Award of Merit September 2023

Past winner sub pages color

Award of Merit Special Mention

Aaron Phelps (USA), Slanted Perspectives: My Life with SMA, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger
Alex Geschwind and Steven Celestin (USA), Kept, Women Filmmakers, Concept
Aleyda Ortiz (USA), Dulce, Animation (Student), Latin / Hispanic (Student)
Allen Carrasco (USA), The Big Dump – Our Pacific Ocean in Crisis, Documentary Short, Public Service Programming / PSA, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising
Ari Scharg (USA), The Rebellion, Music Video
Arnau Argemi Gonzalez (Spain), Shark Researchers: A New Approach to Shark Conservation, Documentary Short, Nature / Environment / Wildlife
Ben Shackleford (Australia), Vector, Actress: Leading (Sonya Kerr as Dr. Cassandra Murdoch), Film Short, Script / Writer (Alastair Brown)
Brišind (USA), Almost Ancestors, Native Peoples, Direction
Camille Angelina Romero (USA), Tent City, Animation (Student)
Clayton Landey (USA), The Pact, Actress: Leading (Theresa O’Shea as Fran)
David Du (USA), Our Dinner, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger
Eddie Yukun Long (USA), Blub Blub, Direction (Student)
Erin Marsz (USA), Daddy Issues, Film Short, Women Filmmakers
Ernie Berger (USA), Up in Smoke, Animation
Eva Wu (USA), Tea, Film Short (Student)
Holden Levy (USA), Remembering Lucy, Film Short (Student)


Jeff Sommer-Zervos (USA), In Silence, Script / Writer
Jesse Wardak, Bad Luck Buffalo LLC (USA), Wounded Heart, Music Video, Original Song (Gamble Alexander)
John Parr (United Kingdom), Unconquered, Direction
Joshua Johnson-Bolden (USA), Swirled Thoughts, Actor: Leading (Dax Hilton as Daniel), Film Short
Julio Mendez (USA), 5 Ways to Live Before You Die, Documentary Short
Lazar Jovanović (Serbia), Tango For The End, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger
Le Chau (USA), DOLDRUMS, Women Filmmakers (Student)
Li Songhuan (USA), The Death of an Artist, Actress: Leading (Daria Sarmientos as Eve Dakini)
Mo Nanxi (United Kingdom), Breath of Life, Animation (Student)
Pierre Gregory and Antoine Tapin (Canada), A Last Push for Love, Ensemble Cast, Actress: Leading (Kate McArthur as Becky)
Richard Sanborn (USA), Shadows, Actor: Leading (Austin Chunn as Chris)
Roman S. Koenig (USA), Red Blooded, Actress: Leading (Denice Riddle as Lois Green), Actress: Supporting (Laura Bohlin as Kate Baumann), Script / Writer (Roman S. Koenig)
Russell Hugo (USA), Scotch Broom, Original Score
Vinny O’Brien (USA), Ellie, Actor: Leading (Vinny O’Brien as John)
Xiaojie Shen (China), A Badge, Nature / Environment / Wildlife

award of merit words

Abigail Manning (USA), The Art of a Life Well Spent, Film Short, Women Filmmakers
Alexander McKee (USA), Gibberish, Music Video
Alexis R. Montesinos (USA), CONFESSION, Film Short (Student)
Antoine Priou (France), Luke and Oscar, Children / Family Programming
Clayton Landey (USA), The Pact, Film Short
David Safin (USA), From the Heart, Documentary Short
David Yin (China), Moral Combat, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger, Asian (Student)
Eric Luther Ingram (USA), Birth Of A Song, Film Short
Eva Wu (USA), Tea, Asian (Student), Women Filmmakers (Student)
Fella Cederbaum (USA), It’s All Your Fault, Music Video
Firdaus Kharas (Canada), Dementia: You Can Make A Difference, Special Purpose Productions
Frederik Wiedmann (USA), Living Still, Film Short


Holden Levy (USA), Remembering Lucy, Actor: Leading (Student) (Derek Duce as Cole)
Indy Singh (United Kingdom), No More Red, Actor: Leading (Indy Singh as Taj Singh), Film Short
Jack Sherry (USA), A Slice of Romance, Script / Writer
Jake Ajamian (USA), The Sandwich Man, Documentary Short (Student)
Jakub Liskiewicz, Southampton Solent University (United Kingdom), Turmoil, Cinematography
James Kaye, Leeds Arts University (United Kingdom), Akkorokamui, Animation (Student), Children / Family Programming (Student)
Jamie Doughty (United Kingdom), This is the Life, Film Short (Student), Direction (Student)
Janssen Swent and David Luck (USA), Death by King Cake, Ensemble Cast, Film Short, Script / Writer
Jialai Chen (China), I Can’t be an Adult, Animation (Student)
Jiaxuan Li (China), The Drowning Fish, Film Short (Student), Women Filmmakers (Student)
Jieun Park (Korea), Goose, Animation (Student)
Joshua Johnson-Bolden (USA), Swirled Thoughts, Actress: Leading (Bailee Pearson as Natalie)
Kacy Boccumini (USA), Last First Kiss, LGBTQ+, Ensemble Cast


Leonard Eckhaus (USA), If I Were a Pony, Children / Family Programming
Linda Corley and Joel Kaplan (USA), Marina, The Fire Eating Mermaid, Humor / Humorist
Martin Harris (United Kingdom), 3 Steps, Film Short
Mia Rovegno (USA), Full Disclosure, Direction, Film Short, Women Filmmakers
Miguel Garzón Martínez (USA), Hero, Film Short, Actress: Leading (Sarah Ceballos as Sabrina)
Nicolás Dimópulos (Argentina), TELESCOPE, Direction (Student), Film Short (Student), LGBTQ+ (Student)
Noelle P. Wilson and D Andrew Hartfield (USA), Tillie, Asian, Children / Family Programming
Pamela PerryGoulardt (USA), Star-Crossed – Script Movie, Experimental
Paul Stewart, Paul Stewart Media (United Kingdom), More Than a Roll With a Hole, Documentary Short, Jewish
Rachel Salsberg, Alexandra Augustine and Hannah Melissa Scott (Canada), Movie Night, Jewish, Women Filmmakers
Roberto Totola (Italy), Capolinea – The Last Stop, Disability Issues
Roman S. Koenig (USA), Red Blooded, Direction (Roman S. Koenig), Editing (Roman S. Koenig), Film Short, Cinematography (Garrett Glassell), Original Score (Rob Gironda)


Salvador Paniagua (USA), Carlos Bravo, Latin / Hispanic
Sam R. Ross (USA), Artist Falls, Film Short
Sayer Alexander Baca (USA), Solo Battle, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger
Shane LeCocq (USA), A Touch of Magic, Actress: Supporting (Trina Lafarge as Young Minnie), African American, Ensemble Cast, Direction, Editing
Sirui Wang (China), Patriots, Asian (Student), Documentary Short (Student), Women Filmmakers (Student)
Steve Dawson (USA), Vision, Christian, Original Song (Stand in Your Way composed by Steve Dawson, performed by Jamie Jordan)
Suraya AlShehry and Nabila Abuljadayel (Saudi Arabia), Wa Isjod Wa Iqtareb (Prostrate and Draw Near), Islamic
Tarush Gandhi (Singapore), The Final Presentation, Experimental (Student), Editing (Student)
Terrence Jeffrey Santos (USA), After Inang, Film Short
Tony Macías (Mexico), Grandpa’s Photo, Film Short
Ye Wang (China), Red Hair Card, Asian
Yuanhao Deng (China), The Invisible Musical Note, Direction (Student), Documentary Short (Student)
Yumi Sonoda/ VAYA (Canada/Japan), PULSE, Experimental, Women Filmmakers
Zack Abramowitz (USA), First Of Seven, Direction, Jewish


Click below for Award of Recognition winners:

Award of Recognition Film Festival

Click below for Award of Excellence and Best of Show winners:
Award of Excellence