Independent Shorts Awards


Two men sell a drug that grants its users a shared consciousness. When their stash is stolen, one of them must dive into the collective to figure out where it went.
Directed by Edoardo Ranaboldo (USA)

Mother’s Milk

“Mother’s Milk” is a dark comedy/horror short about the relationship that screenwriter Victor Miller had with his mother–the basis of the Mrs. Voorhees character in the movie Friday the 13th. In this cathartic tale, Victor, played by Miller, is alternatively controlled by his twisted mother Margaret, for whom he can never be good enough, and nurtured by his dream mother Billie, who acts as his salve.
Directed by Mike Sloat (USA)


On his wedding night, and with his honor at stake, the groom drags her bride to the hospital to figure out, through medical diagnosis, the thing that is usually supposed to happen on such a night. But doesn’t.
Directed by Alimohammad Eghbaldar (Iran)


Two women navigate the difficult space between love for their religion and for each other.
Directed by Dane Christensen and Jenn Lee Smith (USA)


A black college student falls victim to racial profiling after a campus alert describes him as a robbery suspect.
Directed by Nate Shively (USA)


Video-essay about the development of the human being focused on the process of learning to walk. The director appropriates the film material of her family and seeks to reconstruct her personal and family memory through the images of the memory.
Directed by Diana Cordova (Peru)


Executive producer Diane Mellen found a recent article about three-eyed fish and two-headed turtles in the New River which flows from the U.S. Mexico border into the Salton Sea. Runoff sewage is causing DNA mutations in the animals. We went to the Salton Sea and found that they were advising parents that it was ok to swim and fish in the Salton Sea. We wanted to make a documentary about the situation without words, as no words can encompass the sadness of the area.
Directed by Stacey Stone (USA)

Life is What You Make It

For the first time since immigrating to the United States over a decade ago, Jhett Tolentino decides to visit his hometown of Iloilo City in the Philippines. He traces his steps from his slum-stricken birthplace to the schools he attended.
Directed by Jhett Tolentino (USA)

Black Snow

On December 12, 1866, 361 men and boys were killed in an explosion at the Oaks Colliery in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK. Despite being the world’s worst industrial loss of life in the 19th century, it remained relatively unremembered until 2015, when a group of ex-miners, trade unionists, and local historians attempted to raise money to erect a memorial for its 150th anniversary. But first, they had to find out what happened, and to whom, and whether anybody cared. The film tells three interlocking stories: the story of a historical community devastated by the disaster, struggling to survive; the story of a contemporary community, decimated by the loss of industry, rediscovering itself in the struggle to remember; and the story of a sculptor, struggling to make one last masterpiece.
Directed by Stephen Linstead (UK)

Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free

What happens when a pair of lost citizens wander in the deep dark woods, in search of a leader? In this satirical take-off of the traditional folktale, “Hansel and Gretel”, the wordless story follows protagonists Liberty and Justice as they negotiate the challenges of today’s unique political landscape, while being shadowed by a persistent Twitter bird. The film uses stop-motion animation to create a compelling and beautifully rendered narrative, featuring handmade puppets and sets by illustrator and animator Salley Mavor. She and her husband Rob Goldsborough combine their artistic and technical talents to bring this cautionary tale to life.
Directed by Salley Mavor and Rob Goldsborough (USA)