Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Academy Award winner

Seasons winner best of show

Martyna Wojciechowska – If Courage had a Name

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New Talent

Martyna Wojciechowska (Poland), Woman at the End of the World (Kobieta na krańcu świata) – “If Courage Had a Name” (Nigeria), Television Program – Woman at the End of the World is an impactful television series celebrating inspirational women worldwide and their transformative impact. Hosted by Martyna Wojciechowska, a renowned Polish journalist, traveler, human rights activist, and former editor-in-chief of National Geographic Poland, the show has captivated audiences for 15 years. In “If Courage Had a Name”, the episode sheds light on the horrifying superstition in Nigeria where children are branded as witches and left to die. In 2016, Anja Ringgren Lovén gained global attention when a photo of her rescuing a starving 2-year-old Nigerian boy, named Hope, went viral. This chronicles Anja’s remarkable journey as the founder of Land of Hope, an organization dedicated to saving and sheltering these vulnerable children. Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and ultimately uplifting, we cheer Anja’s mission to end the abuse of children accused of witchcraft. With Wojciechowska’s engaging hosting, this episode stands out as an exceptional, tightly crafted tale of courage and compassion.

bestshorts film festival competition

Robbie Bryan – Purgy’s

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New Talent

Robbie Bryan (USA), Purgy’s, Film Short – At Purgy’s, a magical bar, spirits take human form to reconnect with loved ones from their past, seeking closure and peace. Set in this enchanting location, it explores loss, forgiveness, and the journey to move on. It artfully delves into dramatic themes such as a child’s profound journey in seeking parental approval. and the devastating impact of an Asian hate crime. Compelling script, lush cinematography / lighting and achingly authentic performances from a talented cast. Stars Richard Riehle, (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Arnold Chun, (The Man In The High Castle), Brooke Lewis Bellas, (iMurders), and child actor Luciana Elisa Quinones. Robbie Bryan (The Eyes) writer / director, Producers: Christie Botelho (Choose), Drea Castro, (Baldy For The Blind) and Spero Stamboulis, (Warning Shot).

best shorts award

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentKalman Apple and Natalin Avci (USA), Lucy the Lion, Film Short / Contemporary Issues –  Oscar-nominee Apple delivers a powerful short about resilience and reclamation. A rough around the edges single mom has a job interview that can change her life but can’t find childcare for her young daughter, she’s forced to make some difficult decisions – discovering what she’s really made of. Stars: Natalin Avci, Nick W. Nicholson, John F. Knight.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentCaitlin Johnston (Australia), She Made It, Web Series- Illuminating stories of resilience, innovation, and triumph, this film highlights women in Queensland’s manufacturing industry. Each short reveals their pivotal role in progress and the transformative power of diversity. Celebrating their hard work, passion, and indomitable spirit, it shines a light on the past, present, and future. Exceptionally crafted, informative and engaging.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentDante Bellini (USA), Demons & Dragans. Mark Patinkin’s Cancer Journey, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising – Emmy-winner Bellini’s inspirational doc about Mark Patinkin – journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist, diagnosed with kidney cancer. Suddenly, the story became about him. And his life became a series of cliffs. A raw and unflinching look at his profound journey of healing, life, family and love. Tightly crafted and inspiring.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentNaz Caybaşı (Turkey), Cycle, (Dongu) Film Short – A poignant tale of the limited cycle of impoverished women’s lives. A village girl, terrified by blood on her underwear, discovers she’s menstruating but doesn’t know what it is and receives misleading information. This plunges her into depression. When she finally learns the truth, she shockingly realizes it’s just part of her sad, lifelong struggle as a woman. Stars Ceylin Özgül

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentJean Frenette (Canada), Déjà vu, Film Short – John feels he’s lived longer than his lifetime. Troubled by this sense of knowing, he consults a hypnotherapist to explore his subconscious where he uncovers the truth: he’s lived through multiple bodies for centuries. Creative concept, exciting action sequences, beautiful cinematography. Raphael Grosz-Harvey, Lynne Adams, Nobuya Shimamoto, Jason Hsu, Akote Chanoine.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentMohammad Kazemzadeh Mojdehi (Iran), The Birth of a Girl, Film Short – Set against Iran’s repressive regime, Reyhan’s gut-wrenching story unfolds as she runs from home, hoping to become a boy. Connecting with other seekers living in a parking garage, she faces desperate measures to survive. A provocative short, starring Shohreh Esfandyari, Mohammad Rasaeli, and Afsaneh Mahjour, delivers a raw and impactful ending.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentDrew McCoy and Anthony Gilmore (USA), There Will Be Hurt, Film Short – A mournful tale of lost souls haunted by their pasts, grappling with revenge, redemption, and justice. Shared pain drives unexpected decisions, revealing the depths of human nature. This well-crafted story challenges viewers to reflect on justice and retribution. Stars: Josh Hopkins, Graham Rogers, Ashley Scott, Rob Evors.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentMaria T. Luskay and Lou Guarneri (USA), The Cooper: Crafting the Soul of the Cask, Doc Short (Student) – Pace University students delve into cooperage, tracing its roots to 2690 BCE Egypt. They showcase how casks and wood types affect wine in Spain’s Montilla-Moriles region, known since the 1st century. This film enlightens and entertains, celebrating cooperage’s rich heritage in winemaking. Well crafted and engaging.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentSarah M. Temkin (USA), 1001cuts, Doc Short – Sheds light on gender stereotypes and discrimination in surgery, impacting women’s careers and patient care. Despite increasing numbers of women in medicine, they encounter systemic barriers in surgery, despite evidence of better outcomes. Told through honest and compelling interviews – it urges action for a healthier surgical workforce and improved patient outcomes.

Best Shorts Competition Film Festival Oscar Winners to Hot New TalentCorban Aspegren (USA), Core City, Doc Short – Highlights the crucial role of children’s mental and physical health in all communities. Helen Taylor founded Core City CrossFit Kids in June 2021 as a non-profit after-school program. Despite high cost, her initiative made it accessible to low-income kids, fostering resilience, strength and confidence while empowering them to pursue their dreams.

Award of excellence words

Bianca Bothma (South Africa), Fever, Film Short
Chari Pere (USA), Miscarried: An “Unspoken” Cartoonmentary, Animation, Women Theme, Jewish Filmmaker
Corban Aspegren (USA), Core City, Fitness / Nutrition
Ed R. Gutierrez (USA), Every Day, Something New, Animation
FDR Memorial Legacy Committee (USA), FDR Great Abilities, Disability Issues
Gabe Coumo, Daniel Bagbey and Stephen Spurlock (USA), Unintended Consequences:  Saving the Sole of Louisiana, Nature / Environment / Wildlife
Jean Frenette (Canada), Deja Vu, Direction
Juan Rivera (Mexico), John Death: Dying for a job, Animation
Kalman Apple and Natalin Avci (USA), Lucy the Lion, Script / Writer (Natalin Avci)
Kalyn Elizabeth Wood and Hal Waghorn (United Kingdom), Screaming Silence, Actress: Leading (Kalyn Elizabeth Wood as Elizabeth)

Best Shorts Film Festival

Keunpyo Yoon (Korea), To the Hour, Blue, Asian Filmmaker (Student), Film Feature (Student)
Matthew Dooley (USA), The Painter, Film Short
Michael Shocket (USA), Witness, Jewish Theme
Naz Çaybaşı (Turkey), Cycle, Cinematogrpahy
Paul Wittenberger (USA), Eye of the Storm: Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Christian Filmmaker, Documentary Short
Robbie Bryan (USA), Purgy’s, Actor: Leading (Richard Riehle as Old Man), Actor: Supporting (Arnold Chun as Bartender), Actress: Supporting (Student) (Luciana Elisa Quinonez as Little Girl), Actress: Supporting (Brooke Lewis Bellas as Woman), Cinematogrpahy, Script / Writer (Robbie Bryan), Direction

Best Shorts Film Festival

Sarah M. Temkin (USA), 1001 Cuts, Women Theme
Virginia Romero (USA), Gus Ormo – 100 Suspiros, Music Video
Wan Huang (China), China Bowl, Asian Filmmaker (Student)
Wendy White and Gui Agustini (USA), Roses are Blind, Actor: Leading (Daniel Davis as Addison Spelling)
William Bright (USA), The CareGiver, Film Short, Direction
William Hemminger (USA), Safer Stuff: Green Chemistry Gets Down to Business, Television – Program Series
Xue Jun Li (China), Burn Out, Actor: Leading (Ye Xiangming as Chen Zifeng)

Best Shorts Film Festival


Award of Merit Film Festival


Award of Recognition Film Festival