by | Sep 23, 2019 | Past Filmmaker Winners

The following are the FINALISTS of the festival. The winner in each category for the Screenplays and the TV Pilots.

The scripts below with the “Nomination”designation were up for their category.


DANCE HARD by Megan Johnson

A Native American teenager and his adopted white brother leave their reservation and hit the road in search of money for college as they compete in the summer powwow dance competitions around the country. On the road, they confront bigotry, love and, the different paths each must take.


A snobby teenage party girl gets a harsh reality check when she is sentenced to community service at a local thrift store and comes face to face with her estranged ex-addict mother.

SHE EXPECTING by Angela Vaut

When a career-driven thirty-something New Yorker reconnects with her ex-boyfriend to escort her to an abortion, affection resurfaces even though he is now married and has a child.


A reclusive artist suddenly finds himself raising his Asian daughter, who speaks no English. Through his art, he finally communicates with her, eventually realizing she is his masterpiece.

TAKING FLIGHT by Cristina DiMarzio

Kate Sharpe, a young flight attendant with a dark secret, is given a last request by her dying father to find a sister she never knew she had. Taking Flight explores the darkest corners of humanity and strives to discover if there is such a thing as a second chance.

LET ME DO RIGHT By You by Sarah Joy Byington

Let Me Do Right By You is the story of Julia, a young widow in her twenties, struggling to keep a job while raising her one-year-old daughter, Phoebe. After being evicted from their house and fired from her job, Julia is forced to move Phoebe and herself in with her estranged mother, Debbie. Just as she feared, Debbie brings out the worst in Julia, shaming her choices as a parent and driving Julia to fall deeper into her hidden drinking addiction. Will they make amends?

SKYFOXES by Marisa Forrest ( NOMINATED)

TOP GUN meets OCEAN’S 8 – A former Navy pilot-turned-plane thief recruits an all-female crew to steal a US fighter jet for international gangsters.


A young attorney, new to Alaska and in over his head, must defend an innocent man accused of murdering a kindergarten teacher whose half-frozen, naked body he found along a highway. The crime nearly goes unsolved due to the unique method of murder.

JESSY by Sally Champlin

A young woman is saved from rape and lands in the heart of a successful bordello. The women teach her and protect her. She learns to read and run a business. When she starts her own business, she becomes the iconic hero of all her young ladies. And her mysterious lover is a very powerful man in political circles. Wow.

CHARISMA by Marianne E. Titiriga, Eldina Papanastasiou

CHARISMA is a film based on the real-life story of the young Greek refugee, FILIO ASLANIDIS. Filio is gifted with a special power to foresee the future through the coffee readings that her equally charismatic and enigmatic aunt, Sofia, teaches her to interpret. Filio and Kaite interweave the two sides of the female substance in a story with intense dramatic moments, twists, and emotional and hopeful scenes.



JADED by Rachel Palmer (NOMINATED)

A half-hour dramedy about a comedian told in two timelines — one in 2004 when she first moves to LA to ‘follow her dream’ and one in 2019 when she’s gotten fame, fortune and, everything she’s ever wanted, but she’s miserable.


Inspired by the historical character Countess Elizabeth Bathory. A devoted but conflicted servant takes us on an emotional and shocking journey spanning over forty years as she contemplates what turns the precocious young Countess Elizabeth Bathory into “the Monster” that becomes history’s most prolific serial killer, ultimately responsible for the deaths of 612 maidens. Set in the 1500s in Transylvania, then a part of the kingdom of Hungary.


In a post-me-too world where men are now the underrepresented class fighting for equality in the workplace, Nova, a young business owner, has to figure out how to keep her business successful, all while dealing with the powerlessness of having a sexual dysfunction that takes over her personal life.

LIBERTINE by Zoe Warncke & Michael

A recovering young lawyer struggles to cope with the relentless demands of work, love and family. She takes a seemingly irrational step into an underground kinky society to reclaim control of her own life. Based on the life of lawyer Stephanie Zoe Warncke, who moonlit as dominatrix Domina Hera.

IOWA by Elise Free

When Lainey and her 7-year-old daughter, Sam, who has cystic fibrosis, are forced to move back to Iowa, they realize they have more than just family waiting for them. This Sci-fi, family dramedy combines real life with surreal life funnily and fascinatingly.

THE APARTMENT by Melissa Capista, Amy Garson, Gladys Perez

Four actor-friends resort to deception to live in an affordable New York City apartment while trying to be successful at life, love, and show business.


A mysterious recluse shelters a suicidal woman in his remote cabin, not knowing that both are part of an experiment that will lead them to redemption or hell.

SUGAR by Palmar Kelly

A dramedy about the ever-evolving ideas of love, friendship, success, and identity told through the lens of Kika, Rory, Mandy, and June, four unassuming, 20-something female sex workers living and working in New York City.

PRAY FOR ME by Annie Girard

To support her family, a widowed mother of two returns to teach biology at her childhood’s faith-healing, anti-science, religious school.