SeriesFest Season 4, The Year Of Impact, has come to a close. Check out the winners of this year's SeriesFest International Pilot Competition.
WINNERS - INDEPENDENT PILOT - DRAMA
Jury: Chris McDonald (Actor/Thelma & Louise, Happy Gilmore), Estelle (Grammy Award-winning musician) and Mark Rabinowitz (co-founder IndieWire)
Best Pilot: Halfway There
Creators: Nick Morton & Rick Rosenthal
When recovering addict Jimmy Bishop finds his sober living facility teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, he is forced to take in his wealthy alcoholic mother as a client. Her arrival solves his immediate financial crisis but also unleashes every other problem he has struggled his whole life to contain. (
Jury Statement: For addressing a global epidemic in an original, subtle and eminently relatable way, with a deft mix of drama and humor and with a well-rounded and human cast, the award for Best Dramatic Pilot goes to Halfway There.
Best Director: Niv
WINNERS - INDEPENDENT PILOT - COMEDY
Jury: Laura Fischer (CEO, Powderkeg), James Fauntleroy (Singer, Grammy Award-winning songwriter), and Tracy Shaffer (writer, actress)
Best Pilot: Greenport
Creators: Tony Spiridakis, Shannon Goldman
Set in Long Island, and featuring autistic actor Dimitri Spiridakis, Greenport is a heartfelt comedy about family, work-life balance, and one struggling filmmaker’s determination to show the world that an autistic kid can do anything. (USA, 27m).
Jury Statement: For its charm, complexity, and beautifully realized heart, the jury awards Greenport as Best Comedic Pilot.
Best Director: Gabriel Sunday, Dope State
Honorable Mention: Patrick Reilly, Danny the Manny
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER - INDEPENDENT PILOT (COMEDY, DRAMA, UNSCRIPTED)
Audience Award: Halfway There
Creators: Nick Morton & Rick Rosenthal
Jimmy Bishop is a former, investment banker who flamed out of his career in a blaze of crystal meth and booze addiction. He now struggles to maintain the down-on-the-heels sober living facility he founded in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. When it looks like the bank will foreclose on his property, Jimmy is forced to recruit the last client on earth he would ever want to treat— his mother, Jeanne Ross (Blythe Danner). An imperious matriarch, Jeanne is smart and funny and wise in her way, but she scorns her son’s career and can see nothing but
WINNER - UNSCRIPTED (INDEPENDENT PILOT & DIGITAL SHORT SERIES)
Jury: Ajay Kishore (Founder of
Best Digital Short & Independent Pilot/Unscripted: She's The Ticket
Creator/Director: Nadia Hallgren
Five different women from around the country see Donald Trump get elected to the presidency on November 8th, 2016 and decide to do something about it: Run for office.
Jury Statement: For it’s beautiful portrayal of what a New America can and should look like.
WINNERS - DIGITAL SHORT SERIES
Jury:Ajay Kishore (Founder of
Best Digital Short/Scripted: Hug It Out
Creator/Writer: Kincaid Walker
The “snuggle is real” in Hug It Out, a digital comedy series following thirty-something Gwen, recently-divorced, broke AF and riddled with intimacy issues, who becomes an unlikely professional snuggler to make ends meet.
Jury Statement: For
Honorable Mention: First World Problems
Digital Short Series Audience Award: Please Understand Me
Creators/Writers: Ahamed Weinberg & Steven Feinartz
Purpose-fully mismatched comedians are placed into
WINNER - LATE NIGHT
Jury: Betsy Sodaro (Actor/comedian in Netflix's “Disjointed” and Funny or Die), Suki-Rose Simakis (Creative Executive, SpectreVision
Best Series: The Passage
Creator: Philip Burgers
Phil, wide-eyed and mute, is on the run after escaping captivity. His childlike ineptitude keeps getting him into trouble, however, and agents who’ve been hired to recapture him are always one step behind. The result is a series of globe-trotting misadventures and surprising new friendships. (
Jury Statement: Late Night, a can't-miss selection of strange, absurd, hilarious, and "what the hell?" offerings for an expectation-defying, not-safe-for-work viewing experience. What stood out about Kitao Sakurai's The Passage was the technical achievement of a post-verbal physical comedy, combined with the warmth and humanity it has while maintaining its edge.
WINNER - BUSTLE DIGITAL GROUP COMPETITION
Best Emerging Female Creator: Kincaid Walker, Hug It Out
Best Emerging Female Creator: Deja Harrell & C.J. Thomas, Seeds
WINNER - STORYTELLERS INITIATIVE
Best Script: Volunteer
Creator/Writer: Paige VanTassell
When the outspoken, independent, and slightly criminal Frankie Walker begins her mandatory volunteer work at the local community center, she’ll find what she never expected – a family. To whom she’ll introduce the joyous benefits of lawbreaking.
WINNER - PITCH-A-THON
Jury: Gabriele Capolino (IFP), Tamir Muhammad (Time Warner), Rachel Osborne (High Noon), Evan Shapiro (Producer, eshapTV), Liz Kelly (Manager, Production & Development Labs - Film & TV, Global Inclusion at 21st Century Fox), Denise Hewett (Founder and CEO,
Pitch-A-Thon Winner: Juciful
Creators: Will Carington & Jake Goicoechea
When a group of outcast LGBTQ teens working summer jobs at a juice shop accidentally curse their town, they must embark on a journey to undo the damage – and solve the mystery of the magic’s origin – before it’s too late.