First-Time Filmmaker Sessions Winners: March 2024

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the March edition of the First-Time Filmmaker Sessions!
The festival platformed hundreds of films, each project worthy of recognition and celebration. We want to extend a giant thank you to everyone who took part and a special congratulations to all the incredible talent that went into making these projects.
First-Time Filmmaker Sessions is designed to be the entry into the Lift-Off Global Network. A platform for brand new voices, FT Sessions isn't about selecting the 'best' or most 'commercial' projects; it is about providing a screening opportunity for everyone, connecting these new and emerging voices with new audiences. An option we hope highlights and educates each month!

Jury's Overall Winner

Enter the Room

Dir & Writer. Harry Waldman
Producers. Lance Eliot Adams, Harry Waldman

Country of Origin: United States
Genre: Short Drama

A young adult (Brian) is visited by his brother, Jeremy, who needs a place to stay as he settles into his new city. The two polar opposite personalities begin to clash as Jeremy's presence poses a threat to Brian's way of life. Brian's uptight personality and unreasonable living standards rub off on Jeremy, creating an incredible amount of tension. Bad blood, stemming from a traumatic past event reveals the shocking truth of the brothers' current situations, as Brian struggles to differentiate between reality and his worst nightmares.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best First-Time Filmmaker


Audience Choice Winners


Dir. James Doherty
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

A 3D low poly rollercoaster through the pages of a childs adventure book.

"The Last Astro"

Dir. Athanasios Nikandros Mavridis
Country of Origin: Greece

When everything goes wrong during a routine investigation on Astro's spacecraft, a random discovery may prove to be life-saving
for the human race.


Dir/Writer. Yuri Redkin
Country of Origin: Russia

The girl's mother died, leaving her with her father and a cat. Now she has become the head of the family, and she must make difficult, ambiguous decisions to save the family.

Mr. Crazy

Dir/Writer. Filippo Cristiano
Country of Origin: Italy

some end up well, some end up badly


Dir/Writer. Massimo Mancini
Country of Origin: Croatia

An inside look of loneliness and depression, and the consequent struggle to ask for help.


Dir/Writer Kaya Hansen
Country of Origin: Germany

"SHE" is a love story on the first glance, and a self-love story on the second. It's for everyone who has ever felt trapped in their own body. It's about internalised transphobia, about coming to terms with your own identity and how embracing and loving your true self can set you free.

The Kiss

Dir/Writer Diego José Antonio Lentini
Country of Origin: Argentina

The night joins two strangers and their beast-like passion.


Dir/Writer Jean Christophe Gutigny
Country of Origin: Finland

A young woman wakes up in a cell, she no longer knows who she is, how she got here and why she is there.

All The Eyes

Dir/Writer Mohammad Abedi
Country of Origin: Iran

"All The Eyes" is the story of the lives of children whose geographical determinism has created many obstacles for them to achieve their dreams.
Children who live in one of the deprived areas of Iran. Kotij. A city of 6,000 people located in the southeast of Iran.

Lift-Off Season Awards #15

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films that have excelled in their respective category are short listed for a Season Awards Nomination.  At the end of the year, once all the 12 city-based festival have taken place, the shortlisted nominated films are reviewed again by the jury and Official Nominations are designated.  Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.