. Gavin Seal & Prod. Gavin Seal, Howard Wan
Slump
Canada
//
18 Mins
Dir. Polly Pierce, Writ. Lara Deglan & Prod. Lara Deglan, Morgan Churla, Matt Kennedy
Play It Again
Canada
//
9 Mins
Dir. Daniel Abramovici, Writ. Liam Gareau, Myrthin Stagg & Prod. Kate Forrest, Myrthin Stagg, Ali Mashayekhi, Dan Abramovici
See You Garbage!
Canada
//
17 Mins
Dir. Romain Dumont, Writ. Romain Dumont & Prod. Patrick Francke-Sirois, Isabelle Grignon-Francke
L’Imperatrice – Afraid of Girls
France
//
5 Mins
Dir. Aube Perrie & Prod. Laura Duchesne

international drama

Foster
Netherlands
//
13 Mins
Dir. Jordi Wijnalda
Nour Shams
Saudi Arabia
//
25 Mins
Dir. & Writ. Faiza Ambah, Prod. Basil Khalil
Habib & the Thief
Sweden
//
15 Mins
Dir. Naures Sager
Any Place
Mexico
//
13 Mins
Dir. Minerva Rivera Bolaos, Writ. Fanie Soto, Minerva Rivera Bolaos & Prod.
Ousmane
Canada
//
25 Mins
Dir. Jorge Camarotti, Writ. Jorge Camarotti & Prod. Jorge Camarotti
No Ghost in the Morgue
Canada
//
16 Mins
Dir. Marilyn Cooke, Writ. Marilyn Cooke & Prod. Kelyna N. Lauzier and Macha Houssart
Sunburn
Australia
//
13 Mins
Dir. Jaslyn Mairs, Writ. Claudia Bailey & Prod. Ben Bauchet, Lev Jutsen
No Law, No Heaven
USA, Hong Kong
//
24 Mins
Dir. Kristi Hoi, Writ. Kristi Hoi & Prod. Kristi Hoi, Gurt Wong
Drifting
China
//
16 Mins
Dir. Hanxiong Bo, Writ. Hanxiong Bo & Prod. Lisu Wu, Yilei Hao, Luxi Wang, Summer Yang
Ala Kachuu (Take and Run)
Switzerland
//
38 Mins
Dir. Maria Brendle, Writ. Maria Brendle & Prod. Nadine Lüchinger, Flavio Gerber

drama short

Tundra
Cuba
//
30 Mins
Dir. Jose Luis Aparicio, Writ. Carlos Melin & Prod. Leila Montero, Daniela Muaoz, Jose Luis Aparicio, Gabriel Aleman
Mancha
USA
//
15 Mins
Dir. Nicole Mejia, Writ. Nicole Mejia, Don DiPetta & Prod. Nicole Mejia, Don DiPetta, Blanca Balleste
Keep/Delete
USA
//
19 Mins
Dir. Kryzz Gautier, Writ. Kryzz Gautier & Prod. Kryzz Gautier, Maya Butler, Corsica Wilson
Starfuckers
USA
//
15 Mins
Dir. Antonio Marziale, Writ. Antonio Marziale & Prod. Eli Raskin
Guero & Prieto
USA
//
13 Mins
Dir. Mario Garza, Writ. Mario Garza, Sarah Gamazo & Prod. Mario Garza, Carlos Beirrebeitzia
The Cho Stories
USA
//
33 Mins
Dir. Anna Sang Park, Writ. Anna Sang Park & Prod. Anna Sang Park, Adam Christopher Vazquez
Americanized
USA
//
17 Mins
Dir. Erica Eng, Writ. Erica Eng & Prod. Simran Mahal
Last Weekend
USA
//
17 Mins
Dir. Mandy Fabian, Writ. Mandy Fabian & Prod. Mandy June Turpin
Serious Matters in the Middle of the Night
USA
//
16 Mins
Dir. Josh Copeland, Writ. Josh Copeland & Prod. Josh Copeland, Brittany Carlton, Taylor Napier
Muscle Memory
USA
//
15 Mins
Dir. Saladin White II, Writ. Saladin White II, Lexx Truss & Prod. Najah Issata Diop, Kariemah White

comedy short

The Original Shareholder Experience
USA
//
13 Mins
Dir. Petyr Xyst, Writ. Petyr Xyst & Prod. Autumn Rose Billie, Lauren Begay, Petyr Xyst
Wei-Lai
USA
//
14 Mins
Dir. Robin Wang, Writ. Tony G.X. Shi & Prod. Andy Yi Li, Naomi Shroff-Mehta
Pretty Pickle
USA
//
13 Mins
Dir. Jim Vendiola, Writ. Jim Vendiola & Prod. Sam George, Nate Gilbert, Curtis Matzke
Noche Del Infierno (Hell Night)
USA
//
14 Mins
Dir. Andrew Reid, Writ. Jesenia Ruiz, Vee Saieh & Prod. Gia Rigoli, Jake Katofsky
Bertie The Brilliant
USA
//
24 Mins
Dir. Gabriela Garcia Medina, Writ. Gabriela Garcia Medina, Joshua Sankar & Prod. Vicki Syal, Tara Ricasa, Gabriela Garcia Medina, Dylan Costa, Moanna Sherrill
The Bra Mitzvah
USA
//
10 Mins
Dir. Stacy Jill Calvert, Writ. Stacy Jill Calvert & Prod. Kelly Weinhart-Henry, Jaclyn Chessen
We All Die Alone
USA
//
14 Mins
Dir. Jonathan Hammond, Writ. Jonathan Hammond & Prod. Ryan Roach
Witchsters
USA
//
5 Mins
Dir. Charla Lauriston, Writ. Charla Lauriston & Prod. Charla Lauriston
Saving Salvador
USA
//
12 Mins
Dir. Luisa Maria González, Writ. Luisa Maria González & Prod. André Fernandez
Grammable
USA
//
6 Mins
Dir. Naiyah Ambros, Writ. Naiyah Ambros & Prod. Stephanie Jones

screenplay

Fanie Soto, Minerva Rivera Bolaños
Any Place
Max Pearce, Maria Sara Santoro
Apotheosis
Hanxiong Bo
Drifting
Christine Rodriguez
Fuego
Ice Mrozek, Independence Hall
About him & her
Jorn Leeuwerink
Pig (Varken)
Romain Dumont
See You Garbage!
Josh Copeland
Serious Matters in the Middle of the Night
Petyr Xyst
The Original Shareholder Experience
Victoria Garza
Who? How? And Where?

performance drama

Don DiPetta
A Place in the Field
Terry Hu
Americanized
Junxiong Wang
Drifting
Choi Haejun
God's Daughter Dances
Robert Hannouch
Habib & the Thief
Khalil Munir
Muscle Memory
Schelby Jean-Baptiste
No Ghost in the Morgue
Issaka Sawadogo
Ousmane
Tom Choi
Til It Blooms
Mario Guerra
Tundra

performance comedy

Prince Pieters
Bertie the Brilliant
Sandro iocolano
How to do Sh!t with Guido Gagootz
Elisa Garza T
I'm A Vampire
Janeva Zentz
Mas Latina
Frank Arthur Smith
Open To It (Episode 1)
Alyssa Brayboy
Shadow Self
Arghavan Jenati
Shit Sponge
Trina Dong
Stand Out
Briana Gonzalez
The Original Shareholder Experience
Arthur Zhang
Wei-Lai

cinematography

Drew Daniels
Director of Photography
Joewi Verhoeven
Cinematography
Charlie Cole
Cinematography
Juliette Lossky
Director of Photography
Thiago Moraes
Director of Photography

film editing

Minerva Rivera
Editor
Anthony Scalia
Editor
Susan Metzger
Editor
David Codron
Editor
Will Mayo
Editor

sound design

Carlos Sanches
Sound Mixer
Zoltan Juhasz
Sound Mixer
Robert Farr
Sound Designer
Anders Bloom
Sound Designer
Wendy Xu & Annie Villalobos
Sound Designer

score

Robert Ouyang Rusli
Music Composer
Aran Tanchum and Michael Feldman
Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer
Daniel Patras & Miroslav Chaloupka
Music
Alain Emile
Music
Nascuy Linares
Composer

jury

Ali Brown
PRETTYBIRD/Ventureland
Amanda Hillsberg
Participant
Andy Caley
My Life TV
Brian Harvey
Amazon Studios
Carolina Alduey
3 Arts Entertainment
Charlie Osowik
Charles Osowik Management
Chelsea Itaya
Sony Pictures Animation
Daijah Abram
MarVista Entertainment
Daniel de Boulay
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Diamond McNeil
Warner Bros. Pictures
Elizabeth Taylor
Disney Television Animation
Ellen Wander
Film Bridge International
Gabrielle Utsey
POV Entertainment
Georgina González Rodríguez
Universal International Studios
Jaad Asante
The Walt Disney Company
Jamie Spetner
Chernin Entertainment
Jennifer Liang
First Look Media
Jennifer Trofa
Range Media Partners
Jessica Rose
Open Road
Jon Huertas
SAG Award Winning Actor
Luke Rodgers
Los Angeles Media Fund
Madeline Chais
Twentieth Century Studios
María Estévez
ABC Spain
Mark Padilla
Jackrabbit Media
Michael Pogarian
NBCUniversal
Michele Sanchez Arteaga
STARZ
Paul Sloop
Cleveland International Film Festival
Peryn Reeves-Darby
Endeavor Content
Raquelle David
Lit Entertainment Group
Rebecca Windsor
Warner Bros. Television
Richard Ruiz
Searchlight Pictures
Robert Baltazar
NBCUniversal
Roberto Alacantara
MAX
Ryan Woodruff
LAIKA
Sami Khan
Oscar Nominated Filmmaker
Wayne Horton
Wayne Horton Productions

sponsors

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