The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival has announced 16 original short films and webisodes as semi-finalists for its 12th annual event. The festival, which includes notable alumni Randall Park (Fresh Off The Boat) and Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), celebrates diverse stories while finding the next generation of storytellers.
This year, there were more than 4200 submissions, which doubled from 2016’s entries, making it the most in the festival’s history. The collection of shorts feature stories about people of ethnically diverse backgrounds, the LGBTQ community, women and people with disabilities. Out of the 16 semi-finalists, 10 were written or directed by women, setting a new record for female representation at the festival. Additionally, half of the shorts selected feature Asian-American stories or writer-directors, which is also a first for the festival. Karen Horne, SVP of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television said in a statement, “this is proof of the wealth of stories about underrepresented people.
“I’m proud that our Short Film Festival along with our other NBC Talent Infusion Programs will continue to serve as a home to highlight those stories and their creators,” adds Horne.
The webisodes and shorts, which include a mix of comedies and dramas, will be showcased at public screenings in New York on August 15 and 16 before the finalists are chosen. The finalists will be chosen by a panel of entertainment industry professionals and NBCUniversal executives. Winners will be chosenfor Best Writer, Best Director and Best Actor, among others. The finale screening and awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on October 18 at the Directors Guild of America.
The complete list of semi-finalists are listed below:
Akashi, Writer & Director: Mayumi Yoshida
Kana, a young Japanese woman, receives news that her grandmother has passed away. During her trip to attend the funeral, she recalls intimate…