Independent Shorts Awards

My Best Friend

A newly immigrant family from Romania wants to buy the traditional pig for Christmas. Not knowing too many people, not having Romanian friends in Chicago, they decide to ask their employees about a place, from where they could buy the Christmas pig. They send them to the Pet shop. They prepare the pig for the Christmas dinner in the old traditional way, and they are so happy they could celebrate Christmas, about the same way they did back home in their villages.
Directed by Catalin Bugean (Romania)

The Saver

Chinese martial artist Kai Wang does Underground fighting work every night for making money to pay for his mother Lan Wang’s hospital fee. But his boss Fitim Kelmendi takes the most advantage of him and pays him the least as Fitim can. Kai Wang visits his mother every night, until one day Doctor Gomez tells him that his mother has the last three days left unless he can get fifty thousand dollars for paying her heart valve surgery. Kai has to look for help from his boss. Fitim makes a deal with Kai that if he wins a big fight the next night, Fitim will lend Kai the money, but if he loses, Kai will owe Fitim the fund. If Kai runs away, Fitim will kill all Kai’s family including his mother. Kai has to accept it. Kai goes through an extremely tough fight and finally wins. But Fitim doesn’t follow his promise. Kai is now risking his life to face a final battle with his own boss for his mother’s life…
Directed by Miguel Chavez (USA)


In a snowy American suburb, a quiet and lonely middle-aged man finds solace in others’ mementos and crafting an ideal partner, until he meets a perfect new companion.
Directed by Emmanuella Zachariou (USA)

Undoing Aging

A man is interested in dating his neighbor but learns about the effects of aging and is surprised by the outcome of his efforts.
Directed by Charlie Kam (USA)


A short story of a shy man who finds the love of his life and then what happens next.
Directed by Andrew Sindt (USA)


On a property in rural Australia, a son’s struggle with his father’s growing decrepitude and hypocrisy coils itself to an explosive showdown.
“Animal” explores questions of masculinity and family in a world where survival isn’t something worth shouting about. It’s just something that’s always there to be dealt with.
Directed by Henry Young (Australia)