Lift-Off Sessions Winners: March 2024

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the March edition of the Lift-Off 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.
Lift-Off Sessions is designed to be the entry into the Lift-Off Global Network. A platform for the avant-garde, 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

A Mother's Love

Dir & Writer. Tianna Banton
Producers. Laurelle Jones, Joel Tshiunza, Tianna Banton

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Family, LGBTQ+

Synopsis: Newly adoptive parents Isabelle and Floriana are suddenly flooded with fear during their first car ride home when they start to question whether or not they have what it takes to be mothers to their daughter.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Live Action Narrative


Audience Choice Winners

Carry Your Burdens

Dir. Patrick Brady Trejo Jr
Country of Origin: United States

Covers a Story of a broken family, focusing on the son Jeremey who must confront his burden. A confrontation between two old friends shoots to new heights, all thanks to the machine.

Breathing Happy

Dir. Nancy Chidi
Country of Origin: United States

Set in 2021, against the backdrop of a recovering New York City "Breathing Happy" delves into the lives of five individuals who have chosen to embrace hedonism through unapologetic expression, authentic connections and the discovery of the joys in being alive. Between intimate sit-down interviews and dances in the underground ballroom scene, the extent of the human spirit's resilience is revealed.

Project R

Dir/Writer. Magissan Somasundaram
Country of Origin: Malaysia

A group of Secret agents created a time travel device to travel back in time and halt many wars, including COVID-19. However, one of the agents, R2, has abused his authority and desires to sell the device to terrorists. R6, one of the agents who developed an activation key to utilizing the gadget, discovered this.

Her Name Is Alesia: Ms. Macer To You!

Dir/Writer. Eric L Myrieckes
Country of Origin: United States

Lost in the shadows of a billionaire rap mogul’s past lies the heart-wrenching story of a single mother who chose not to seek child support against Jay-Z or tarnish the superstar’s career. As the crippling fate of her multiple sclerosis diagnosis cast its rock of a burden on Alesia Macer, their first daughter, La’ Teasha, scorned by her father’s absence, chose to do the same thing to her mother: Abandonment. This gripping true story about a heartbroken mother, who’s battling a life-threatening disease, while drowning in family dysfunction, will demonstrate that true love doesn’t come from fortune and fame. It comes from Alesia’s best friend, Calvin


Dir/Writer. Sergey Dudakov
Country of Origin: Russia

The Girl wakes up in an unfamiliar strange room. A surface of water, a greenhouse, an old mirror and numerous scars are all that reminds her some memories of gone love. Just like Orpheus, who descended into the kingdom of the dead, the Girl plunges into the pool of her own memories, reconstructing by piecemeal what happened in the hope of understanding who imprisoned her and why. “Butterflies” is a story-reflection on how difficult it can be to understand yourself and begin a new chapter in life, when there is a constant struggle in your mind between two sides of you, whose desires and goals are diametrically different from each other.

When The Body Says No

Dir. Natalia Gabisonia
Country of Origin: Georgia

In the quiet corners of everyday life, emotions left unspoken can echo louder than words. This 12-minute documentary, shot entirely on an iPhone, unveils a mother's poignant journey through a broken leg and the struggle to communicate. As she grapples with the physical and emotional fallout, the film explores the delicate balance between unexpressed feelings and their impact on health. Interviews shed light on the transformative influence of saying 'no' and the profound connection between unresolved challenges and the body's response. "When the Body Says No" is an intimate exploration, inviting viewers to reflect on the silent dialogue between mind and body—a universal quest for emotional and physical well-being.

Memory of Fire

Dir. Antonio Romero Zurita
Country of Origin: Ecuador

"Memory of Fire" is a poetic exploration that evokes the dance of time reflected in fire. Through the fusion of dance, ritual, and warmth, it delves into the memory of fire and its connection to indigenous initiation rituals, manifesting a unique and evocative experience.

Better Sleep Than Doing Things

Dir. Yudhistira Bayu
Country of Origin: Indonesia

A boy enjoys his day off by watching his favorite movie. But one event, causes him to realized that there would be no day off for him.


Dir. Lilith Allen
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Moth! follows 15-year-old Sophia as she navigates the world and her relationships with those around her in the aftermath of her first major breakup.

Finding the Light

Dir. Linzy Attenborough
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Three trauma survivors tells their stories describing their from darkness to light.

Strange obsession

Dir. Danna Iratxe Villarroel
Country of Origin: Ecuador

In the short film Strange Obsession, witness the intense narrative of Samuel, a young man whose profound obsession and dangerously seductive allure drive him to do whatever it takes to enter Andrea's life, the object of his captivation. The story unfolds through Samuel's perspective as he grapples with his mental struggles, ultimately leading to a tragic love affair.


Dir. Aditi Dixit
Country of Origin: Spain

In the depths of darkness lies a music box which opens to reveal a young girl dressed in a petal dress. As the spotlight illuminates her, she discovers her ability to make music with her movements, which engages her to dance. Unbeknownst to her, eerie eyes observe her dance, causing petals to pluck out from her dress. Suddenly, she realizes that she is being watched by these eerie eyes. Desperate to escape, she struggles against her captors, only to be confined within the music box. However, a twist of fate unfolds as another child emerges from a new music box.


Dir. Corina Kovačić
Country of Origin: Croatia

The film that I dedicate to my favorite memory. My Home.

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.