Undeterred by Hurricane, 2023 Hollyshorts Winners Announced Image

Undeterred by Hurricane, 2023 Hollyshorts Winners Announced

By Film Threat Staff | August 22, 2023

Tari Wariebi’s We Were Meant To claimed the Grand Prix Best Short at the 19th HollyShorts Film Festival for the first time ever and took home a $60k prize from Panavision. This year’s festival proved to be an exciting and eventful year already. Not only did the Academy grant this prestigious film festival a fourth Academy-qualifying award, along with Wariebi’s short film, the 2023 HollyShorts OSCAR-qualifying awards also went to Misan Harriman’s The After (Best Live Action), Rita Basulto’s Humo (Smoke) (Best Animation) and Elisa Gambino’s Every Day After (Best Documentary).

The festival shorts include: Tari Wariebi’s We Were Meant To shares a world where Black men have wings, and their first flight is a rite of passage. The film stars Tim Johnson Jr. as Akil; Misan Harriman’s The After is a powerful film which stars David Oyelowo; Rita Basulto’s Mexican animation Humo (Smoke) follows a boy called Daniel, who travels to a dark destination known as the smokehouse; and Elisa Gambino’s documentary short Every Day After shares a story of a strong sibling bond and displays a more nuanced look at the complexities of healing we don’t often see.

Cast and Filmmakers of We Were Meant To – 2023 HollyShorts Film Festival

Meredith Thomas hosted the award presentations, whilst the top accolades of the night were presented by the award-winning actor Jimmy Jean-Lois and Grand Prix Best Short by the 2022 winner, Victor Gabriel.

Other exciting awards on the night include Christina Yoon’s Motherland, which won the coveted Best Director Awards; Best Comedy went to Call Me Mommy, directed by Haley Alea Erickson and Taylor Washington; Aurélien Achache’s Separation takes home Best Cinematography; Daniel Bdeir’s Warsha wins Best Drama and Best Editing went to Michael Spiccia for I’m on Fire.

More 19th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival 2023 Awards

Best Genre Category Presented by Hot Pot Productions – Tim Webber’s Flite

Best Horror – Nuhash Humayun’s Foreigner Only

Best International – Mauricio Sierra’s Ciela

Latinx Award – Duván Duque Vargas’s All Inclusive

Best LGBTQIA+ – Niki Ang’s Maxine

Best Midnight Madness – Will Suen and Sejon Im’s Sweet Juices

Best Music Video – Kajo | Evelyn Lee’s Rem Koolhaus’

Best Music Video Film – Alexandre Moors’s Love Sick

Best Producer – Lloyd Lee Choi’s Closing Dynasty

Best SAGIndie – Logan Vaughn’s Benny and James

Hawk Films Screenplay Award – Joaquin Palma’s Eggplant

Every Day After – 2023 Hollyshorts Film Festival

Best Sci-Fi – James A. Sims’s D.A.D.

Script Compass Screenplay Award – Nick Perry’s The Gifting

Kodak Best Shot on Film, 35MM – Maegan Houang’s Astonishing Little Feet

Kodak Best Shot on Film, 16MM – Joe Zakko’s Subway Stops

Kodak Best Shot on Film, 8MM – Alan Richard Halls’ Who the F**K IS Jacky Bumpers?

Kodak Best Shot on Film, Honorable Mention – Alden Ehrenreich’s Shadow Brother Sunday

Social Impact Award – Sterling Hampton IV’s Merman

Best Thriller – Rita Borodiyanski’s Time Out

Best Student Film – Marta Szymanek’s Eden

Best TV – Arden Grier and Kirsten Knisely’s Earth Girl

Best VFX – James A. Sims’ D.A.D.

Best Web Series – Stacey Maltin’s Mashed

Best Female Screenplay Presented By BeCine – K.D. Chalk’s Survived By

HollyShorts Honorable Mention – Raul Sanchez and Pasqual Gutierrez Shut Up and Fish

Best TV Screenplay – Ari Donnelly’s Power Couple

Best Screenplay Presented by The Seattle Film Summit – Sara Robin’s Switch

Best Screenplay 2nd place – Anjini Taneja Azhar – Who Are You, Nani?

Best Screenplay 3rd place – Harrison Demchick – Shipping and Handling

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