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October 28, 2017
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13th Annual Festival Wraps After 6 Days of Screenings, Panels, and More Than 600 Meetings Connecting Indie TV Creators with Industry Decision-Makers

Independent Pilot Competition Winners in 14 Categories Include "Giving Up" Taking Best of the Fest Award and "Royally" Receiving NYTVF Critics Award

NYTVF Scripts Winners are "Blurs" and "Maternal Instinct" for Comedy and "Fragile State" for the New Drama Category
Also Honored Were Recipients of Development Awards Given by Comedy Central, OneX & iOne Digital, Red Arrow Entertainment, Shudder, TOPIC, truTV, WE tv, and -- the NYTVF’s First Audio Development Partner -- Audible
From October 23 through 28, independent producers, writers, and directors; representatives from the leading networks, studios, agencies, and digital platforms; and TV fans gathered in Manhattan for the 13th annual New York Television Festival ( The Festival wrapped with an awards reception at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space, where winners of NYTVF’s pilot and scripts competitions were announced – along with recipients of deals from NYTVF’s development partners. (See below for a full list of winners.)
With 52 pilots showcased throughout the week, NYTVF’s flagship Independent Pilot Competition (IPC) wrapped up by recognizing top projects across 14 categories.  “Best of the Fest” honors went to "Giving Up" and the NYTVF Critics Award was presented to "Royally."
In its second year, the NYTVF Scripts competition featured 20 selections, with "Blurs" and "Maternal Instinct" tying for Best Comedy Script and "Fragile State" winning in the new Best Drama Script category. 

"A dozen years after our first Festival, I continue to be impressed by the talent that we are attracting from a thriving community of independent creators," said NYTVF Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray. "These individuals and their diverse points of view are making the art form of television better because they have chosen this episodic medium as the way to tell their stories. And we are proud to be in a position to bring them opportunities to showcase their work and advance their careers, while providing industry decision makers with access to this talent."
This year’s New York Television Festival boasted the most artist submissions and industry participation in its history.  This included: 
  • 3,750-plus submissions received across all competitions, including the IPC, NYTVF Scripts, NYTVF Pitch, and the truTV Comedy Breakout Initiative – resulting in a talented and diverse class of Official Artists invited to the Festival
  • 600 networking and pitch meetings between Official Artists and industry executives were facilitated by the Festival – up from 550 in 2016 and 420 in 2015 – as part of its NYTVF Connect program 
  • Industry engagement increased, with a record 77 companies participating in these meetings, including representatives from leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies and digital platforms
In addition to the above meetings and awards reception, several events took place throughout the week at Helen Mills and the SVA Theatre including in-competition screenings, red carpet premieres and panels, networking events, keynotes, educational seminars and parties. This includes three new additions to the Festival’s program: NYTVF Writers Room – for those who are working, or aspire to work, in episodic storytelling; Comedy for Change – dedicated to exploring the power of comedy to drive forward social change and act as an essential component of the fourth estate; and a collaborative conference and networking event with the Asian-American Television & Film Alliance. 

Best Animated Project: 
Tiffany the Teenage Grim Reaper” created by Lauren Rantala (Los Angeles, CA)
Tiffany is your average teenage girl who happens to be a Grim Reaper. 
Best Comedy Project: 
New York is Dead” created by Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas and Randy Harrison (New York, NY)
A darkly hilarious series about two broke NYC artists who become hitmen to make ends meet. 
Best Drama/Dramedy Project: 
Manic” created by Yolanda Carney, Kate Marks and Kimberley Browning (Los Angeles, CA)
An Ivy-league bound, overachieving teen is derailed after a manic episode lands her in a school for children with mental illnesses. 
Best Short-Form Digital Project: 
Starving Artists” created by Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock (Chicago, IL)
Comedy duo Aasia and Dewayne go to extravagant lengths to reach their goals of international stardom and complete world domination. Starving Artists is a show about being young, gifted, and black in a world that praises straight, white, and wack. 
Best Unscripted/Alternative Project: 
Against All Odds” created by Lucy Smith and Jamie Minty (London, England)
In this game show competition format, five contestants carry five locked bags, but only one contains £100,000. Together, the group must complete an obstacle course across treacherous natural landscapes and make it to the finish line.
Best Actor in a Comedy:
Jeff Galfer for “Jeff's Place” (Los Angeles, CA)
Best Actress in a Comedy: 
Rachel B. Joyce for "Royally" (New York, NY)
Best Actor in a Drama: 
Jeff Skowron for "Max Riddle" (New York, NY)
Best Actress in a Drama:
Shanice Williams for “Manic” (Los Angeles, CA)
Best Direction: 
Dinh Thai for "Monday" (Los Angeles, CA)
Best Editing: 
Kent Lamm for “Jeff's Place” (Los Angeles, CA)
Best Writing: 
Kris Lefcoe for "Giving Up" (New York, NY)
NYTVF Critics Award: 
NYTVF Critics Award
"Royally" Created by Rachel B. Joyce (New York, NY)
A millennial burnout runs a private princess party company as a front for small-time cons, petty theft, and drug peddling.
Overall Best of the Fest Award: 
Giving Up” created by Kris Lefcoe (New York, NY)
A New York couple faces their own deadline to either "make it" or give up their dreams.

IPC Official Selections can be found at

 ("Giving Up")

Best Comedy Script (tie): 
“Blurs” written by Jonterri Gadson (Bloomfield, NJ)
A women's studies professor and her free-spirited, dysfunctional black family face the challenges of living in the type of town where all 80s/90s films with no black people could take place.
"Maternal Instinct" written by Elizabeth Stamp (Brooklyn, NY)
A serial killer turned suburban stay-at-home mom balances “family first” and “murder in the first” in this dark comedy.
Best Drama Script (new award): 
“Fragile State” written by Andrea "AJ" Janakas (Los Angeles, CA)
When a border patrol agent is recruited to work as a spy to help overthrow a country, he doesn’t realize that the country he enters is a parallel America on the verge of collapse.

NYTVF Scripts Official Selections can be found at

Audible Pitch Deals:
Three winners will each receive a development grant to further develop their concepts with Audible. 
- Elizabeth Stamp (Brooklyn, NY) 
- Julia Mattison and Noel Carey (New York, NY) 
- Jordan Mendoza, Shannon Odell and Joanna Rothkopf (New York, NU) 
Comedy Central Development Award: 
Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, and Katie Sicking for their project “Night Crew” 
(New York, NY) 
OneX Pitch Deal: 
Zandile Tisani (Johannesburg, South Africa) 
Red Arrow Entertainment Development Award: 
Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock for their project "Starving Artists" (Chicago, IL)
Shudder Pitch Deal:
Andrea Janakas (Los Angeles, CA)
TOPIC Pitch Deal:
TOPIC selected two creators and creative teams from their pitch meetings to enter into further development with the digital studio from First Look Media.
- Jonterri Gadson (Bloomfield, NJ)
- Emily C. Chang and Sara Amini (Los Angeles, CA)
truTV Comedy Breakout Initiative: 
Nick Armstrong for his project “Series Finale: The Series” (Los Angeles, CA)
WEtv Pitch Deal: 
Jillian Armenante (Los Angeles, CA) 
In addition to the above, New York Women in Film and Television awarded a platinum membership to Sarah Salovaara in recognition of her work on “Let Me Die a Nun,” and Just For Laughs ComedyPro awarded the inaugural ComedyPro Award to Moujan Zolfaghari, Timothy Dunn, David Sidorov and Trevor Williams in recognition of their work on "SPLUNCH." The latter award is a package of complimentary passes to the 2018 ComedyPro Conference in Montreal as part of the annual Just For Laughs Comedy Festival.  

About the NYTVF 
Established in 2005, the NYTVF constructs new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. By partnering directly with networks, studios, production companies, digital platforms and brands, the NYTVF provides its Industry Partners with a streamlined development model, leveraging its vast creative community of over 17,000 independent producers and production companies, to create content with specific partners in mind. During the annual New York Television Festival – held each fall in New York City – the NYTVF brings together its top artists and industry decision-makers for a series of events designed to foster networking, collaboration and education. The Festival also marks the culmination of the organization’s yearly development efforts and features screenings of top independent content, educational panels, fan events, red carpet premieres, and more.
For more information on the NYTVF and the annual Festival, visit, and to learn about opportunities to submit for its year-round competitions, visit
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Press Contacts: 
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