Home Films & TV Celebrating a Decade of the NYC Web Fest: NYCWF 2023 Unveils Its Winners

Celebrating a Decade of the NYC Web Fest: NYCWF 2023 Unveils Its Winners

by Jonathan Currinn
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Lauren Atkins and Donna Drake

The 10th Annual NYC Web Fest (NYCWF) marked a triumphant return to New York City, bringing together creators, industry professionals, and enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration, screenings, and insightful panels. The event, held at the iconic Producer’s Club in Manhattan’s Theatre District from November 10 to 12, showcased a diverse array of web series and talent, making it a milestone celebration for the festival. Weeks later, we’re excited to be revealing the award winners.

Founder Lauren Atkins expressed her excitement, stating, “This year was one for the books! Of the 36 projects we screened at the fest, only 11 production teams didn’t make it to New York, everyone else was there. On top of that, just 24 hours before our opening night party, the SAG-AFTRA strike ended for actors. The energy in New York was electric, it was the perfect setting for us to celebrate ten years.”

The festivities began with an electrifying opening night party at the Greenwich Treehouse in the West Village, a local bar owned by filmmaker Alexandra D. Levinsohn, setting the stage for a weekend filled with screenings, industry panels, and networking opportunities. The NYCWF also featured special events like a workshop on Intimacy Coordinating for Film & TV, led by jury member Jamie Monahan, and a fireside chat with comedian Dan Perlman, hosted by CBS New York’s Donna Drake.

Jack Maxwell, Lauren Atkins, and Meredith Thomas posing together on the red carpet for the NYC Web Fest.
Jack Maxwell (Winner of Best Host/Solo Performance for Spirit Quest with Jack Maxwell) Lauren Atkins, and Meredith Thomas (Spirit Quest director)

Watch the 10th Anniversary Special on The Donna Drake Show Part 1.

Watch the 10th Anniversary Special on The Donna Drake Show Part 2.

“Seeing as this was the first festival in New York since before the pandemic and so many attendees, we really wanted to give everyone a platform to speak about their art. It’s been a long 3 years, and it was a New York reunion and celebration after all,” continued Atkins.

Throughout the weekend, attendees had the chance to engage with seven industry panels, providing a platform for filmmakers to discuss their craft. Founder Lauren Atkins emphasised the importance of giving everyone a voice in light of the festival’s return to New York after a prolonged absence.

The pinnacle of the festivities unfolded during the grand Awards Ceremony on the event’s concluding night, coupled with a lively cocktail reception. Standout victors emerged, with Montreal’s Les Mal-Aimants clinching the prestigious Best Web Series Prize, while the New Zealand sensation, Sky Tower, astoundingly clinched four distinct awards. The captivating red carpet interviews orchestrated by Donna Drake amid the Awards Ceremony resulted in a compelling one-hour special broadcasted on national television, spotlighting the creativity and brilliance of the filmmakers gracing the occasion.

Lauren Atkins, founder of the NYC Web Fest, taking a selfie with Program Director, Zerelda Nothnagel.
Lauren Atkins and Zerelda Nothnagel (Program Director)

“Donna was at our Fifth Anniversary, so we’re especially grateful that she was at our Tenth. I love that we can also stream the CBS special online as well, so many great memories,” said Atkins. “The feedback and our experience at The Producer’s Club was so positive, we’ve decided to return for 2024!”

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting

  • Miguel Ramirez, TJ Wong – STICKS (WINNER)
  • Saad Abas, André-Claude Boudreau, Christophe Chapados, Franz Benji, Charles Labrie, Norbert Denis-Blais, Rachel Accolas – Wipe me away
  • Jordan Carroll Love Undone
  • Lee Stapleton Sky Tower
  • Norbert Denis-Blais, Patrice Arsenault, Alexandre Boucher, Auguste Lapensée, Jérémy Scoulsky, Franz Benji – Summer Camp 

Outstanding Achievement in Editing 

  • Marina Zimina – Movers (WINNER)
  • Hayley Karl – Good morning Cuomo 
  • Cassie Carlyle – The Powers That Be
  • Josef Cunningham and Jordan Pring (VFX) – Wispy
  • Spider Chambers – Second Team

Outstanding Achievement in Sound 

  • Alexey Sinitsyn, Andrey Umnikov – Superposition (WINNER)
  • François Del Fante, Mark L. Brock, Antoine Beauchamp, Jérôme Chénard, Samuel Fortin – Chaotic Symphony
  • Brianna Todd – Chateau Laurier
  • Georgy Lebedev – Movers
  • Jay Scala – Rent Control 

Outstanding Achievement in Music 

  • Caetano Veloso – Sky Tower (WINNER)
  • Shaquan Perkins (Music Supervisor) – Love Undone
  • Raphaël Léveillé  – Les Mal-Aimants
  • Sydney Alexandria, Jordyn Rene Randall, Ryan K Dunston – STICKS
  • Maxime Fortin – Summer Camp

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography 

  • Gregoire Auborg – Sky Tower (WINNER)
  • Bart Cortright – Alpha/Beta
  • Robert E. Arnold – Benny and James
  • Kirill Holdin – Movers
  • Arthur Cooper – Chateau Laurier

Outstanding Achievement in Writing

  • Luke Goodall and Marc Gallagher – The Followers (WINNER)
  • Nick Melin, Ian Isaacs, Vidya Rajan, Nina Oyama, Deirdre Fidge – Monologue 
  • Brian Padian – Man of La Mansion 
  • Lisa Jill Anderson, Ahsan Ali, & Stephen Brown – Legit Married
  • Tom LittleDon’t overthink it

Best Original Concept 

  • Unlicensed & Unstoppable – Jordan Smith (WINNER)
  • Illuminagents – Herman Wang 
  • Movers – Alexander Ershov
  • Revenge of the Black Best Friend – Amanda Parris
  • Superposition – Vadim Valiullin

Best Supporting Actress

  • Ming-Zhu Hii – Wispy (WINNER)
  • Samantha Jones – A Short tutorial 
  • Justine Clarke – With Grace, amazing Grace series 3
  • Wonjung Kim The Powers That Be
  • Sarah-Maxine Rozefort – Wipe me away

Best Supporting Actor 

  • Emmanuel Kabongo – Chateau Laurier (WINNER)
  • Ben Wood – With Grace, amazing Grace series 3
  • Rishi Varma The Powers That Be
  • Jean-Nicolas Verreault – Wipe me away
  • David Sitler – A Short Tutorial

Best Mystery/Suspense 

  • Summer Camp – Marjorie Armstrong, Philippe-A. Allard, Marco Frascarelli, Mathieu Paiement, Babel films (WINNER)
  • Illuminagents – Herman Wang, Herman Wang productions
  • The Hunted: NYCSS – Kaitlyn Farley, Danielle Joy, Jared Kirby, Sophie Moshofsky, Fight The Good Fight Productions
  • The Powers That Be – Ricky Kapoor, Rocco Gallimbeni
  • Movers – Alexander Ershov, Olga Volodina, Elena Kotunova, Elena Afanasyeva, Akvilon media
  • Superposition – Vadim Valiullin, Dmitry Tshcherbanov, Andrey Shishkanov, Denis Ryabtsev, Alexandra Tretyakova, Mikhail Kukushkin, Ivan Kurochkin, Dmitry Vlasov, Yasher Pictures

Best Drama 

  • Love Undone – Joseph Goncalves, Sonya Joyner, James McGruder, Ron Artis Jr., jgproductions (WINNER)
  • Chateau Laurier – James Stewart, Kent Staines, Emily Weedon, Geneva Film co.
  • With Grace, amazing Grace series 3 – Julie Money, Georgina Connell  Grace Truman, TruMoney Films
  • Wipe me away – Eric Piccoli, Babel films
  • Sky Tower – Roberto Nascimento, Rebels & Robots

Best Comedy

  • Don’t overthink It – Tom Little, Benjamin Sutton, Charlie Dinkin, Daddy’s Superyacht Productions (WINNER)
  • Chaotic Symphony – Lysandre Ménard and Daphnée Côté-Hallé, Emilie Beaulieu, Sarah Châtelain, Echo Media
  • Monologue – Nick Melin, Jim Wright, Elise Trenorden, Emma Roberts, Truce Films
  • The Followers – Luke Goodall, Marc Gallagher, Jess Pearce, Goodall and Gallagher
  • STICKS – Jordyn Rene Randall, Armando Ortiz, Sydney Alexandria, Ryan K Dunston, Visual Glass productions

Dynamic Duo 

  • Lysandre Ménard/Daphnee Côté-Hallé – Chaotic Symphony (WINNER)
  • Phillip James Brannon/Calvin Leon Smith – Benny and James
  • Tom Little/Jain Edwards – Don’t overthink it
  • Francia Raisa/Danielle Savre – Second Team 
  • Danil Steklov/Philip Ershov – Movers

Ensemble Cast 

  • Akil Jackson, Catfish Jean, Sally Brooks, Chester Lockhart, Melissa Greenspan, Alexander True – Second Team (WINNER)
  • Joe Dekkers-Reihana, Ben Porter, Uhyoung Choi, Deanna Chiang, Elizabeth Thomson, Josh Thomson, Roberto Nascimento – Sky Tower
  • Lou Manthy, Ace Adom, Malik Henry, Dwayne Savid – STICKS
  • Dounia Ouirzane, Zakary Méthot, Léo Nault, Iani Bédard, Phara Thibault, Kelly Depeault, Evelyne Laferrière – Summer Camp
  • Charlee-Ann Paul, Malik Gervais-Aubourg, Sarah-Maxine Racist, Julie Perreault, Jean-Nicolas Verreault, Schelby Jean-Baptiste, Anglesh Major – Wipe me away

Best Host/Solo Performance 

  • Jack Maxwell  – Spirit Quest with Jack Maxwell (WINNER)
  • Reginald K. Butters – Man of La Mansion
  • Marina di Marzo – Whala Whala: An Italian Dad Talk Show 

Special Guest Star 

  • Young Mazino – Drama High (WINNER)
  • Sammy Hagar – Spirit Quest with Jack Maxwell
  • Berto Colon – Alpha/Beta
  • Andrea Lewis – Revenge of the Black Best Friend
  • Dwain Murphy – Revenge of the Black Best Friend

Best Actress – Shorts 

  • Lisa Jill Anderson – Legit Married (WINNER)
  • Kerri Romeo – A Short Tutorial 
  • Leven Rambin – Alpha/Beta
  • Lenka Olšanová – American Ghost Hunter in Prague
  • Dionne van den Berg – Q Train

Best Actor – Shorts

  • Phillip James Brannon – Benny and James (WINNER)
  • Ahsan Ali – Legit Married
  • Carl Donnelly – Reformed 
  • Rick Younger – Rick Younger Presents The Rick Younger Show Starring Rick Younger as Rick Younger 
  • Jake Bernard Buckner – American Ghost Hunter in Prague

Best Actress – Series 

  • Tiffany Montambault – Les Mal-Aimants (WINNER)
  • Kate Ross Leckie – Chateau Laurier
  • Emily Taheny – Monologue 
  • Olunike Adeliyi – Revenge of the Black Best Friend
  • CT Marie – Rent Control

Best Actor 

  • José de Abreu – Sky Tower (WINNER)
  • Jean-Alexandre Létourneau – Les Mal-Aimants
  • Danil Steklov – Movers
  • Tom Little – Don’t overthink it 
  • Sanskar Agarwal – The Powers That Be

Best Foreign Language 

  • Sky Tower – Roberto Nascimento, Rebels & Robots (WINNER)
  • Movers – Alexander Ershov, Olga Volodina, Elena Kotunova, Elena Afanasyeva, Akvilon media
  • Chaotic Symphony – Lysandre Ménard and Daphnée Côté-Hallé, Écho Média, Emilie Beaulieu, Sarah Châtelain
  • Summer Camp – Marjorie Armstrong, Philippe-A. Allard, Marco Frascarelli, Mathieu Paiement, Babel Films
  • Wipe me away – Eric Piccoli Philippe-A. Allard, Marco Frascarelli, Mathieu Paiement,  Babel Films

Best International 

  • Chateau Laurier – James Stewart, Kent Staines, Emily Weedon, Geneva Film co (WINNER)
  • The Followers – Luke Goodall, Marc Gallagher, Goodall & Gallagher
  • Revenge of the Black Best Friend – Amanda Parris, RBBF inc
  • Monologue – Nick Melin, Truce Films
  • With Grace, amazing Grace series 3 – Julie Money, Georgina Connell  Grace Truman, TruMoney Films

Best Short Film 

  • Benny and James – Logan Vaughn, Ria Pavia, Laurie Bernhard, Mayon Denton, Robert E. Arnold (WINNER)
  • Reformed – Michael Bateson-Hill,  Aaron Kilkenny-Fletcher
  • Second Team – Mayon Denton, Robert E. Arnold, Julia Armine & Ria Pavia

Best Pilot 

  • Rick Younger Presents The Rick Younger Show Starring Rick Younger as Rick Younger – Neil Turitz, Rick Younger, Lalou Dammond, Joaquin Baca-Asay, Accidental Pictures (WINNER)
  • Unlicensed and Unstoppable – Jordan Smith, Tiara Starks 
  • Spirit Quest with Jack Maxwell – Jack Maxwell, Don Billings, Sean McKnight, Tracy Trost, Meredith Thomas
  • Legit Married – Ahsan Ali, Lisa Jill Anderson, & Stephen Brown
  • Drama High – Jessica W Chen, Sandra Chen, LIU Brooklyn TVWS

I love NY 

  • Good morning Cuomo – Hayley Karl, Karl’s bar (WINNER)
  • Rent Control – CT Marie, Eric Doviak
  • Rick Younger Presents The Rick Younger Show Starring Rick Younger as Rick Younger Neil Turitz, Rick Younger, Lalou Dammond, Joaquin Baca-Asay, Accidental Pictures
  • Q Train – Dionne van den Berg & Samantha Tran, Fountain Avenue Productions
  • Legit Married – Ahsan Ali, Lisa Jill Anderson, & Stephen Brown

Best Director 

  • Logan Vaugh – Benny and James (WINNER)
  • Misha Calvert, Leven Rambin – Alpha/Beta 
  • Zoé Tremblay-Bianco – Les Mal-Aimants
  • Ria Pavia – Second Team
  • Roberto Nascimento – Sky Tower 

Best Web Series

  • Les Mal-Aimants – Mélodie Bujold-Henri, Lou Bélanger, Marieme Ndiaye, Rafael Perez, Productions ST Laurent Web (WINNER)
  • Rent Control – CT Marie, Eric Doviak
  • Monologue – Nick Melin, Jim Wright, Elise Trenorden, Emma Roberts, Nick Melin, Truce Films
  • Sky Tower – Roberto Nascimento, Rebels & Robots
  • The Followers – Luke Goodall, Marc Gallagher, Goodall & Gallagher

For more information about check out the NYC Web Fest official website. You can check out the list of the 36 official selections of the NYCWF by clicking here. You can also watch all the Creator Conversations from the NYC Web Fest 2023 in the playlist video below.

As the curtain fell on the 10th Annual NYC Web Fest, Founder Lauren Atkins reflected on the positive experience at The Producer’s Club, announcing the decision to return for the 11th edition in 2024. The festival will take place from November 8 to 10, once again in the heart of New York City. With submissions opening on May 1, 2024, the NYC Web Fest continues to be a beacon for emerging talent in the digital storytelling landscape.

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