2023 ShortList Film Festival

June 28 – July 16, 2023

Congratulations to our 2023 Shortlist Winners

Industry Prize

Nathan Truesdell

“When the LAPD Blows Up Your Neighborhood”

Audience Prize

Sean Wang

“Nai Nai & Wài Pó”

(pictured: composer Giosuè Greco)

Student Audience Prize

Ralph Parker III

“Sammy, Without Strings”

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Acceptance Speeches

Finalists Panel Conversation


The Wrap’s ShortList festival celebrated the best in award-winning shorts from around the world. The Shortlist streamed 12 finalist films for two weeks, and announced the winners on Wednesday July 12.

Prizes worth $10,000 from Kodak, Blackmagic Design, Scriptation, and The Camera Division were handed out to the 2023 winners.

JurorsPast WinnersSponsors

The Finalists


Moments in the lives of Austin teenagers during the heat of Texas summer.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "Cousins" by Karina Dandashi


Two cousins born in separate countries reunite in Brooklyn when a run-in with an ex turns the night even more chaotic.

Florrie R. Burke in "Love, Barbara"

“Love, Barbara”

A look at the iconic legacy of pioneering lesbian experimental filmmaker, Barbara Hammer, through the lens and love of her partner of over 30 years, Florrie Burke.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "Meantime" by Michael T. Workman


After Tim’s work-related stroke leads to troubling health complications, his son Michael returns home to Montana as they reckon with the past that haunts Tim.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "More Than I Want to Remember" by Amy Bench

“More Than I Want to Remember”

One night at her Congo home, 14-year-old refugee Mugeni sets out on a solo journey crossing continents, determined to reunite with her loved ones.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival "Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó" by Sean Wang

“Nai Nai & Wài Pó”

Winner: Audience

Nǎi Nai is my grandma. Wài Pó is also my grandma. Together, they are a grandma super team that dances, stretches, and farts their sorrows away.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "Nowhere to Go but Everywhere" by Masako Tsumura and Erik Shirai

“Nowhere To Go But Everywhere”

Following the sudden loss of his wife during the 2011 tsunami in Northern Japan, a man learns to scuba dive as his search for her – and for solace from grief – continues.



At the dawn of their teenage years, twins Raphaël and Rémi spend one last summer surrounded by nature as one boy suffers from an increasingly marked disability.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "The Record" by Jonathan Laskar

“The Record”

Obsessed by a magical vinyl record, an antique dealer listens to it endlessly until a most painful memory is revealed: how he was separated from his mother on the Swiss border during World War II.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "Rest Stop" by Crystal Kayiza

“Rest Stop”

On a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, Meyi, a young Ugandan-American girl, realizes her place in the world through her mother’s ambitious effort to reunite their family.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "Team Dream" by Luchina Fisher

“Team Dream”

Friends and competitive swimmers Ann and Madeline journey to the National Senior Games, where nothing — not age, race or history — will stand in their way.

TheWrap ShortList Film Festival 2023 "When the LAPD Blows Up Your Neighborhood" by Nathan Truesdell

“When the LAPD Blows Up Your Neighborhood”

Winner: Industry

Tensions rise on a busy street as news organizations and local residents witness an extremely volatile situation turn into a literal powder keg.

Student Films

“Backlog” (USC)

The true story of a young collegiate woman who tries to find justice for her shelved rape, only to become the key witness in the Senate hearing to end the rape kit backlog.

“Ricky” (NYU)

An Ex-Offender struggling with new freedom pursues redemption at all costs when given a job from his neighbor.

“All I Know” (UCLA)

When his friend goes missing after a hook-up, Ebube questions if keeping silent will protect his friend or put them both in further danger.

“Where No One Lives” (Chapman)

On one night in an old apartment, a newly independent woman, a pair of dysfunctional siblings, and an aging widow become part of an intertwining story.

“Sammy, Without Strings” (UNCSA)

Winner: Student Audience

When a Black puppet named Sammy, performing at the hands of his malevolent Puppeteer, falls in love with a Woman in his audience, he sets his sights on freedom from his strings to live a life of dignity and humanity with her.

“Palm Sunday” (Columbia)

A southern gothic drama about a young Black Caribbean Immigrant who attempts to assimilate into an all-white church in 1970s Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Spaceship” (AFI)

When a Latina transwoman in East LA is on the verge of losing her daughter to child services, she begins to unravel as she is forced to confront her buried traumas and fears.

“Holy Cowboys” (LMU)

A Hindu teen and his friends tread the bizarre world of a ‘cow protection’ vigilante group to end consumption of beef, exploring what it means to be a savior of the holy cow in modern day India.

2023 Jurors

Amy Baer

Amy Baer’s three-decade entertainment career is multi-faceted – experience with major studios, an entrepreneurial start-up, and traditional producing. Collectively, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed over $2 billion worldwide. Currently, Baer is President of Landline Pictures, a film production label launched in February 2020 with MRC Film (BABY DRIVER, KNIVES OUT). Landline produces feature film content that focuses on a 50+ audience for both theatrical and streaming distribution. Its first film, JERRY & MARGE GO LARGE, starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening, and directed by David Frankel (“Marley & Me”), had its World Premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival before launching on Paramount + in June 2022.

Christine Vachon

Christine Vachon is an Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner who co-founded Killer Films with Pamela Koffler. Over two decades, they have produced more than 100 films, including some of the most celebrated and important American independent features: “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Still Alice,” “I Shot Andy Warhol,” “Carol” and more. In TV, Vachon executive-produced the Emmy-awarding winning projects “Mildred Pierce” (HBO) and “Halston” (Netflix). Upcoming releases include Celine Song’s “Past Lives” (A24) and “May December” starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore.

Elegance Bratton

Elegance Bratton is an award-winning and boundary-breaking director, writer and producer. He began making films as a US Marine after spending a decade homeless. His work captures stories untold with an intention to show the universal power of our shared humanity. Bratton’s films have played in over 200 film festivals worldwide including the New York Film Festival, Toronto, Sundance, Outfest, BFI, Doc NYC, and the BlackStar Film Festival. He was recently named one of VARIETY’s 10 Directors to Watch for 2023.

We are incredibly excited to showcase these films and celebrate the talent and creativity of these award-winning filmmakers. We know how much this festival means to our community – and we are honored to help build the careers of these young filmmakers

— Sharon Waxman, Founder of TheWrap & The ShortList Film Festival

The 2023 event featured 12 of the top award-winning short films that premiered at major festivals in the past year

The festival offers a valuable opportunity for emerging talents to showcase their creativity and skills, with the chance to win prizes and gain industry recognition.

I think it’s a really exciting time actually for short film content and I think that because technology has allowed films to be made much more cost-effectively, filmmakers are able to immerse themselves in storytelling modes that don’t rely on large-scale financing and distribution platforms, so that’s really exciting. 

— Zachary Quinto, Actor/Partner, Before the Door Pictures

I was really impressed by all of the quality of the films.

— Robert Kessel, Juror, Executive Vice President, Narrative Film, Participant

Festival Programmer

Landon Zakheim

Landon Zakheim is a film programmer and festival organizer with an expanded focus on experiential and live event curation.

Zakheim has served on international juries for festivals such as Sitges, BiFan and SXSW. He has been a speaker and panelist at the Toronto, Palm Springs and SXSW festivals. His Overlook Film Festival has been named by Moviemaker Magazine as one of the 15 best genre festivals in the world and called “America’s most exciting new horror festival” by IndieWire. In 2016, he co-created an interactive escape room experience for Fantastic Fest which was praised by such publications as The Guardian and Nerdist.

Timeline & Process

Industry Jury: TBA – stay tuned!

May 22 – Submissions Closed

June 27 – Finalists announced

June 28 – July 12 – Festival Stream-and-Vote Dates

July 12  Winners Ceremony

Submissions for Shortlist 2023 are now closed

Voting, Selection & Event

Winners were announced on July 12th followed by an in-person panel and awards ceremony with filmmakers, jury members and representatives from the entertainment industry in attendance.


Kodak provided three winners with grants for film processing, in an effort to encourage filmmakers to shoot on film and preserve this iconic medium.

The Blackmagic Design sponsorship offered winners licenses to use the powerful DaVinci Resolve Video editing software.

Scriptation was present at the in-person event on July 12th, providing filmmakers with the opportunity to engage with their Emmy® Award winning script reading and annotation app that transfers your notes into new drafts in seconds. In addition, they provided the three winners with a year-long license to Scriptation Industry Pro software. 


With a maximum length of 20 minutes, the ShortList accepted submissions from award-winning short films that premiered at a major festival in the last year. Twelve finalists were selected for screening and voting, making the ShortList the most highly-competitive film festival of its kind.

Student entries were accepted from TheWrap’s top ten film schools list.

Want updates on the Shortlist Film Festival ceremony? Email eventmarketing@thewrap.com 

Past Winners


Industry Prize: “When the LAPD Blows Up Your Neighborhood” directed by Nathan Truesdell

Audience Prize: “Nai Nai & Wài Pó” directed by Sean Wang

Student Film Prize: “Sammy, Without Strings” (University of North Carolina School of the Arts)


Industry Prize: “Ship: A Visual Poem” directed by Terrance Daye

Audience Prize: “No More Wings” directed by Abraham Adeyemi


Industry Prize: “Enforcement Hours” directed by Paloma Martinez

Audience Prize: “Departing Gesture” directed by Brian Bolster and Jonathan Napolitano

Student Film Prize: “No Sanctuary” (University of North Carolina School of the Arts)


Industry Prize: “The Driver is Red” directed by Randall Christoper

Audience Prize: “Magic Alps” directed by Andrea Brusa and Marco Scotuzzi

Student Film Prize: “The Peak” (Savannah College of Art & Design)


Industry Prize: “The Silence” directed by Farnoosh Samadi and Ali Asgari

Audience Prize: “American Paradise” directed by American Paradise

Student Film Prize: “Fanny Pack” (University of Southern California)


Industry Prize: “Maman(s)” directed by Maïmouna Doucouré

Audience Prize: “Slingshot” directed by David Hansen

Creators League Prize: “Thunder Road” directed by Jim Cummings


Audience & Industry Prize: “Bear Story” directed by Gabriel Osorio

Creators League Prize: “1st Squad, 3rd Platoon” directed by Mike and Tim Rauch


Industry Prize: “Not It” directed by Pablo Orta

Audience Prize: “Noah” directed by Patrick Cederberg and Walter Woodman


Industry Prize: “Cafe Regular Cairo” directed by Ritesh Batra

Audience Prize: “Voice Over” directed by Martín Rosete


Jury Prize: “Fishing Without Nets” directed by Cutter Hodierne

Audience Prize: “The Maker” directed by Christopher Kezelos


Community Partners