The Six Finalist Shorts Explore Race Relations, Women’s Rights and Gender/Sexual Identity
Finale Screening and Awards Ceremony Recognizing Finalists Will Be Held October 24 in Hollywood
The , which celebrates diverse stories while finding the next generation of storytellers, has unveiled six original short films, pilots and webisodes as this year’s finalists. They will be recognized at the festival’s finale screening and awards ceremony on October 24, 2018, at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood.
The finalists' shorts, “B.U.T.S: Spanish Class,” “Kyenvu,” “Masks,” “Monday,” “Rani” and “We Know Where You Live” were selected from 15 semi-finalist shorts after being showcased at public screenings in New York City this past August. They have already earned acclaim at prominent festivals including CAAMFest, the New York Television Festival, Outfest and the Pan African Film Festival.
This year’s finalists, chosen from more than 3,400 submissions, set a festival record for female representation—both on and off camera. Four out of the six finalists were written and/or directed by women, and female characters are at the center of four of the shorts. While each short film depicts stories exploring today’s social and cultural issues in its own way, they are all rooted in universally relevant themes of love, acceptance, and compassion.
said Karen Horne,
At the finale screening and awards ceremony next month, the festival will announce winners for awards such as Best Writer, Best Director and Best Actor. They will be determined by a panel of entertainment industry professionals, members of the press, and NBCUniversal executives. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved at the
The NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is presented by NBCUniversal and NBC Entertainment. It is one of the tentpole initiatives within the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS) that promote and encourage people of diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of storytellers. Other programs include Female Forward, the Alternative Directors Program, Writers on the Verge and the StandUp NBC nationwide search for stand-up comedians.
Synopses of the finalist films are:
B.U.T.S: “SPANISH CLASS” Episode Director: Brendan Colthurst
Writers: Emma Ramos, Irene Lucio, Bernardo Cubria and Timmy Wood
Nominated twice for an Imagen Award for Best Web Series, B.U.T.S is a sketch comedy web series created and starring Irene Lucio and Emma Ramos making fun of themselves and their surroundings through a Latina lens. In each episode, they portray different characters that parody and satirize the many ‘afflictions’ of the modern-day woman. In the “Spanish Class” episode, a couple, Lucy and Timmy, get way more than they bargained for when they set out to learn Spanish in a week. ()
KYENVU Writer & Director: Kemiyondo Coutinho
An independent young Ugandan woman lives through the taunts of using public transport on a daily basis. As she struggles to find her footing in a patriarchal society that entitles men to women’s bodies, she finds love in a bittersweet moment. The film won at the Pan African Film Festival and Zanzibar International Film Festival. ()
MASKS Writer & Director: Mahaliyah Ayla O
A closeted medical student risks being outed to her family on the same evening a masked gunman opens fire at a gay nightclub. “Masks” won the AT&T Audience Award for Best Short Film at the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival. ()
MONDAY Writer & Director: Dinh Thai
Kwan is everyone’s one-stop shop for anything stolen or illicit, but his reasons for hustling are not as clear-cut as they seem. While maneuvering between disparate cliques and facing racism, he’ll be forced to question the immorality of his occupation. “Monday” was a first place winner at the HBO APA Visionaries and won Best Direction at the New York Television Festival. ()
RANI Writer & Director: Hammad Rizvi
In the streets of Pakistan, a socially outcast transgender woman sets out to take care of an abandoned child. “Rani” won the Fox Inclusion Award at Outfest Los Angeles. ()
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE Director: Honora Talbott
Writers: Bill Posley and Honora Talbott
When a newlywed Latinx couple moves into a trendy, gentrifying LA neighborhood, two hipsters invite themselves over to offer a "warm welcome." But as the night goes on, it’s clear these neighbors are not what they seem: cold pressed, cold brewed and cold-blooded. ()