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6th Festival of Cinema NYC Award Winners
6th Festival of Cinema NYC Award Winners – Marchelle Thurman (Black, White and the Greys) [Photo by Rehana Khan]

Casey Nelson and Marchelle Thurman’s Black, White and the Greys led the winners of the 6th edition of Festival of Cinema NYC filmmaker awards, taking both the Best Feature Film Narrative as well as the Audience Choice for Best Feature Film. Top individual awards went to Cory Choy (Esme, My Love) for Best Director, Nate Washburn (Behind the Wall) for Breakthrough Male Performance; and Nicole Stuart (40ish…) for Breakthrough Female Performance.

FOC NYC showcased over 124 independent films from more than 25 countries, bookended by the Opening Night screening of Black, White and the Greys, and the Closing Night screening of Michael Glover Smith’s Relative, which took home the award for Best Ensemble.

Festival of Cinema NYC Founder and Executive Director Jayson Simba, said, “Our film festival, like all festivals, works hard to bring people back to theaters and recapture the excitement of going to the movies again. The fact that this year, attendees from across the five boroughs came out in large numbers to celebrate cinema with filmmakers who flew in from as far away as Iceland, Germany, Japan, and the UK, was incredibly exciting for all of us. That enthusiasm and support was evident – from the Forest Hills Community to the filmmakers all the way through the final award being announced. It became clear that friendships and relationships had been forged throughout the 10 days at our film festival.”

Winners in the short film categories included Charles Sweeney’s The Vow (Best Short Film – Narrative); Daniel Merino Villavicencio’s Sweet Pea & Glass (Audience Award – Short Film); Maria Juranic’s A Feast That Never Comes (Best Experimental, Music Video, or Animation); and Patrick Devaney’s Visitation (Best Web/TV Series). Emotions abounded during the acceptance speeches as Villavicencio spoke of volunteering at the film festival its very first year and attending every year after that, Sweeney talked about the validation of the film’s message, and Devaney discussed the difficulties of filming remotely during the pandemic and managing to complete the film even though he never met one of the cast members in person.

Additional individual award winners included For I Am Dead, written by Patricia Delso Lucas (Best Screenplay); Into the Colors’ Director of Photography Michael Morales winning Best Cinematography; The Game Called Go Insane’s Jake LeCarner cited for Best Editing; Cookaphony’s Steve Call noted for Best Sound Editing; and Sally’s Phi Russell winning Best Make up. LeCarner’s award capped the first festival experience for the young filmmaker (who also wrote and directed The Game Called Go Insane) and his team, as they made their world premiere at FOC NYC.

2022 FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC AWARD WINNERS

FEATURE FILMS

BEST FEATURE FILM – NARRATIVE
Black, White and the Greys
Directors: Casey Nelson & Marchelle Thurman

AUDIENCE CHOICE – FEATURE FILM
Black, White and the Greys
Directors: Casey Nelson & Marchelle Thurman

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Finding Courage
Director: Kay Rubacek

BEST EXPERIMENTAL, MUSIC VIDEO, OR ANIMATION
A Feast That Never Comes
Director: Maria Juranic

SHORT FILMS

BEST SHORT FILM – NARRATIVE
The Vow
Director: Charles Sweeney

AUDIENCE CHOICE – SHORT FILM
Sweet Pea & Glass
Director: Daniel Merino Villavicencio

BEST WEB/TV SERIES
Visitation – Episode One
Director: Patrick Devaney

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

BEST DIRECTOR
Cory Choy (Esme, My Love)

BREAKTHROUGH MALE PERFORMANCE
Nate Washburn (Behind the Wall)

BREAKTHROUGH FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Nicole Stuart (40ish…)

BEST ENSEMBLE
Relative
Director: Michael Glover Smith

BEST SCREENPLAY
For I Am Dead
Writer: Patricia Delso Lucas

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Into the Colors
Director of Photography: Michael Morales

BEST EDITING
The Game Called Go Insane
Editor: Jake LeCarner

BEST SOUND EDITING
Cookaphony
Sound Design: Steve Call

BEST MAKE UP
Sally
Make up: Phil Russell

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