CNY Short Film Competition announces four $40,000 winners for 2022

The winners of the third annual CNY Short Film Competition have been revealed.

The Innovation Group of CNY Arts, LLC, a subsidiary of CNY Arts, announced Wednesday that four filmmakers have been awarded $40,000 each for their entries in the 2022 competition. According to a press release, they’ll get to work with Competition Director and Executive Producer Joshua Adams, an assistant professor for Cinema and Screen Studies at SUNY Oswego, on making a 10-minute short film in Central New York and place them in film festivals across the U.S.

“This year’s applicant pool was extremely competitive, representing very broad and diverse artists moving into filmmaking,” said Stephen Butler, executive director of CNY Arts and the Innovation Group of CNY Arts, in a statement. “We had a a large pool of talented applicants, making the panel’s task of selecting our four winners and a runner-up, extremely tough. It demonstrates the tremendous quality and talent that our area colleges and universities are sending out into the film industry.”

The 2022 CNY Short Film Competition winners are:

Hannah Gonzalez, “Dread Count.”

Gonzalez, a New York City native who currently lives in Syracuse and works for WCNY, is graduating from SUNY Oswego this month with a Bachelor’s in Cinema and Screen Studies. Her film “Dread Count” follows a college student who believes he is a ghost and, while stalking his college campus draped in a blue sheet, becomes obsessed with a girl named Lisa, who develops romantic feelings for Josh but is slightly threatened by his behavior.

Nate Hapke, “Good Grief.”

Hapke, originally from Vestal, N.Y., and a 2014 graduate of SU’s Newhouse School, currently lives in Los Angeles and is working towards his dream of being a full-time feature filmmaker. “Good Grief” tells the funny, sad, and heartfelt story of Elle, who picks up the ashes of her boyfriend at a funeral home and goes on one final date that culminates in a surprising conversation with Noah’s difficult mother, Marla.

John Licata, “The Cookbook.”

Licata, a screenwriter and physical therapist from Camillus, is a graduate of Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University who draws inspiration from his multicultural experiences as a medical professional to tell stories with metaphorical themes he’s passionate about, especially social injustice and responsibility. “The Cookbook” centers on a man who returns home to Central New York to reunite with his estranged father after he suffers a debilitating stroke, and must choose between taking over the family’s Lebanese restaurant or selling out to chase his own dream.

Will Limpert, “Method to Their Madness.”

Limpert is a self-proclaimed Syracusan who graduated from the Newhouse School in 2015 and currently works for HBO as a production health coordinator, with ambition to work in a writer’s room. “Method to Their Madness” is a satire about working conditions of entry-level positions in the film industry and follows a production secretary working on a low-budget horror film when she gets trapped in the apartment of the film’s method-acting antagonist.

* * * * *

Ryan Micho, a Syracuse University senior from Baldwinsville who’s graduating from Newhouse’s TV, Radio and Film program this month, was named a runner up for the competition.

The CNY Short Film competition winners were selected by panelists Jason Cicci, Jennifer Brofer, Pavani Srinivasan, and John Ginty. Funding for the competition is provided by New York’s Empire State Development through a $4.8 million grant supporting the development and growth of a local film industry as part of an economic development initiative.

The program selects four winners each year and hosts a free, public screening at the end of the year. Winners must have graduated from film programs at local colleges and universities or be a local resident who has graduated from a film program at a distant college.


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