Proudly presenting the winners of NFMLA September!

November 10, 2015

Congratulations to the NFMLA September winners! Founded in 2007, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) has established itself as a strong gathering place for independent cinema screening 950+ films from over 57 countries. NFMLA boasts over 30,000 supporters in the Los Angeles community! The monthly festival provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their accomplishments, gain exposure to new audiences, and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production, acquisition, and representation. For your chance to gain exposure in LA, submit to NewFilmmakers Los Angeles today at

In first place, is  Shelter By R.J. Daniel Hanna. A moving short about a female prison inmate who breaks the rules, while volunteering at an animal shelter, in order to help an aggressive dog.

Still from "Shelter"

Still from “Shelter”

“We’re really surprised and thrilled to have won! We really hope that the film can help bring awareness to the plight of shelter animals and the workers responsible for them, so winning the NFMLA Showcase on the Audience Awards means that we’re reaching people and they’re responding to our story and message. We are in the process of in setting up our feature film version of the short, so awards, especially audience awards, show potential investor and collaborators that the film is resonating and could work on a larger canvas” ~ R.J. Daniel Hanna

In second place, Black Sail by Chastity Belt Music Video is a macabre Western/Zombie mashup featuring a family of Oregon Trail pioneers faced with how far each member is willing to go to survive.

Still from "Black Sail by Chastity Belt Music Video"

Still from “Black Sail by Chastity Belt Music Video”

“The Audience Awards served as a great platform to get my film to a new, wider audience. When you make something you truly believe in, you never know if people will actually watch it so it was extremely heartening that people actually voted for my music video. I made this film as a passion project for the band Chastity Belt. I loved their music, especially the song “Black Sail,” so I contacted the drummer in the band, Gretchen, with whom I went to high school, and pitched them the video idea. They were amazingly hands off and let me execute my vision for which I am eternally grateful.

We had a micro budget and I knew the biggest hurdle we would need to overcome was the covered wagon. I devised a plan it by creating the frame, buying bows and canvas, and burying it in the ground so we wouldn’t need to build an axle or spokes. Even though I thought this could work, I knew getting a real wagon would not only be easier but it would also look more authentic. I spent a month contacting every possible source I could, until I saw a farm wagon listed on Craigslist for $2000 which was essentially the budget. I called the number and low-balled–I offered him $200, apologized and said I could even return it when we were done. I think he was amused with my gumption, laughed and admitted he was a Westerns Prop Master. He directed me to his website which featured many covered wagons and he agreed to help me. Without his help, and many other people, this video would not have been possible”~ Maegan Houang.

Coming in third place is A KISS GOODBYEA stirring story of love and lust between two lovers caught in a loop.

Still from "A KISS GOODBYE"

Still from “A KISS GOODBYE”

“Connectedness and meaning are things that we value as film makers and individuals and are intentional in showcasing in our art, therefore the Audience Award means that someone was moved enough to feel some sort of emotion. Whether the emotion is joy, happiness, disdain, or disgust is not our primary concern, rather it is the act of feeling and connecting itself.

There is a pureness that is ingrained our art, which is a transfer our our own pureness in the sense of being quite curious and wanting to genuinely understand a perspective that is different from our own. When crafting our stories we are influenced by all that we see and hear, better yet we feel it all.

We first practice passive observation and then when we are struck by someone or something that moves us, we partake in the process of intensely analyzing what it would be like to be physically, mentally and emotionally in the same state of that person or thing – what feeling(s) or emotion(s) are attached to that experience?

We use the lens as the eyes and voice to transfer that energy and convey a story. After which it is our hope that the audience connects to the story through the same basic, primary emotions that initially connected us to the subject and essentially connects us all as human beings.

There is value in connectedness and such is what The Audience Award represents for us and our film” ~Aki Akinola (of Aki and Erin)

Congratulations to the winners of NFMLA September!

You can watch these and all of the films that competed in NFMLA September here!

The Audience Awards provides filmmakers opportunities to create short video content for brands and win money. Sign up today for your free account and join film’s community.


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