Past Winners and Nominees


2017 Nominees and Award Winners
Awards to be given out at Gala starting around 8:15-8:30 at Porta (911 Kingsley Street).

Festival Honors:
Actor: William DeMeo 
Director: Kramer Herzog
Audience Award Film: Capital Advice 

Best Actor in a Comedy
WINNER Amir Arison for Fortress

Joseph D’Onofrio for Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Dan Grimaldi for Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Michael Tow for East of Hollywood
Jeff Phillips for Tea Man, Steep!
Alex Scully for Helping Hands
John Fulton for Fickle Bickle

Best Actress in a Comedy
Chelsea Lloyd for Sneezy G
Madelyn Barkocy for Diet TaB presents American Splenda
Emm O’Connor for Capital Advice
Laura Dowling Shea for Great Expectations
WINNER Gina Rodriguez for Frame of Reference
Sophia Tsanotelis for The Wedding Ceremony
Dani Wang for East of Hollywood

Best Actor-Medium
Shawn Christensen for Cul-De-Sac
Brian Gallagher for Only for the Good
Jackson Rathbone for Horseshoe Theory
WINNER Jack Mulcahy for Isolated Incident
Brian Pollock for Licentious
Tim Berg for If You Go I Go
Drew Maniscalco for Addicted

Best Actress-Medium
Christine Vinsick for Uncle Buzzy’s House
Phoebe Tonkin for Cul-De-Sac
Iliana Guibert for Twice Upon a Time
Stacey Van Gorder for Steps
Kim Paris for Last Call
WINNER Heather Brittain O’Scanlon for House Broken
Victoria Guthrie for Tales of Creation

Best Actress-Long
Stephanie Hinck for Crowns of Serendip
WINNER Janel Tanna for If Only for a Moment
Courtney Cavanagh for Terminal Legacey: Lost Souls
Sharrata M. Hunt for Road to Jericho
Carolyn McCandlish for Adrift
Danielle Guldin for The Weekend
Valerie Bauer for Veneration

Best Actor-Long
Nathan Cluss for Crowns of Serendip
Jefrey Wilkerson for the Road to Jericho
Chris Young for Hotel
Michael Allen Gallo for Adrift
Kazy Tauginas for Standing Eight
WINNER Joseph D’Onofrio for Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Dan Grimaldi for Pasquale’s Magic Veal

Best Director Comedy
DJ Higgins for Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Jeff Sutton for Charley V
Eliaz Rodriguez for Tea Man, Steep
Mark Clauburg for Hotel
WINNER Chris Caccioppoli for East of Hollywood
Jim Mauro for Capital Advice
Amir Arison for Fortress

Best Director-Medium
Ian J. Keeney for Frame of Reference
WINNER Damon Russell for Cul-De-Sac
Justin Pigeon and Steven Good for The Road to Fatherhood
Debra Markowitz for By Blood
Jon Busch for Wrestling with Integrity
Andrew Schwarz for the Cabinet in the Woods
Larry Rosen for Afraid of the Night

Best Director-Long
WINNER Dennis Cahlo for The Weekend
Frank Lisi for Veneration
Larry Rosen for If Only for a Moment
Stephen Girouard for Window Dressing
Robert E. Proto for The Crowns of Serendip
DJ Higgins for Pasquale’s Magic Veal
John D. Hay for Attempt to Rise

Best Horror
Beyond the Doors
Keep It in the Dark
The Cabinet in the Woods
WINNER Evil Rising
Afraid of the Night

Best Animation
Bubble Yum
Graffiti Woman & Sensitive Sherman
Notorious Corn
WINNER You Got a Problem

Best Comedy
WINNER Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Capital Advice
Great Expectations
Helping Hands
Texting My Ex
East of Hollywood
Reality Disorder
Fickle Bickle

Best Medium Short
Frame of Reference
Isolated Incident
The Man in the Room
Coming to Terms
By Blood
If You Go I Go
Twice Upon a Time

Best Long Short
The Road to Jericho
The Crowns of Serendip
Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Window Dressing
WINNER Standing Eight
Attempt to Rise
The Weekend

Best Short Short
A Street Guided Meditation
Deliver Us!
Black Cloud
Second Escape
Pew Pew
WINNER Last Call
Blue Skies
Chicken Francese

Best Experimental
Falling in Love: A Coming of Age Selfie Film
WINNER A Street Guided Meditation
Second Escape
It Gets Better?
Holy Cleanse
Tales: A Cautionary Story about Heroin Addiction

Best Concept
WINNER The Cabinet in the Woods

Falling in Love: A Coming of Age Selfie Film
Witt and the Magical Spirits
The Kid and the Hitman
Horseshoe Theory

Best Ensemble
Pasquale’s Magic Veal
Capital Advice
WINNER Great Expectations
By Blood
Standing Eight

Best Documentary
By Spoon ! The Jay Meisel Story
The World of Dennis Patton
WINNER In The Name of Comedy

Best International Film
A Magician
WINNER Date Night

Best Cinematography
WINNER Addle Strife
The Other Side of Love
Isolated Incident
A Street Guided Meditation
Only for the Good
Standing Eight
The Hobbyist

Best NJ Comedy
Charley V
Narrow & Wide
Diet TaB presents American Splenda
Deliver Us!
Helping Hands

Best NJ Drama
Sharks vs. Minnows
The Last Abduction
Wait for Me
Keep it in the Dark
WINNER Let’s Play Dead Girl
Second Escape

Best Script
Film Festival Fodder by Jennifer Katz
WINNER Couple of Guys by Debra Markowitz
Brothers by Debra Markowitz
The Ride by Rachel Handler
The Street Photographer by Jim Norman
Medicine Show Blues by Jeffrey Howe
Sins of the Father by David Valkenet
Torii Hall by Don Carr


Best Short High School
WINNER When Randy was Here
Good Cop, Sad Cop
Sock Monster
The Mistake

Best Short College
The Mourning After
Foreign Sounds
Hi, My Name Is
Extra Cheese Please
Exit Stage Left

Best Actor
Dylan Markiewicz for Good Cop, Sad Cop
WINNER Justin Andrew Davis for Hell-Bent
Stephen Bodossian for Church
Josh Cohen for Burnt Ashes
Kyle Jonas for Lovelorn

Best Actress
Leslie Lynn Meeker for Hell-Bent
Tia Link for Masquerade
Makenzi Koyen for The Mourning After
Lauren Greene for Hi, My Name Is
WINNER Lauren Esser for Extra Cheese Please

Best Director
WINNER The Mourning After
Burnt Ashes
Extra 1104 – The Story of the Rockport Train Wreck
Exit Stage Left
Foreign Sounds

2016 Nominees and Award Winners
Awards to be given out at Gala starting around 6:30 at Porta (911 Kingsley Street), hosted by AMC’s Comic Book Men’s Ming Chen and Mike Zapcic.

Festival Honorees
Filmmaker John Gallagher 
Actor Artie Pasquale

Best Actor in a Comedy
Tom Bentey for Flat Brim
WINNER Robert Clohessy for The Last Taxi Driver
Jerry Mathers for Lucky Day
Kevin Coyle for The White Spruce
Topher Hansson for Buying Bouquets
Taylor Allen for Raising the Dead
Aidan Schultz-Meyer for Mixed Signals

Best Actress in a Comedy
Judy Nazemetz for Dark Spector
Mara Zigler for Mammary Gland Malfunction
WINNER Jennifer Jiles for Mother of the Week
Emma Fassler For Meeting Matt Damon
Rebecca Blaine Carton for Introducing Parker Dowd
Patty Rosborough For Raising the Dead
Adison Eisenberg for The White Spruce

Best Actor-Medium
Lance Hendrickson for The Fragile Storm
Christopher Loyd for The Coin
Dalmar Abuzeid for Manish Boy
Gabriel Furman for Mother’s Day
Robert Costanzo for A Way Out
Artie Pasquale for We Remember
WINNER Kohl Beck for We Remember

Best Actress-Medium
Sam Garland for Ella at the Library
WINNER Sarah Hawkins for Roller Coaster
Sue Cremin for We Know You Have a Choice
Melissa Leo for Mother’s Day
Hillary Hawkins for A Pill for Two
Jakki Jandrell for Restitution
Katie Wallack for Restitution

Best Actress-long
Theodora Woolley for The Kidnapping of a Fish!
Tess Hintelmann for The Radio
Madison Comerzan for Adhesive Love
Judith Roberts for Last Words
Stacey Harrison for Who is Riley Oaks?
WINNER Tyler Kipp for Inspired

Best Actor-long
Stephen Friedrich for The Kinapping of a Fish
WINNER Joseph D’onofrio for Hide the Sausage
Stelio Savante for Once We Were Slaves
Cole Gabrielsen for The Radio
Chris Tardio for the Radio
Stan J. Adams for Ploy

Best Director Comedy
Lauren Ashely Carter for Introducing Parker Dowd
WINNER Drew Chiminec for Raising the Dead
Debra Markowitz for The Last Taxi Driver
Mark Serao for The White Spruce
Lee Davis for Mother of the Week
Kelsey O’Brien and Angela Cohen for It’s All About Me
Tom Bentey for Flat Brim

Best Director Medium
John Gallagher for We Remember
WINNER Fabien Martorell for The Coin
Dawn Fields for Fragile Storm
Jason Tostevin for A Way Out
Lee Kolinsky for Stand Up Guy
Jeff Tan for Mother’s Day
Ryan Tonelli for Manish Boy

Best Director-Long
Michael Boylan for The Radio
Joe Benedetto for Hide the Sausage
Ron Devitt for Who is Riley Oaks
Dallas Jenkins for Once We Were Slaves
Jason Cusato for A Box Came to Brooklyn
WINNER Philip A Ramos for The Kidnapping of a Fish
Julius B. Kelly for Ploy

Best Horror/Thriller
WINNER The Kill Club
When the Night Falls
Chateau Sauvignon: terroir
Good, Bye
Organs of Opportunity
Selfie Inflicted
Feast at the Beach

Best Animation Nominations:
WINNER Elevator
Ginger and Snapper
Zodiac Run
Let’s Be Practical
Evolution and Devolution
Invasive Species

Best Comedy
Raising the Dead
The Last Taxi Driver
WINNER The White Spruce
Mother of the Week
Buying Bouquets
Lucky Day
Dark Spector

Best Short-Medium
We Remember
WINNER Fragile Storm
The Coin
A Way Out
Stand Up Guy
Mother’s Day
Manish Boy

Best Short-Long
Hide the Sausage
The Radio
Who is Riley Oaks
WINNER Once We Were Slaves
A Box Came to Brooklyn
The Kidnapping of a Fish

Best Short Short
A Pill for Two
Thin Blue Line
WINNER It’s All About Me
Henry and the Violin
Coffee Shop Conversations

Best Concept
Attack of the Killer Chickens
The Pen and I
The Coin
WINNER Think Twice

Best Ensemble
Mother of the Week
A Box Came from Brooklyn
Webseries: The Webseries
We Remember
WINNER Stand Up Guy
The White Spruce
Thin Blue Line

Best Documentary
My Faith My Life
A Silent Epic doc
WINNER From the Kids of Paarl
Together in Love Rocumentary
The Denver Bread Company
Some Kind of Utophia

Best International Film
WINNER Comic Potential
In Memory of My Daughter

Best Script
Under-Employed Ghost
Walter’s Day
Our Terms
Irish Fever
The New School
The Driver

Best Cinematography
WINNER Chateau Sauvignon: terroir
Once We Were Slaves
When the Night Falls
A Pill for Two
The Radio

Best NJ Comedy
Raising the Dead
Buying Bouquets
The White Spruce
WINNER Knights of NJ
Mixed Signals
Happy Family

Best NJ Drama
Around the Corner
Searching for Harmony
WINNER The Radio
Treasure Map
Adhesive Love


Best Short -HS
Boys Don’t Cry
Painted Cranes
With God
Do You Want to Play?

Best Short College
Treasure Map
Never Been Sicker
The Girl in Pieces
One Last Talk
WINNER Inspired

Best Actor
Mark Lyons for Seperation
Ehud Sopher for One Last Talk
Chris Viemeister for Inspired
WINNER Saige Santana for How Chris Mazzetti Got His Swag Back
Billy Hopkins-Boys Dont Cry

Best Actress
Meissa Hampton Treasure Map
Beth Polito for Treasure Map
Tyler Kipp for Inspired
Jodi Ferguson-Girl in Pieces
WINNER Shea Saracino-Separation
Morgan Vazquez for Never Been Sicker
Melina McCloud for Do You Want to Play?

Best Director Student Short
Maggie Kaszuba for Inspired
Andrew Schwartz for Separation
WINNER Never Been Sicker by Claire Fishman
Deja Vu
Boy’s Don’t Cry
Lauren Loesberg for With God and Wound


2015 Award Winners and Nominees

Best Actor in a Comedy Short

WINNER Kevin C. Carr in The Midlifers
Jonathan Spencer in Melon Head
Andrew Keegan in Somebody's Mother
Shawn Parsons in The Gunfighter
Scott Schiaffo in the Puppet Apocalypse
Brian K. Millard in the Midlifers
Best Actress in a Comedy Short Film

WINNER Christine Lakin in Somebody's Mother
Monica Potter in Truckin
Pamela Adlon in Truckin
Christina Vinsick in Growth Spurt
Martine Moore in Escape from Garden Grove
Sharon Lawrence in Somebody's Mother
Best Actor in a Short Film (Medium)

Joe Sernio in Mourning on Charlotte Street
Cairo George in Meet Mario
Andrew Howard in Unbelief
Peter Riegert in The Walk
WINNER Kenneth John McGregor in Arrangement
Richard Kind in What Cheer?
Best Actress in a Short Film(Medium)

Rumer Wills in Six Letter Word
WINNER Victoria Gates in Arrangement
Halley Zien in Tiny Things
Hayley McLaughlin in Capsized
Doris Roberts in Zizi and Honeyboy
Elise Rooker in Affliction
Best Actor in a Short Film (Long)

Michael Wolfe in Straight
Charles Haid in One Armed Man
WINNER Mark Gessner in Guest House
Keir O'Donnell in Bound for Greatness
Ian Hart in Conversation with a Cigarette
Vincent Pastore in Alienated
Best Actress in a Short Film (Long)

Karen Gillan in Bound for Greatness
WINNER Deanna Henson in Straight
Bailee Madison in The Magic Bracelet
Jilian Turnage in Boarding House
Laura Shapanus in Acceptance
Best Ensemble Cast

WINNER The Magic Bracelet
The Gunfighter
Somebody's Mother
Failure Groupies
When the Gun Goes Down
Best Director in a Comedy Short Film

Eric Kissack for the Gunfighter
WINNER Mandy Fabian for Somebody's Mother
Diane Newman for Truckin
Justin Dec for Boats and Jennifer Lawrence is Coming
Jason Knade is Doughnut Dance
Andy Fortenbacher in Melon Head
Best Director in a Short Film (Medium)

WINNER Mika Boorem for Love Thy Neighbor
Francisco Solorzano for Floating Sunflowers
Doug Cannon for Arrangement
Aaron Wolf for The Walk
Fabien Martorell for Unbelief
Lisanne Sartor for Six Letter Word
Best Director in a Short Film (Long)

Edward Kruglik for Straight
Paul Borghese for Alienated
Tim Guinee for One Armed Man
WINNER Ali Eldin for When the Gun Goes Down
Walter Gorey for Boarding House
Jimmy Gadd for Bound for Greatness
Best Comedy Short Film

WINNER The Gunfighter
Somebody's Mother
Puppet Apocalypse
Jennifer Lawrence is Coming
Best Short Film (Medium)

The Walk
What Cheer?
Love Thy Neighbor
WINNER Floating Sunflowers
Six Letter Word
Best Short Film (long)

WINNER One Armed Man
Guest House
Bound for Greatness
The Magic Bracelet
Best Short Short

WINNER Hypothetically
Jennifer Lawrence is Coming
Doughnut Dance
Best NJ Short Film Comedy

Sunday Best
WINNER Failure Groupies
Four Eyes
Unexpected Twists
Escape from Garden Grove
The Midlifers
Best NJ Short Film Drama

WINNER The Burning Tree
Hands to the Sky
When the Gun Goes Down
95 Decibels
Best Student Short Film

Unexpected Twists
5 to Places
Dead Flowers
WINNER Nights like This
Spirit of Negation
Eli Over Darkness
The Session
Best Student Experimental Short Film

Apocalypse Dreams
The Emotional Dimensions of the James River
WINNER Black Room
The Music Box
Hair Lockets
Best Cinematography

WINNER Growth Spurt
Consolation Prize
Bound for Greatness
When the Gun Goes Down
Floating Sunflowers
Best Animation

WINNER I Need My Monster
Best Thriller/Horror Short Film

WINNER The Brief-case
Red Deception
Boarding House
Imprissoned Souls
Little Fish
Arnold the Killer Clown
Best Documentary

WINNER Love Life, Dream Big, Be Positive
A Cup of Coffee
New Jersey 350
Eye of the Storm
Portrait of Abuse
Best International Short Film

February 28th (Russian Federation)
WINNER The Struggle of Libations (Ireland)
Head to Head (France)
La Monedita (Ecuador)
Bemuse (South Africa)
El beso del astroauta (Spain)
Best Short Film Script

The Mating Dance (Marnie Mitchell-Lister)
WINNER Lost and Found (Debra S. Johnson)
HONORABLE MENTION Gone Fishing (Steven Canfield Crowley)
RUNNER UP Flight (Sheri Davenport)
Another Day at the Office (Bruce Rose)
A Tell-Tale Heart (Stephen M. Hunt)
Welcome to Junior High (Dan Reheuser)
Frank and Nuala's Wedding (Tracey Maye)
Suicide Falls (Peter LiPera)
Catchlights (Mark Ward)
Best Concept of a Short

The Bench
WINNER Unbelief
Diwali Dream Garage
Conversation with a Cigarette
Honorary Hang onto Your Shorts Film Festival
Achievement of the Arts in Acting Award
Joe Sernio
Honorary Hang onto Your Shorts Film Festival
Achievement of the Arts for New Jersey Award
Rich Robinson


2014 Award Nominees and Winners

Best Actress in a Comedy Short Film

Mika Boorem in Out to Lunch
WINNER Dixie O'Connell in The Exploration of Cole as Led by the Prepubescent Sandy
Lainie Ventura in Sitter
Emily West in Two Sides of Love
Elizabeth Panos in Cellophane
Best Actor in a Comedy Short Film

WINNER Kevin C. Carr in Two Sides of Love
Ryan O'nan in Out to Lunch
Jordan Allen in Cellophane
Arnie Pantoja in Personal Day
Adam Wahlberg in The Friend of My Friend is Apparently Not My Friend
Best Actor in a Short Film (medium)

Thomas Randolph in The Devil and Red Wine

Ben Sternberg in Gift from God

Jayce Bartock in Walls

WINNER Bill Sorvino

Rory Connolly in No Messages
Best Actress in a Short (medium short)

Ally Borgstrom in So Little Time

Dominika Zybko in My Daphne

Diana Budur in Exit

Cathy Moriarty in Tammy

WINNER Elizabeth Yoder in The Long Wait
Best Comedy Short Film

WINNER Cellophane
No Messages
Out to Lunch
The Friend of my Friend is Apparently not my Friend
Best Short Film (Medium)

The Devil and Red Wine
My Daphne
WINNER Harry Grows Up
The Long Wait
Best Director in a Short (medium)

Marc Nickelsbury for Harry Grows Up
Maurice Paramore for Devil and Red Wine
WINNER Nic Reader for Out to Lunch
Philip Jessen for Personal Day
Wolfgang Bodison for The Long Wait
Best Short Short

WINNER Flights
Hanging Charlie
The Last Gentleman
Billy's A Kid
Best Diretor in a Short (long short)

Carmela Hayslett for Death Follows
Robert Hatch for Masque
Gerard Mendez for Defective
Maurice Paramore for Posion
WINNER Thomas Baldinger for Two Sides of Love
Best NJ Short Comedy

The Best Worst Student Film
The Exploration of Cole as led by the Prepubescent Sandy
Two Sides of Love
Best Actor in a Short (long short)

Liam McDermott for Defective
WINNER Richard Losee for Masque
Zak Lee in Rose, Mary and Time
Thomas Randolph in Posion
Best NJ Drama Short

WINNER The Devil and Red Wine
Best Actress in a Short (long short)

Lauren Holly in Masque
WINNER Carmela Hayslett in Death Follows
Jennifer LaForte in Morning After Mirabelle
Bethany Geraghty in Jane Be Jane
Best Student Film

Sheltered Love
A Teen's Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism
Best Documentary

WINNER A Teen's Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism
My Time with the English Tourist
The Last American Shoemaker
Sugar Shack
A Stroll Through the Park an Asbury Symphany
Best Short Film (long short)

Rose, Mary and Time
Death Follows
Best International Short Film

WINNER No Messages-from Ireland
One Safe-from Singapore
Rose, Mary and TIme-from the UK
The Cell-from the UK
Andromeda-from Belgium
Honorary Achievement of the Arts in Acting Award

Brian Christopher O'Halloran