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Museum of the Moving Image on Wednesday unveiled the winners of its inaugural Marvels of Media Awards, which bills itself as “the country’s very first media awards ceremony, film festival and exhibition celebrating media-makers on the autism spectrum,” The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively reveal.
The awards were developed by the museum’s education department and leadership in partnership with Josh Sapan, a longtime member of New York-based MoMI’s Board of Trustees and the executive vice chairman of AMC Networks. Winners were selected by a panel of judges including actors Joe Pantoliano and Tony Goldwyn; Cheryl Henson, president of the Jim Henson Foundation; journalist Paula Zahn; Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick; screenwriter-filmmaker Tony Spiridakis; neurodiversity advocate Wendy Belzberg; and former Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott.
Organizers said they received 3,071 submissions from 117 countries, with 20 media works chosen for awards in 12 categories including animated short, collaborative innovation, digital art, documentary, experimental film, mockumentary, narrative feature, narrative short, series, video game, student animated short and student video game.
“Through the Marvels of Media Awards, the museum is further affirming our commitment to supporting the creative endeavors and pursuits of neurodiverse media-makers of all ages and backgrounds, and to help forge pathways within the media and entertainment industries through which these makers can have a substantive impact on our culture,” said Carl Goodman, MoMI executive director. “We are indebted to our trustee Josh Sapan for conceiving of this initiative and look forward to celebrating the work of the winners and runners-up on March 31 and beyond at the Museum.”
A full list of winners follows.
Marvels of Media Animated Short Award
Winner: Being a Dog – Felix Swahn
Honorable Mention: Love Everyone with Sylvia – D.J. Svoboda
Honorable Mention: Backyard Camping
Marvels of Media Collaborative Innovation Award
Winner: Mythlogic – Exceptional Minds with Doron Ross Tuvia, Eli Gross, Leona Tates, S. Michael Cicerelli, Kyle Payne, Brian Urquhart, Rebecca “Becca” David, Veronica Dolcich, Craig Hills
Marvels of Media Digital Art Award
Winner: (Tending)(to)(Ta) – April Lin 林森
Honorable Mention: Origin of Hair – Carrie Hawks
Marvels of Media Documentary Award
Winner: Art 21 Episode: Kameelah Janan Rasheed: The Edge of Legibility – Carrie Hawks
Honorable Mention: Father of Rodents – Bryn Chainey
Marvels of Media Experimental Film Award
Winner: Prosopagnosia – Steven Fraser
Honorable Mention: Like the Girls Who Wear Pink – Jennifer Msumba
Honorable Mention: Las-NEW – Maxwell James Scheller
Marvels of Media Mockumentary Award
Winner: Satan Cured My Autism – Jackson Mark Tucker-Meyer
Honorable Mention: The Home Office – Directed by Dani Bowman. With Keaton Bicknell, Arturo Brito, Chris Castillo.
Marvels of Media Narrative Feature Award
Winner: Sanctuary Dream – Grant Carsten
Marvels of Media Narrative Short Award
Winner: Dak’ Toká Taíno (I am Taíno) (Yo Soy Taíno) – Julio Garay with Alba Garcia-Rivas
Honorable Mention: Boys Don’t Wear Dresses – Aloni Schorin and Jason Weissbrod
Marvels of Media Series Award
Winner: As We See It – Sue Ann Pien, Rick Glassman and Albert Rutecki with Jason Katims
Marvels of Media Student Animated Short Award
Winner: Cloud Boy: An Autistic Journey – Kieran Firth-Bernard
Honorable Mention: Ignies et Glacies – Ivette Valencia Franco
Marvels of Media Student Video Game Award
Winner: Surf Hills Story – Kieran Amon
Honorable Mention: Creature Crusade – Leilah Wright
Marvels of Media Video Game Award
Winner: An Aspie Life – Bradley Hennessey
MoMI will celebrates these works with a film festival opening on March 31 and running through April 2022.
“I believe Marvels of Media is an important venture into an amazing group of creators,” said finalist Bradley Hennessey, creator of the game An Aspie Life. “Throughout all media, there are many on the spectrum who work day and night to develop art. The autistic spectrum covers a wide range of individuals, each unique in who they are and how they interact with the world. When this is applied to a creative endeavor, the end result is a representation of who they are. Through this, I hope visitors will gain a better understanding of what it means to be on the spectrum and their perspective on life.”
Seventeen works will be on view, including playable video games and short films ranging in style from experimental to narrative. The works were created by filmmakers, artists, writers, animators and bloggers on the autism spectrum from many different cultural, social, economic and artistic backgrounds.
All events take place at Museum of the Moving Image in New York. More information can be found at www.movingimage.us.
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