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The Winners of The NYC Indie Awards for 2021


The 12th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival is proud to announce the winners of its ‘Best In’ category which includes Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Super Short, Best Covid Diaries, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. 

The awards recognize outstanding work from emerging, yet overlooked Artist Filmmakers and provide them with the opportunity for potential distribution and funding. The festival strives to promote an open and nurturing environment for artists, writers, actors, film-makers and fans with a focus on offering great networking opportunities for its participants. 

Submissions for this year’s festival were reviewed and scored by a carefully selected panel of judges within the industry. The films with the highest rating averages were screened at this year's festival. The award winners for the 2021 NYC Indie Awards were selected through audience vote. 

Since its inception in 2010, the NYC Independent Film Festival has fostered a platform for indie filmmakers from New York City and around the world by inviting them to showcase their work to a diverse audience. The festival also provides access to educational panels, virtual reality, presentations by industry professionals, and live performances.

Those who are interested in submitting their film(s) for the upcoming 2022 NYC Independent Film Festival may do so by clicking 'Submit NYCIFF 2022' below. Details regarding submission guidelines can be found on the festival’s official FilmFreeway and / or WFCN page.


Submit NYCIFF 2022





Best Narrative Feature

“Being Mortal”

The film is based on a Chinese novel. Xia Tian transfer her job back to her hometown in order to take care of her dad who get Alzheimer’s for over ten years. She thought it will be a comfort for her parents, but as the disease gets worse , the stress of life she gets to learn, and the only thing she can do is just wait……




Best Documentary Feature

“True Love Never Dies”

 What can happen when you meet your high school sweetheart for the first time in 70 years? Will love blossom again?
 Odd is a 93 years old man who lost his wife two years ago. Else has never been married and has never forgotten about Odd who she was in love with, in her young days. One day Else pick up her phone and calls Odd. One phone call lead to another and they decide to meet again for the first time in 70 years. They fall in love, but Else gets Alzheimer. True love never dies is a warm and intimate documentary about love and hope. Love is for everyone. It is never too late to find love, but don`t wait too long, you can miss your chance.




Best Mid-length Feature

“When the Music Changes”

Devy is an Indian American filmmaker who goes to India to shoot a documentary and also meet her long distance boyfriend. Trying to keep her sanity while dealing with elements of toxicity around her Devy is at a crossroads in life. An unforeseen incident wipes away her blurry thoughts and brings out the warrior in her.




Best Narrative Short


‘808’ follows Mars, a young woman with a strong sense of self, and a connection to the past. When she is hired to work at a content moderation office she meets Jay, an employee who has become desensitized by their profession. Mars is part of an underground subculture that challenges societal norms by endorsing connection and emotion through music and intimacy. Because Jay is disconnected, he struggles to retaliate against these technological forces and join Mars. If Jay takes action, he might be able to move beyond repression and fear and find love.




Best Short Documentary

“With Dad” 

WITH DAD is a short nonfiction film that chronicles the work of American photographer Stephen DiRado, specifically during the painful 20-year period of hi father’s decline and eventual death from Alzheimer’s disease. DiRado, known for long-term projects, used his antique large-format box camera to meticulously document the end of his artistic mentor’s life in a way that celebrates a legacy without concealing the trauma inherent in the premature loss of a loved one. Based on DiRado’s book of the same name, WITH DAD includes interviews with Stephen DiRado, new high-resolution scans of his work and contemporaneou digital video footage shot by his brother, Chris.




Best Super Short

“The Gentle Art of Violence”

In the intimacy of a confessional, a priest is unusually coerced into confessing to a mysterious woman, their true nature will be revealed as the situation spirals out of control.





Best Director 

Benjamin J. Murray and Paul Pompa for “Untreated”

After a chance encounter at a liquor store, three addicts begin their respective journeys towards getting clean Peter, the young junkie, seeks help from a seasoned veteran addict in recovery. Penny, a high-functioning alcoholic school teacher, navigates the murky waters of secretly drinking on the job. And Joey, a paranoid smack addict, spirals farther down the rabbit hole of heroin-induced mania.





Best Cinematography  

Shumel Hoffman & Anton von Heiseler for “The Mountain & the Maiden” 

This is the story of a day in the life of Aspiya. A 10-year-old girl living with he younger brother, older sister and parents in a one room-shack in New Delhi near Asia’s biggest landfill. Aspiya is the main supporter of her family. Every single da she walks up the landfill in order to collect trash that then will later be sold t companies that reuse the materials for their products. While the subtext is pollution, child labor, our modern lifestyle of waste the main thing is that you can be happy no matter the circumstances. This film is about the human crave for happiness and how, despite dire circumstances, your outlook on life determine the inner quality of your life.





Best Actor 

Viktor Dvorak in “Havel” 
Film HAVEL is drama inspired by the life and personal development of Vaclav Havel, prominent Czech playwright/ dissident/president. The film focuses on Havel’s transformation from successfull – then banned – playwright of the late 60’s into human rights fighter in the 70’s leading to his presidency in late 80’s. His transformation is the key here as this is not just descriptive biopic but drama of self-doubting intellectual torn between his passions and his self-imposed duties. From careless bohemian Havel grows into mature man realizing that if he has the opportunity to free the whole nation then he must accept this responsibility. Both for the greater good and to prove his worth – and to prove it above all to himself.





Best Actress  

Laura Martinelli In “In Color” 

A withdrawn woman spontaneously participates in a clinical study for people who feel “there but not there” and connects with a monitor through shared memories. “In Colors” reveals the struggle of a young woman to transcend the space between herself and others. When she makes an instinctual decision to take part in a clinical study, she is led to the home office of an unusual psychologist and an invasive survey that conjures her fragmented memories. Upon this stark confrontation, she finds herself face-to face with a way out of herself and into the world, but only if she opens the door.





Best Animation Film 

“The Door”  

6 siblings go for a hike and come across a door standing in the middle of the trail. (Due to COVID, film was made by having actors in 5 different cities submit thei lines without knowing the script or other lines)





Best Art/Experimental Film 

 “I am |A|”  

I am|A| is an audiovisual project that shows all human weakness in relationship to the usage of new technologies as surrogates of impossibile desires.





Best Mix Genre

  “Door” by Fella Cederbaum 

MahnoDahno investigates the nature of personal history, psychology and self. By peeling away successive layers of thoughts and feelings and what we consider to be reality, he discovers the deeper mysteries of existence.





Best Covid-19 Short 

  Yohana Ambros for “Goodnight”

“Stay at home” is the universal slogan proposed during the coronavirus pandemic. But what was the lockdown like for people without a home? Yohana Ambros is a special film director: she’s a 27 years old homeless who lost everything after a stomach cancer. Yohana tells her lockdown in Italy without a home.








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