Juried Arts Festival 2021


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Welcome to our recap of THE ARTISTS FORUM JURIED ART COMPETITIONS: 2021 featuring finalists, nominees, and winners in the genres of Film, Music, Photography, and Spoken Word.

OUR 2021 COMPETITION THEME: For the first time, The Artists Forum instituted an overall theme for the year. Artists were challenged to interpret our 2021 theme: (THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION. In this case, “Politics” has a broader meaning than just government and can include much wider interpretations.

Beginning October 28th – December 12th, THE ARTISTS FORUM FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE returned for its sixth year. The festival showcased 42 shorts and introduced 6 feature length films for its first time, highlighting our 2021 Competition Theme.

The 2021 Official Selections have been created by independent filmmakers originating from 20 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

On December 11th, the festival announced 20 new winners at its 6th Annual Awards Ceremony, hosted by our 2021 Festival Ambassadors José Carlos Teixeira and Michael Inge. For more information on our 2021 Official Selections, judges, nominees, and winners, visit our 2021 Film Festival Page.

Then, on December 28th, The Forum held its first annual Juried Art Competitions Awards Ceremony, hosted by our 2021 Master of Ceremonies, comedian DC Benny.

Here, we announced the winners of our 2021 Music, Photography, and Spoken Word Competitions from finalists in each category that best highlight our 2021 Competition Theme.

After honoring our six 2021 ARTIST OF THE MONTH honorees: Franco Volpi, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, Aaron Leventman, Shayna Connelly, Viktor Witkowski, and Martha Gorzycki, we announced Viktor Witkowski as our 2021 ARTIST OF THE YEAR. See his acceptance speech here.

See our Juried Arts Awards Interactive Program for a condensed list of judges, volunteers, supporters, finalists, and links to their entries. Then, see our accordion section below for more information on our 2021 nominees, and winners in each category.

THE ARTISTS FORUM JURIED ART COMPETITIONS, part of our key programming initiatives, are designed to provide accessible platforms for artists to expose audiences to their latest, most innovative, and commercially viable works. Current opportunities include competitions in film, music, photography, spoken word, with choreography being offered in 2022. We encourage art community members to participate by submitting their best materials for consideration.

THE ARTISTS FORUM, now in its 23rd year, is a New York City based non-profit arts service organization specializing in events, juried competitions, and media for artists.

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BEST NARRATIVE SHORT: Rimi (Nischhal Sharma, India)
BEST DARK THEMED SHORT: Wrath (Meg Case & Brad Porter, US)
BEST COMEDY SHORT (tie): I May Be Wrong (David Giardina, US)
and Survivers (Carlos Gómez-Trigo, Spain)

BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT: Orbital Squares (Moojin Brothers, South Korea)
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT (tie): Masisi Wouj (Steevens Simeon (Haiti), Zé Kielwagen, Marcos Serafim, Brazil) and This Mortal Plastik (Jess Irish, US)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: The Ephemeral Orphanage (Lisa Barcy, US)
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Sebastapol (Marco North, US)
BEST STUDENT SHORT: What God Wants (Mykhailo Bogdanov, Ukraine/US)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Hinterland Hideout (Dirk Hoyer, Germany/Estonia)
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE: Silenced Tree (Faysal Soysal, Turkey)

BEST SOUND DESIGN: Douglas McCausland (US)  – Autoimmune (M. Serafim, Brazil/US)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Francesco Siro Brigiano – Krunk (Francesco Siro Brigiano, Italy)
BEST EDITING: Martin Gerigk – Haiku (Martin Gerigk, Germany)
BEST SCREENPLAY: Leandro Taub – Externo (Jonathan & Leandro Taub, Argentina/US)
BEST DIRECTOR: CJ Arellano – Griffica (CJ Arellano, US)
BEST ACTOR: Serdar Orçin – Silenced Tree (Faysal Soysal, Turkey)
BEST ACTRESS: Meg Case – Wrath (Meg Case & Brad Porter, US)
2021 JURORS AWARD: Jess Irish – This Mortal Plastik (Jess Irish, US)


CLASSICAL/OPERATIC COMPOSITION: “Horizon I” by Andrea Montalbano (Italy)
ROCK/ALTERNATIVE: “Greed Incorporated” by Shondra Jepperson (US)
PROTEST/FREEDOM/PEACE: “We Need More” by Taylor Fagins (US)
ELECTRONIC/DANCE: “Wrong Humans” by Makichi (Iran/France)
CONSCIOUS/INTROSPECTIVE MUSIC: “Metamorfosi” by Lira Bekbolatova (Kazakhstan)
INDIE/SINGER-SONGWRITER: “Stop the Shame” by Ajay Mathur & Mary Lou Austreng von Wyl (Switzerland)
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Taylor Fagins for “We Need More”


FIRST PLACE: “Unable to Hide” by Harry James Dwinell (US)
SECOND PLACE “U.S. (Unwholesome Shelter)” by Jiang Feng (Taiwan)
THIRD PLACE: “To Walk Quietly on Tiptoe” by Fashiel Tamimi (Hong Kong)
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Selena Kearney for “Object Ritual”


RAW TAKE PERFORMANCE: “A Trick of the Light” by Allyson Kealani Pang
ENHANCED PERFORMANCE: “Listen Asshole” by Yellow Rage
EXPERIMENTAL PERFORMANCE: “Idealists” by Poetry Orchestra
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Bee Guzman-Elliott for “Broken Promises”

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