2016 Independent Pilot Competition Awards


“Best of the Fest”:

The Worst Husband
Created by: Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)

NYTVF Critics Award:

The Worst Husband
Created by: Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Animation:

Fired on Mars
Created by: Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Comedy:

Poor Todd
Created by: Liz Astrof (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Drama:

According to My Mother
Created by: Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin (Queens, NY)

Best Short-Form Comedy Series:

Textbook Adult
Created by: Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Short-Form Drama Series:

Her Story
Created by: Jen Richards and Laura Zak (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Unscripted:

Comedy Digs
Created by: Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Actor (Comedy): Keith Powell

Keith Broke His Leg

Best Actor (Drama): Daniel K. Isaac

According to My Mother

Best Actress (Comedy): Julia Mattison

Brooklyn Sound

Best Actress (Drama): Angelica Ross

Her Story

Best Writing: Adam Weinstock and Andy Jones

On the Bright Side
Story by Adam Weinstock, Andy Jones, Alex Whittington, Robert Stephens, and Ben Greene

Best Directing (tie): Sonja O’Hara and Jaspal Binning


Best Directing (tie): D.W. Waterson

That's My DJ

Best Editing: Drew Van Steenbergen

Brooklyn Sound



Descriptions and trailers for all IPC selections can be found below.



2016 Official Selections


The New York Television Festival is proud to announce the following 63 Official Selections to the 2016 Independent Pilot Competition.



The pilots selected for this year’s IPC represent talented writers, producers, and actors from across the U.S., including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Louisville, and Atlanta, as well as international selections from the UK and Canada.


Festival organizers noted several communities and themes with strong showings in this year's selections, including a number of projects stemming from New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles-based improv and sketch groups and schools. The NYTVF is also proud to present a diverse slate this year, with 59% of the projects having a woman in a core creative role (with 27 selected pilots with female creators), 43% of selected pilots with people of color above the line (and 23 projects with POC on the core creative teams), and nine (9) selected pilots with LGBTQ themes and/or narratives. This is also a big year for animation, with a total of seven (7) animated projects among the 2016 official selections.


The Official Selections also feature a number of names, faces, and voices recognizable to TV fans, including projects created by Steve Dildarian (The Life and Times of Tim), Keith Powell (30 Rock), and Liz Astrof (2 Broke Girls, King of Queens, Last Man Standing) and starring/featuring the talents of Kate Flannery (The Office), Horatio Sanz (Saturday Night Live), Amber Nash (Archer), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Beth Grant (The Mindy Project), Paul F. Tompkins (BoJack Horseman), Malcolm Barrett (Better Off Ted), Matt Dallas (Kyle XY), Antoine McKay (Empire), Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker (L.A. Law), Lindsey Kraft (Getting On), Sam Richardson (Veep), Mircea Monroe (Hart of Dixie), Brian George (Seinfeld), Ian Roberts (writer/creator - The UCB Show, writer - Key and Peele, actor - Arrested Development), Claire Mulaney (writer - Saturday Night Live), Katie Rich (writer - Saturday Night Live), Todd Aronauer (producer - Supernatural), Graham Wagner (producer - Baskets, Portlandia), John Levenstein (Portlandia, Kroll Show, producer - Silicon Valley), Tracey Wigfield (writer - 30 Rock, Co-EP - The Mindy Project), and Mike O’Brien (Saturday Night Live, “7 Minutes in Heaven”).


To read the full press release, click HERE.


Individual pilots, including trailers where available, are below.


Comedy Pilots

30, Debt-Free, and Far From Happy
Created by Ellyn Daniels and Ri Versteegh - Los Angeles, CA
Two self-centered, successful women living in Los Angeles desperately seek to fill the voids in their lives with all the wrong men, often leading to disastrous and hilarious consequences.

Angry Black Women
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Dahéli Hall and HaJ - Los Angeles, CA
This satirical series follows two black women working in Hollywood as they reconcile the ways black women are perceived in society with the unique ways they perceive themselves, poking fun at an openly-biased entertainment industry.

Anne and Jake
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Victoria Bullock - Los Angeles, CA
When a young, headstrong woman from 1814 London time travels to present-day Los Angeles, she finds herself in the apartment of a quirky physicist responsible for her journey.

Brooklyn Sound
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Julia Mattison and Noel Carey - Brooklyn, NY
This musical mockumentary follows Lucy, the second-generation owner of Brooklyn Sound and Joel, the studio’s head engineer, as they try to save their legendary recording studio and keep their struggling business afloat.

Bucksport For Life!
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Mike Camerlengo and James Manzello - New York, NY
Since barely graduating from Bucksport High School in 2002, 34-year-old ‘party animal’ Henry Galecki has kept the good times rolling, making him a legend in his own mind – and a loser in everyone else’s.

Craigslist Therapist
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Dean Cates - Los Angeles, CA
Facing divorce and financial ruin, failed burrito-truck owner Steven Wellish steals his ex-wife’s identity in an attempt to mount a successful therapy practice.

Created by Jeff Murdoch and Jo Scott - Chicago, IL
Two kooky-but-loving parents try to keep tabs on their endless supply of curfew-breaking adult children in this improv-friendly series featuring a who’s who of Chicago comedy.

Don't Tell Larry
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Greg Porper and John Schimke - Los Angeles, CA
Two co-workers go to extreme lengths in order to keep big secrets away from their emotionally unstable colleague, Larry.

Door on the Left
Created by Kati Skelton - Brooklyn, NY
Five female friends are stuck in a blank, purgatorial hellscape and are making the most of their strange and horrifyingly hilarious existence.

Created by Ryan Gowland - North Hollywood, CA
This apocalyptic comedy follows three people living together in a RV who discover that the end of the world is tough, but living together is just hell.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Mickey Dwyer - Louisville, KY
In a world where humans and puppets coexist, a troubled and furry latchkey kid crosses paths with an inexperienced child therapist. Fransis and Jackie soon find that they lead different but equally lonely lives, and they both could use a little help.

Geeta's Guide to Moving On
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Puja Mohindra - Chicago, IL
After her Indian-American Prince Charming dumps her, heartbroken Geeta Gidwani moves back in with her parents and learns to move on with the help of her family and her friends.

Gemma & The Bear!
Created by Kevin R. Free and Eevin Hartsough - New York, NY
This whimsical series about finding love and growing up introduces us to Gemma, a neurotic 30-something woman, and The Bear, her fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants gay, black man alter ego, who awakens in Gemma’s place each night.

Hart of America
Created by Arlen Konopaki and Kevin Gillese - Atlanta, GA
Alcoholic bigfoot, sex-crazed teens, and a hard-nosed murder detective cross paths in the Georgia woods as they each search for what they believe will bring them fulfillment.

Created by Diana Wright - Los Angeles, CA
This #snackable series follows the trials and #tribulations of a #millennial couple trying to navigate the (kinda) #real world and deal with not-so-real-world #problems.

Inappropriate Jane Austen
Created by Alex Trow and Katie Gibson - New York, NY
A gaggle of Regency ladies explore what Jane Austen left out about female friendship, engagements, motherhood, and anal sex. If Jane Austen hadn't been so appropriate, she'd have been... Inappropriate Jane Austen.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Pearson Jenks - Brooklyn, NY
The team at Instanews is tasked with one thing: getting clicks in an increasingly clickable world. Will the Instanews crew be able to find the next Grumpy Cat to get the attention they deserve, or will they be shut down due to lack of interest (and lackluster listicles)?

Jana & Shasta
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Tynan Delong, Ryan Bennett, and Ana Fabrega - Brooklyn, NY
After winning a radio contest for two round-trip bus tickets to New York City, simple-minded young couple Jana and Shasta leave their hometown of Kissimmee, Florida for the first time ever and head out to the Big Apple.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Nnamdi Ngwe and John Shaw - Chicago, IL
Lovable, well-meaning service advisor Julius Smith is an unusual selection to be the star of a new reality TV show about his life.

Keith Broke His Leg
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Keith Powell - Los Angeles, CA
After an accident strips him of his ability to walk without aid, Keith is forced to see the world in a new way when his wife, his friends, and especially his agent don't make life easy for the incapacitated.

Last Will & Testicle
Created by Byron Lane - Los Angeles, CA
Inspired by true events, a gay man diagnosed with testicular cancer has to tell his quirky friends and family, cope with treatment, and deal with his walking and talking lump of cancer.

Late Bloomers
Created by Uttera Singh - Los Angeles, CA
This comedy follows a young woman who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny-pack-clad Indian father hoping that she will follow his.

Murder She Joked
[World Premiere]

Created by Jared Jeffries - Brooklyn, NY
Standup-detective Gina Palamano uses her skill at early-90's-style observational humor to solve murders.

The Next Four Years
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Hunter Arnold and Nick Blaemire - New York, NY
Recent college graduates Phil and Ana try and fail to "make it" in the real world, forcing them to redefine their idea of success in the process.

On the Bright Side
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Adam Weinstock, Andy Jones, Alex Whittington, Robert Stephens, and Ben Greene - Los Angeles, CA
When sad-sack Ben inherits his uncle’s LA home, his opportunistic best friends take advantage of the unfortunate circumstances, and together they endeavor to seek out the silver lining of their somewhat grim existence.

Poor Todd
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Liz Astrof - Los Angeles, CA
A self-proclaimed “low maintenance” pediatric dentist and her long-suffering, under-earning menschy husband deal with everything from humorous daily minutiae to major life struggles like money, career, life insurance, and kids...potentially.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin, and Samantha Martin - Los Angeles, CA
In this bite-size series, three hopeful-but-hapless aspiring journalists struggle to keep their third-rate gossip site afloat by any means necessary.

The Small Time
Created by Jack Canfora and Andrew Rein - New York, NY
A web series about struggling literary agent Ben Bernstein as he dredges the bottom of the barrel trying to find an author who can be the next big thing.

Special Forces
Created by Phil Bucci - Los Angeles, CA
A badass detective is forced to work with two lowly, bumbling, not-so-super-powered superhero cops to save the city from villains’ sinister plots.

Textbook Adulthood
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh - Los Angeles
Two SAT tutors wonder if the transitional job they started in their 20's has turned into a sad career as they enter their 30's.

Time Out with Yes Please Comedy
Created by Teresa Decher and Jason Nguyen - Los Angeles, CA
From regretfully bad hook-ups to a Wikipedia page dedicated to foot fetishes, this series of comedic vignettes follows the lives of comedy partners and best friends Teresa and Jason.

Tiny House
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Owen Williams - Los Angeles, CA
After not speaking to each other since their mom’s death nine years before, three misfit siblings return home to squabble over their last remaining inheritance– the family home.

Triffany & Briffney
Created by Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Alise Morales, and Geoffrey Stevens - New York, NY
Triffany and Briffney are two hardworking assistants who, could they do anything, would do everything for their wretched bosses.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Megan Koester and Steven Feinartz - Los Angeles, CA
A misanthrope comedian proves to be her own worst enemy when it comes to finding success.

The Vampire Leland
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Ken Ferrigni, Tony Manna, and Tijuana Ricks - Brooklyn, NY
Leland, an overweight, balding 35-year old is accidentally turned into a vampire by a melancholy, two-hundred-year-old blood-sucker named Marius, who hates his undead life.

The Worst Husband
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Steve Dildarian - Los Angeles, CA
Vance Johnson is a decent guy who is newly married and new to the suburbs. Confronted by judgmental neighbors, conservative in-laws, and nosy co-workers, his good deeds somehow get twisted and misunderstood, and he comes across looking like the worst guy ever.

Written Off
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Antoine McKay and Margie Shabazz - Chicago, IL
The fashion section of The Chicago Truth is shutting down, rendering Keith and Liam jobless. These two best friends and cohorts have no choice but to reinvent themselves and put their journalistic talents to work.

Yidlife Crisis
Created by Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman - Montreal, QC, Canada
Chaime and Leizer, best friends and debating adversaries, tackle life, love, and lactose intolerance in this foodie centric series done entirely in their grandparents’ Yiddish.


Drama Pilots

According to My Mother
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin - Queens, NY
This modern take on the family series features a young, gay Korean-American living in New York and his disapproving, devout Christian mother who moves in with him...and changes everything.

Created by Alex Dobrenko - Los Angeles, CA
This romantic dramedy for the millennial age tells the story of a long-distance relationship from two perspectives - "his" and "hers."

Created by Sonja O’Hara and and Jaspal Binning - New York, NY
This episodic drama chronicles the daily lives and backstories of the members of an upstate New York cult, uncovering the gray area where youthful idealism evolves into deadly extremism.

The Failures
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Adam Parr - New York, NY
A group of strangers have two things in common: they are failing miserably at life, and they’re part of a dark social experiment. Each episode takes a different journey as stories collide and intertwine, unknowingly driving towards a common endpoint. What if the key to success is a gun to the head?

Floppy D
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Logan Leikam and Chris Mast - Los Angeles, CA
When cyber-bachelor Dale Daniels realizes some rather ‘personal’ data has been stolen from his DateQuest account, he embarks on a journey to reclaim his identity in this hyper-realist future dramedy exploring relationships, privacy, and human connection in a technology-driven world.

Getting In
Created by Stian Hafstad and Robert Monk Davis - New York, NY
After losing his scholarship, Roger, a college student at one of the most prestigious universities in America, will go to any length to avoid being kicked out, including hacking the school's tuition system to clear his bill.

The Gigolo
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Eliza Schroeder, Lloyd Morgan, and Antonia Pollak - London, United Kingdom
The world’s oldest profession and the world’s deadliest profession combine in this torrid game of cat-and-mouse as a young gigolo becomes a secret agent to find his one and only love.

Created by Josh Wolff - Chicago, IL
A Catholic high school psychologist with a secret and a drinking problem, struggles to keep his professional and personal lives separate and intact.

Her Story
[2016 Emmy Nominee]

Created by Jen Richards and Laura Zak - Los Angeles, CA
This modern relationship drama follows Violet and Paige, two transgender women in Los Angeles, who have given up on love when chance encounters suddenly give them hope.

The Kama Sutra Club
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Daniel Klein - Orange, CA
A sexually-repressed professor researches every position of the Kama Sutra in an attempt to scrub away the memory of his ex-wife.

That's My DJ
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by D.W. Waterson - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
From heartbeat to heartbreak, chasing dreams and chasing highs, it's an unapologetic look at music, cliques and artists all trying to find their place within the new order of rave.

Truth Slash Fiction
Created by Tim Rosser, Daniel Schloss, and Charlie Sohne - New York, NY
Inspired by the real and burgeoning community of girls who write erotic gay fan fiction (“slash fiction”) about boybands.

The Union
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jordan Riggs - Brooklyn, NY
After being assigned to photograph a gruesome murder scene on a New York rooftop, Leah uncovers evidence of a dangerous underground cult that controls the city. This sets her on a harrowing path to unearth the cult’s secrets before they force her life to tumble out of control.

Urban Teach Now
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by SJ Son and Ginny Leise - New York, NY
In this satirical dramedy, achievement-obsessed recent college grad Eunice reluctantly signs on to Urban Teach Now, a non-profit teaching program in New Orleans, as a means to boost her hireability and pad her resume. Six months in, Eunice is right where she started – ill-equipped with only her B.S. in Business and unflagging entitlement.


Unscripted Pilots

Click Bait
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Shawn Bowers and Colin Hogan - Chicago, IL
Comedians face off in a series of outrageous online assignments in this web-centric prank show.

Comedy Digs
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga - Los Angeles, CA
In this twist on the home improvement genre, SNL writers-room alum Shelly Gossman helps her fellow comedians turn their grungy pads into homes suitable for grownups as they sort through comedic oddities and tackle tricky DIY projects.

Created by Daniel Saulnier, Dom Del Russo, and Jody Joseph Bongiovi - Tonton Falls, NJ
Jody Joseph Bongiovi isn't your average music instructor. Bongiovi’s uncanny approach has turned her from professor to mentor, but that’s just the beginning.

Hello Future
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Tessa Greenberg and Moujan Zolfaghari - New York, NY
In this unscripted-meets-sketch comedy, two young women use themselves as test subjects to explore what it means to be “of the times” in 2016 and beyond.


Animated Pilots

E. Coli High
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Kevin Barker and Ben Miller - Brooklyn, NY
A trio of unpopular-but-lovable bacteria navigate a surreal take on the hilarious high school social pressures we all know and hate… inside a stomach.

Fired on Mars
Created by Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman - Los Angeles, CA
Jeff just got fired from his graphic design job. On Mars. And there’s no way for him to get home.

Limited Space
Created by Tiffany So and Saba Saghafi - Los Angeles, CA
In the wake of an impending population-density crisis, every household on Earth must send one member to live on The Ark: a shuttle sent into space never to return.

Night Can
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Charlie Laud - Los Angeles, CA
A crime-fighting trashcan and a bachelor cop team up to save their city from the clutches of organized crime and rampant bureaucracy.

Preditors (of Williamsburg)
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jakob Strunk - Brooklyn, NY
An animated comedy depicting the various misadventures of morally misguided "hipsters" who live and work at a production company in Brooklyn, NY.

Superior Living
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Steven Kahn - New York, NY
Duncan Bagley and Marty Fudge, a pair of New York ‘liberal elites’ (completely oblivious to their designation as such), interact with the rest of the world.

Tsunami Tuna
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jim Wilkie and Daryl Wilcher - Atlanta, GA
While being pursued by a crazed Russian sea captain, Tsunami Tuna and RAD recruit a newly-released killer whale to stop mankind's exploitation of the world's oceans, only to discover the orca doesn't care for life in the wild.


The New York Television Festival was founded in 2005 as the industry’s first creative festival for television artists. A pioneer of the “independent television” movement, the Festival strives to construct new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model.