'Hammerhead' Takes Top Honors at New York Television Festival


Hammerhead,” the story of a cunning young man trying to make his way in New York City, took top awards at the New York Television Festival.

The festival, which concludes today, features a competition for independently produced pilots, a script contest and a competition to land development deals with major cable networks and production banners. “Hammerhead,” created by New York-based filmmaker Dean Imperial, won the best of the fest award as well as the critics kudo. This year’s gathering featured screenings of 59 pilots.

“Independent television hasn’t only arrived – it is stronger than ever,” said NYTVF founder and executive director Terence Gray. “Each year, I am floored by how much the quality of the work submitted by the independent television community continues to improve — having received more than 3,300 submissions for the third year in a row.  I’m honored that our partners have embraced the Festival as a go-to venue for new and diverse stories, voices and talent during their development process, and proud to be part of an incredible team that has brought opportunities to indie artists by arranging nearly 2000 networking and pitch meetings between them and industry execs over the past three years alone.”

Other winners from this year’s weeklong fest:

Best Animated Project:

Omega House – Created by Marc Sloboda (Chicago, IL)

After surviving the nuclear apocalypse, four mutated frat brothers set out on a journey across the wasteland to figure out what the heck happened.

Best Comedy Project:

Smüchr – Created by Niccolo Aeed and Marina Tempelsman (New York, NY)

Emily, a customer support representative for an online dating company, will make all the lonely people in America couple up like penguins – or she’ll die trying.

Best Drama/Dramedy Project:

Paint – Created by Michael Walker (New York, NY)

Three young artists live in Brooklyn, struggling to make it, not only in the art world, but in life.

Best Short-Form Comedy Project:

susaneLand – Created by Susane Lee and Andrew Olsen (Los Angeles, CA)

A dark comedic anthology series revolving around the awkward and surreal misfortunes of a young Asian American woman.

Best Short-Form Drama/Dramedy Project:

Avant-Guardians – Created by Alesia Etinoff  (Los Angeles, CA)

When the woke-ish Guardian Angel to the future 3rd Black President goes a little off her rocker, she’s mandated by God to visit a no-nonsense Therapist Angel.

Best Unscripted Project:

Rooftop Kings – Created by Carmine Famiglietti and Peter Fragliossi (Queens, NY)

An inside look at a subculture hiding in plain sight on the rooftops of New York City: This is Goodfellas, with pigeons.

Best Actor in a Comedy:

Ryan Harrington and Isaac Himmelman in Brooklyn Moving Company (New York, NY)

Best Actress in a Comedy:

Tessa Hersh in Smüchr and 2some (New York, NY)

Best Actor in a Drama:

Sam Gilroy in Hammerhead (New York, NY)

Best Actress in a Drama:

Deja Harrell in Seeds (Chicago, IL)

Best Direction Drama:

Midnights – Directed by Alvaro Donado (Paterson, NJ)

Best Direction Comedy:

The Passage – Directed by Kitao Sakurai (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Editing:

Ghost Girl – Edited by Alexandra Gilwit and Charlotte Prager (New York, NY)

Best Writing:

Alive in Denver – Written by Michael Levin (Los Angeles, CA)

2018 WINNERS – NYTVF SCRIPTS

Best Comedy Script (Tie):

Granted – Written by Alison Barton and Bonnie Dennison (Los Angeles, CA)

Annie, an insecure astronaut, mistakenly summons a genie (named Jinnie) whom she can’t stand. The two are bound to each other until Annie can find true fulfillment or Jinnie can find true love. Two nearly impossible tasks… even with unlimited wishes.

The Curse – Written by Jesse David Fox and Halle Kiefer (New York, NY)

Alex has the perfect life on paper: a cool new job in New York, awesome friends, and, most importantly, a mature long-term relationship. In other words, it’s just about the worst time to find out that her family is under a century-old sex curse.

Best Drama Script:

Ticker – Written by Connie O’Donahue and Jeremy Nielsen (Rivertown, WY)

In a future where people sell years off the end of their lives for money and corporations decide who lives and who dies, a rule-following paramedic and his impulsive partner struggle to save society by overthrowing the system.

2018 NYTVF DEVELOPMENT DEALS AND NETWORK AWARD WINNERS

Audible Pitch Deal:

The three below will receive a development grant to further develop their concept with Audible:

  • Don P. Hooper for “BK Time Skippers”
  • Kaitlin Fontana and Carolyn Bergier for “Peace”
  • Gordon Rayfield for “Boomer”

Comedy Central Development Deal:

Omega House – Created by Marc Sloboda

Red Arrow Studios Development Award:

The Gary Gold Story – Created by Greg Ash

TOPIC Pitch Deal:

Damian Gomez for “Hyphenated”

TruTV Comedy Breakout Initiative:

We Don’t Want to Scare You, But… – Created by Tessa Greenberg and Moujan Zolfaghari

WE tv Pitch Deal:

Richard Knight, Carrie Jean Knight, and Anna Boyter for “Now Serving Seconds”

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