2017 Independent Pilot Competition Awards


“Best of the Fest”:

Giving Up
Created by: Kris Lefcoe (New York, NY)

NYTVF Critics Award:

Created by: Rachel B. Joyce (New York, NY)

Best Animated Project:

Tiffany the Teenage Grim Reaper
Created by: Lauren Rantala (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Comedy Project:

New York is Dead
Created by: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, and Randy Harrison (New York, NY)

Best Drama/Dramedy Project:

Created by: Yolanda Carney, Kate Marks, and Kimberley Browning (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Short-Form Digital Project:

Starving Artists
Created by: Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock (Chicago, IL)

Best Unscripted/Alternative Project:

Against All Odds
Created by Lucy Smith and Jamie Minty (London, England)

Best Actor in a Comedy: Jeff Galfer

for Jeff's Place (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Actress in a Comedy: Rachel B. Joyce

for Royally (New York, NY)

Best Actor in a Drama: Jeff Skowron

for Max Riddle (New York, NY)

Best Actress in a Drama: Shanice Williams

for Manic (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Direction: Dinh Thai

for Monday (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Editing: Kent Lamm

for Jeff's Place (Los Angeles, CA)

Best Writing: Kris Lefcoe

for Giving Up (New York, NY)



Descriptions and trailers for all 2017 IPC Official Selections can be found below.



2017 Official Selections


The New York Television Festival is proud to announce the following 52 Official Selections to the 2017 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, Austin, and Chicago, as well as international selections from the UK, Israel, South Africa, and Canada.


Festival organizers noted several communities and themes with strong showings in this year's selections, including a number of projects stemming from improv and sketch groups as well as projects with strong social messages and themes. The NYTVF is also proud to present a diverse slate this year, with 56% of selected pilots with persons of color above the line (and 23 projects with POC on the core creative teams). 71% of the projects have a woman in a core creative role. 50% of selected pilots have female creators, and 38% of projects have female directors, up from 25% in 2016 and the largest number in the Festival’s history. This is also a big year for animation, with a total of six animated projects among the 2017 official selections.


The Official Selections also feature a number of names, faces, and voices recognizable to TV fans, including projects created by Traci Johnson (Blues Clues), Jenn Harris & Matthew Wilkas (Gayby), Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy Schumer, Reno 911!), Emily Chang (The Bold Type), Jamie Kaler (My Boys), executive produced by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer), Felicia Day (Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return), Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk), Daniel Kellison (Executive Producer - Jimmy Kimmel Live!), and starring/featuring the talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers, Frasier), Jemima Kirke (Girls), John Early (Search Party), Ian Roberts (UCB Comedy Originals), Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Will Janowitz (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire), Cole Escola (Difficult People), Ana Gasteyer (SNL), Brandon J. Dirden (The Americans, The Get Down), Hannah Dunne (Mozart in the Jungle, Horace and Pete), Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha), Shanice Williams (The Wiz Live!), Maria Thayer (Those Who Can't), Betsy Sodaro (Comedy Bang! Bang!, Animal Practice), Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), DuShon Monique Brown (Chicago Fire), Kamal Angelo Bolden (Chicago Fire, Rosewood), D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Hari Nef (Transparent), Ana Fabrega (Portlandia), Timm Sharp (Blunt Talk, Enlightened), Antoine McKay (Empire), Zandy Hartig (Children's Hospital), Jeff Hiller (Nightcap), Jaboukie Young-White (Rough Night), Gary Richardson (Don't Think Twice), Jon Rua (Hamilton, In the Heights), Paul Welsh (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and Madeline Walter (College Humor Originals).


To read the full press release, click HERE.


Individual pilots, including trailers where available, are below.


Comedy Pilots

Eternity Fraternity
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Kevin Barker, Ben Miller, and Nina Quill - Brooklyn, NY
When a reluctant pledge accidentally dies during a rush party, he comes across a tougher challenge: pledging a ghost fraternity run by the sardonic Victorian witch-ghosts who used to own the frat house.

Horse Court
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Charlie Laud and Matt Laud - Shelburne, VT
When you break the law, and you're a horse, there's only one place you can go.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Winston Rowntree and Geoff Lapaire - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A post-modern comedy about 20-somethings in the year 20-something, stuck in that seemingly-endless limbo between school and adulthood, nothing and friendship, and expectations and reality.

Tiffany the Teenage Grim Reaper
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Lauren Rantala - Los Angeles, CA
Tiffany is your average teenage girl who happens to be a Grim Reaper.

Weird Creatures
Created by Manolo Moreno - Brooklyn, NY
A unique, improvised series following two blue collar cryptozoologists as they study, hunt, and capture creatures from folklore.
Co-starring and Co-written by Jo Firestone (Writer - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Traci Johnson, Bob Mowen, and Anthony Weintraub - New York, NY
Rooty and her best friend, Beany, go on an adventure in this series for preschoolers that sets the foundation of healthy eating through lovable characters and stories in a world made of food.
Created by Traci Johnson (co-creator Blues Clues)


Comedy Pilots

Bad Dad
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jamie Kaler and Greg Porper - Los Angeles, CA
Jimmy Walker never wanted a kid until he needed a kidney, and both arrived at his doorstep at the same time.
Co-Created by and Starring Jamie Kaler (My Boys)

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Martin Edwards and Chrissy Mazzeo - San Francisco, CA
Washed up advertising exec Roger Newhouse has just 10 hours to turn his life around in a series set in that vast gray area between fraud and re-invention.
From the team behind Freestyle Love Supreme and Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project)

Basically Happy
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Liam Gallogly and Mollie Rehner - Chicago, IL
Mollie and Liam have a tendency to take everything to the extreme, especially when it comes to their relationship.

Benefits with Friends
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Graceann Dorse - Brooklyn, NY
When Wendy gets diagnosed with cancer and loses her health insurance, Tina saves the day by agreeing to marry her, leaving Jillian in a lurch. A life is saved but will their friendship flatline?

City of Angles
Created by Delaney Buffett and Katie Corwin - New York, NY
A satirical look at left-coast living where Sasha, a native New Yorker, attempts to navigate her new life in Los Angeles as a Hollywood assistant.

The Company Men
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Patrick Babbitt, Lee Barats, Walt Delaney, Brian McGovern, and Kevin Walsh - Los Angeles, CA
A series blending the daily lives of offbeat office drones with the absurd sketch comedy of The Company Men.

Dark of the Night
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Eric Yearwood and Alex Meyers - Brooklyn, NY
Join fearless truth-seekers Eric and Alex as they take on the world of conspiracies and the paranormal, via talk show.

Detective Detective
World Festival Premiere]

Created by Pearson Jenks - Brooklyn, NY
A detective digs through details to determine which dangerous dame did away with a dipshit.

Flatbush Misdemeanors
Created by Dan Perlman and Kevin Iso - Brooklyn, NY
Longtime friends Dan and Kevin adjust to their evolving surroundings in the unforgiving environment of Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Gentle Dan
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Dan White, Kyle Bethea, and Tim Lyons - Chicago, IL
When Dan's temporary rough patch becomes an extended residency in the basement of his sister's McMansion, he slowly adjusts to a new life in the suburbs and all the people who come with it.

Giving Up
Created by Kris Lefcoe - New York, NY
A New York couple faces their own deadline to either "make it" or give up their dreams.
Pilot is a continuation of 2014 NYTVF Official Selection. Executive Produced by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and starring Ben Kronberg (The Half Hour on Comedy Central), Zandy Hartig (Children’s Hospital), and featuring Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) and Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy Schumer)

Created by Katie Novotny, Erin Conroy, and Emma Smith - Chicago, IL
Katie Donovan, a 20-something in Chicago, is dealing with different temptations every day. From drinking too much before Mass to dating outside of her religion, Katie must find the strength to shed her Catholic guilt to be the person she wants to be instead of the Catholic girl her parents raised.

Jeff's Place
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jeff Galfer, Sky Soleil, and Andrew Fleischer - Los Angeles, CA
Twin Peaks and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood converge in this strange new world of lessons, sharing, and parallel realities.

Let Me Die a Nun
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Sarah Salovaara - New York, NY
This series follows the opposing but intersecting trajectories of a lesbian novice nun, her Jewish stalker, and the object of her affection.
Starring Ana Fabrega (Portlandia) and Hari Nef (Transparent)

Misery Loves Company
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Emily C. Chang and Sara Amini - Los Angeles, CA
Two friends navigate being women of color in a post-election world, while trying (and failing) at a #blessed life in LA.
Co-Created by and Starring Emily Chang (The Bold Type)

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Nick Leveski - Richmond, VA
A “mysterious” “teen” with a “shadowy” past meets a “super cool” restaurant owner with a heart of “gold” and a passion for “helping” troubled teens.

Network Zero
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Kevin Pedersen - Los Angeles, CA
A motley crew of survivors after the end of the world build a colony around an old abandoned public access television station and broadcast their odd assortment of post-apocalyptic shows out into the wasteland.
Starring Maria Thayer (Those Who Can't), Betsy Sodaro (Comedy Bang! Bang!, Animal Practice), Timm Sharp (Blunt Talk, Enlightened)

New York is Dead
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, and Randy Harrison - New York, NY
A darkly hilarious series about two broke NYC artists who become hitmen to make ends meet. Created by Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas (Gayby), Directed and Executive Produced by Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk), Featuring Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier, Cheers) and Jeff Hiller (Nightcap)

Night Crew
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, and Katie Sicking - New York, NY
Three data entry employees work the graveyard shift at the Pentagon, where they have access to the world's biggest secrets and little to no accountability.

Primos, Inc.
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Lucien Flores and Michela M. Smith - New York, NY
Two Latino cousins gentrify their immigrant family's customs and traditions to appeal to Brooklyn hipsters.
Starring Jon Rua (Hamilton, In the Heights) and Federico Rodriguez (Bull)

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by James III, Jonathan Braylock, James Carr, and Jerah Milligan - New York, NY
Three overly opinionated movie theater employees project their point of views on the unsuspecting public.

Rap Skool
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Nnamdi Ngwe and Amechi Ngwe - Chicago, IL
Rob and Davis join a school of rap for the middle class and realize it's tougher than they expected.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Rachel B. Joyce - New York, NY
A millennial burnout runs a private princess party company as a front for small-time cons, petty theft, and drug peddling.
Featuring Christina Seidel (Boardwalk Empire)

Shit Kids
Created by Kyle Dunnigan - Los Angeles, CA
The daughter of an earth-shatteringly boring couple, along with the son of an equally humdrum set of parents, have decided to plot their parents' murders.
Created by and Starring Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy Schumer), Executive Produced by Daniel Kellison (Executive Producer - Jimmy Kimmel Live!), and Starring Candace Brown (Head Case)

Created by Rachel Wolther & Amy Zimmer - New York, NY
Determined and foolhardy, Amy brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the world, to unwieldy and surprising results.
Featuring Ana Fabrega (Portlandia), Jaboukie Young-White (Rough Night), Gary Richardson (Don't Think Twice)

Solving Leah
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Leah Bonnema, Melissa Pinsly, and Franklin Zitter - New York, NY
A lovable, anxiety-ridden accountant is wrongly accused of murder and vows to find the killer herself.
Featuring Will Miles (The Chris Gethard Show)

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Moujan Zolfaghari, Timothy Dunn, Michelle Ciotta, Silvija Ozols, Johnathan Fernandez, Hudson Meredith, Trevor Williams, Michelle Francesca Thomas, David Sidorov, Mehdi Barakchian, and Kristen Bartlett - New York, NY
Move over Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Splunch is here, and it's going to #change the way you #consume your #content.
Co-written by Kristen Bartlett (SNL)

Starving Artists
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock - Chicago, IL
Comedy duo Aasia and Dewayne go to extravagant lengths to reach their goals of international stardom and complete world domination. Starving Artists is a show about being young, gifted, and black in a world that praises straight, white, and wack.

That Which Speaketh
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Felipe Di Poi, Ian Faria, Sam Lanier, Will Niedmann, Kent Smith, and Becca Zeiger - Providence, RI
A surrealist sitcom about a family and their obelisk.

Tuff Boys
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Ryan Harrington and Isaac Himmelman - Brooklyn, NY
This musical comedy follows twenty-somethings Ryan and Isaac as they traverse the magical Brooklyn of their dreams and discover the true meaning of friendship.

What Ever Happened to the Birches
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh - Los Angeles, CA
A mockumentary-style show about two self-absorbed twins who see their mom’s death as the creative opportunity they’ve been waiting for.
Created by Paul Welsh (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Madeline Walter (College Humor Originals), and Featuring D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) and Ian Roberts (UCB Comedy Originals)



After Oil
Created By Jessica Naftaly and Shailyn Cotten - New York, NY
In a dystopian future affected by an oil shortage, a young woman discovers there's something sinister behind the disappearance of one of her bike messengers.

Created by Erin Wagoner - Los Angeles, CA
Two moms and their nannies strive to find a balance between taking care of others and themselves.
Starring Hannah Dunne (Horace and Pete, Mozart in the Jungle) and Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha)

Drive Slow
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Terrence Thompson - Chicago, IL
A teenager from the South Side of Chicago attempts to finish his college essays and struggles to boil down his complex surroundings in 500 words, while his friends' disparate opinions, racist news narratives, and the threat of lingering danger complicate the process.

From Jappan
[World Festival Premiere]

Created By Raj Trivedi - New York, NY
As Jappan grows older and more independent, he flashes back to his twelve-year-old self living under the thumb of his family's culture.

Giving Me Life (In The Land of The Deadass)
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Dafina Roberts - New York, NY
A provocative dramedy about six Black and Latinx friends of diverse sexualities struggling to live and love in New York.

The Green
Created by Sophia Loffreda and Shea Mayo - Austin, TX
When a trio of 10-year-old BFFs find a bag of marijuana on the soccer field after practice, they hatch a foolproof plan to sell the green to their suburban town’s fabled drug dealer.

[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Niv Samban - Tel Aviv, Israel
One man creates a digital playground out of the human consciousness and soon falls down deep into the rabbit hole where secret forces, hackers, and the mind converge.

Lost & Found
Created by Haroula Rose - Los Angeles, CA
Stella and Ian's unwedding unsettles their group of friends in Los Angeles in this dramedy about modern relationships.
Starring Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and Will Janowitz (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire)

Created by Yolanda Carney, Kate Marks, and Kimberley Browning - Los Angeles, CA
An Ivy-league bound, overachieving teen is derailed after a manic episode lands her in a school for children with mental illnesses.
Featuring Shanice Williams (NBC’s The Wiz Live), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), Nicki Micheaux (Animal Kingdom)

Max Riddle
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Jeff Skowron and Matt Yeager - New York, NY
A good-hearted but socially inept man is forced to meet new people and expand his horizons after he loses his small-town job to a robot.
Featuring Brandon J. Dirden (The Americans, The Get Down) and Mary Birdsong (The Descendents, Reno 911!)

Created by Dinh Thai - Los Angeles, CA
“What can I get to you?” That’s the question driving a conflicted young hustler who sells everything and anything to make money. As he code-switches through various cliques, he’s forced to confront racism as well as the immorality of his occupation.

People You May Know
Created by Zandile Tisani - Johannesburg, South Africa
This modern tale of millennials in Johannesburg centers around a friendship that’s tested as two best friends keep secrets from each other for fear of tearing the relationship apart.

Public Housing Unit
Created by Patrick Wimp, Ted Reilly, and Angie Gaffney - Chicago, IL
Set in the late 1980's, three police officers take on both lawmakers and lawbreakers as they work to protect the people of Chicago's infamous public housing projects.
Starring DuShon Monique Brown (Chicago Fire), Kamal Angelo Bolden (Chicago Fire, Rosewood), Antoine McKay (Empire)


Unscripted Pilots

Against All Odds
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Lucy Smith and Jamie Minty - London, England
In this game show competition format, five contestants carry five locked bags, but only one contains £100,000. Together, the group must complete an obstacle course across treacherous natural landscapes and make it to the finish line.

Put That in Your Skits
[World Festival Premiere]

Created by Trevor Williams - New York, NY
A filmmaker begins producing every comedy idea pitched to him by his relatives and friends in this hilarious comedic format.


The NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands.