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Winners & Special Mentions: New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

A massive thank you to everyone who participated in the New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2021. It's been absolutely fantastic having so many filmmakers involved and seeing the global support for true indie film...

The judges' votes have been counted and added to the audience's feedback. Huge congratulations to the filmmakers who screened with us!  A special well done to the following films...


Festival Winners

Best Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in New York 2022)


Dir. Joe Quint
Synopsis: Roz Pichardo is more than a domestic violence and gun violence survivor, she’s a warrior. Despite of - or because of - being thrown off a bridge by an abusive ex-boyfriend, the unsolved murder of her brother, and the suicide of her identical twin sister, she’s able to channel her trauma into service by helping the often-forgotten people of North Philadelphia.

Best Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in New York 2022)


Dir. Gwendolyn Granger
Synopsis: Hinge is a short drama about Layla, an overworked artist in NYC, who comes home to find herself locked out of the apartment. Her husband is home— why is she still locked out?

Best Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in New York 2022)


Dirs. Ryan Gentle, Austin Quarles
Synopsis: Alexander, a space-loving day dreamer hopes to pass that love on to his son Galileo. As he grows up, Galileo realizes he needs to break away from his father's hope to find his own path, but his path is closer to his father's dreams than he ever thought.

Season Award Nominations

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event which celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films which have excelled in their respective category are nominated and invited to attend the prestigious Lift-Off Season Awards, culminating at the end of the Lift-Off season. Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.


Dir. Johnny Gonzales
Synopsis: A film about water photographers and the dangers and challenges they face to get the shot seen in magazines and covers all over the world.

Nominated for Best Feature Documentary

The Imaginary State

Dir. Alan Fischer
Synopsis: Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of a Chilean man who travels to Sweden searching for the answer to a crime that involves his family. As he does so, he becomes a terrorist.

Nominated for Best Feature Live Action Narrative

Audience Choice

The Audience Choice award is given to the filmmakers whose film received the most votes during the festival. The filmmakers will be invited to join us on the Lift-Off YouTube channel for a directors commentary roundtable. Join in the conversation as we delve deeper into each film.

My Hair, My Rules

Dirs. Ronald Hinton, Joel Ahumada
Synopsis: 24-year old Ronald Hinton can be spotted in a crowd with his signature afro. It's taken him years to love and grow his big luscious curls, but underneath them, he's hiding a receding hairline. As Ronald unpacks his complicated relationship with hair, he prepares for the last attempt at saving his curls, a hair transplant.

There After

Dir. Pierce Stephan
Synopsis: A young woman isolated by her fear of the inevitable finds solace in an unlikely digital companion, forcing her to reevaluate her life, her relationships,and herself.

A Man Cleans a Toilet

Dir. Jeniffer Hernandez
Synopsis: Siblings Ana and Carlito as they scramble to clean their home before their mother arrives with a new boyfriend. On the same day, Ana has a crucial job interview so she begs, then blackmails, Carlito to do one thing for her: clean the toilet.

The Line

Dir. Everett Marston
Synopsis: The Line is a dystopian drama set in a world where males and females are kept completely separate by a line, except for reproduction. Jake attends his first appointment and finds himself unable to process the emotions it brings with it. He must decide whether it is worth the risk to cross the line.