New York TV Fest Names ‘Giving Up’ Best Indie Pilot – Complete List Of Winners


The winners of the 13th annual New York Television Festival were announced tonight with Giving Up winning “Best of the Fest” honors and the Critics Award going to Royally.

The awards for pilots and scripts were announced tonight at the Helen Mills Theater in Manhattan. Recipients of deals from the fest’s development partners were also announced. (See the complete list below.)

Of 52 pilots showcased throughout the festival this week, the Independent Pilot Competition recognized the top projects across 14 categories.

The Scripts competition, now in its second year, featured 20 selections, with Blurs and Maternal Instinct tying for Best Comedy Script and Fragile State winning in the new Best Drama Script category.

“A dozen years after our first Festival, I continue to be impressed by the talent that we are attracting from a thriving community of independent creators,” said fest Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray. “These individuals and their diverse points of view are making the art form of television better because they have chosen this episodic medium as the way to tell their stories.”


This year marked most artist submissions and industry participation in the fest’s history, with over 3,750 submissions received across all competitions.

Here is the complete list of winners, with fest loglines:


Best Animated Project: 
“Tiffany the Teenage Grim Reaper” created by Lauren Rantala (Los Angeles, CA) Tiffany is your average teenage girl who happens to be a Grim Reaper.

Best Comedy Project: 
“New York is Dead” created by Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas and Randy Harrison (New York, NY) A darkly hilarious series about two broke NYC artists who become hitmen to make ends meet.

Best Drama/Dramedy Project: 
“Manic” created by Yolanda Carney, Kate Marks and Kimberley Browning (Los Angeles, CA) An Ivy-league bound, overachieving teen is derailed after a manic episode lands her in a school for children with mental illnesses.

Best Short-Form Digital Project: 
“Starving Artists” created by Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock (Chicago, IL) Comedy duo Aasia and Dewayne go to extravagant lengths to reach their goals of international stardom and complete world domination. Starving Artists is a show about being young, gifted, and black in a world that praises straight, white, and wack.

Best Unscripted/Alternative Project: 
“Against All Odds” created by Lucy Smith and Jamie Minty (London, England) In this game show competition format, five contestants carry five locked bags, but only one contains £100,000. Together, the group must complete an obstacle course across treacherous natural landscapes and make it to the finish line.

Best Actor in a Comedy:
Jeff Galfer for “Jeff’s Place” (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Actress in a Comedy: 
Rachel B. Joyce for “Royally” (New York, NY)

Best Actor in a Drama: 
Jeff Skowron for “Max Riddle” (New York, NY)

Best Actress in a Drama:
Shanice Williams for “Manic” (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Direction:
Dinh Thai for “Monday” (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Editing: 
Kent Lamm for “Jeff’s Place” (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Writing: 
Kris Lefcoe for “Giving Up” (New York, NY)

NYTVF Critics Award
“Royally” Created by Rachel B. Joyce (New York, NY)
A millennial burnout runs a private princess party company as a front for small-time cons, petty theft, and drug peddling.

Overall Best of the Fest Award: 
“Giving Up” created by Kris Lefcoe (New York, NY)
A New York couple faces their own deadline to either “make it” or give up their dreams.


Best Comedy Script (tie): 
“Blurs” written by Jonterri Gadson (Bloomfield, NJ)
A women’s studies professor and her free-spirited, dysfunctional black family face the challenges of living in the type of town where all 80s/90s films with no black people could take place.

“Maternal Instinct” written by Elizabeth Stamp (Brooklyn, NY)
A serial killer turned suburban stay-at-home mom balances “family first” and “murder in the first” in this dark comedy.

Best Drama Script (new award): 
“Fragile State” written by Andrea “AJ” Janakas (Los Angeles, CA)
When a border patrol agent is recruited to work as a spy to help overthrow a country, he doesn’t realize that the country he enters is a parallel America on the verge of collapse.


Audible Pitch Deals:
Three winners will each receive a development grant to further develop their concepts with Audible.
– Elizabeth Stamp (Brooklyn, NY)
– Julia Mattison and Noel Carey (New York, NY)
– Jordan Mendoza, Shannon Odell and Joanna Rothkopf (New York, NU)

Comedy Central Development Award: 
Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, and Katie Sicking for their project “Night Crew” (New York, NY)

OneX Pitch Deal: 
Zandile Tisani (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Red Arrow Entertainment Development Award: 
Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock for their project “Starving Artists” (Chicago, IL)

Shudder Pitch Deal:
Andrea Janakas (Los Angeles, CA)

TOPIC Pitch Deal:
TOPIC selected two creators and creative teams from their pitch meetings to enter into further development with the digital studio from First Look Media.

Jonterri Gadson (Bloomfield, NJ)
Emily C. Chang and Sara Amini (Los Angeles, CA)

truTV Comedy Breakout Initiative: 
Nick Armstrong for his project “Series Finale: The Series” (Los Angeles, CA) (Previously-announced)

WEtv Pitch Deal: 
Jillian Armenante (Los Angeles, CA)



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