The 2014 edition of the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) concluded on October 25th, and its final night featured a parade of winners. During the annual festival’s closing ceremony, 20 projects earned TV development deals, while another dozen projects took home awards as “Best of the Fest” winners.

The most significant news from NYTVF concerned the launch of a new production branch, which will work with major distributors to give independent creators their own pilot orders. Two of those deals were awarded during the closing night: The Jamz scored a deal with The Orchard, and Risk–which follows a pair of New York brokers–earned a partnership with A&E.

Lifetime also announced the five finalists in its own competition. The winner of that deal will be announced at a later date:

– Nathan Stoll for his project “Can’t Knock The Hustle” (New York, NY)

– Ryan Basham for his project “Doctor Diva” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Kate Hendricks for her project “Kate the Wasp” (New York, NY)

– Mark Haapala and Stewart Gold for their project “Pinky & The Fan Girls” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Terri Lee Ryan for her project “Rori’s Party” (Chicago, IL)

Beyond these projects, NYTVF also announced 16 creators who earned development deals with major networks. One name that stuck out to me was Greg Ash, who we featured in our Indie Spotlight earlier this year. At NYTVF, Ash earned a deal with TruTV.

Here is a full list of the 16 distribution deal winners:


– Comedy Central: Caroline Fox and Daniel Obzejta for “This Old Thing” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Lionsgate/Sea to Sky – Channel 4 Drama Co-Development Award: Ben Snyder and Ari Issler for “The Come Up” (Brooklyn, NY)

– The Orchard GO Project: Jim Kozyra for “The Jamz” (Chicago, IL)


– Channel 4: Nicole Paglia and Daniel Brierley (London, UK)

– Conde Nast Entertainment: Ramiro Castro Jr. and Pedro Castro (Los Angeles, CA)

– FremantleMedia/Tiny Riot!: Sutton Dewey and Mark Millner (Brooklyn, NY)

– FYI: James Spokoini & Massimiliano Bulgheroni (London, UK)

– H2: Carrie Preston and Kate Rigg (New York, NY)

– Investigation Discovery: Nicole Paglia and Daniel Brierley (London, UK)

– National Geographic Channels: Steve Sera, Tim Egan, and Bob Sylvester (Boston, MA)

– Red Arrow Entertainment:  Jessica Coleman (Sicklerville, NJ)

– SundanceTV: David Harris (Los Angeles, CA)

– Travel Channel and ULIVE: Jim Kozyra and Chris Petlak (Chicago, IL)

– truTV: Greg Ash (London, UK)

– WEtv: Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (Brooklyn, NY)

Finally, NYTVF’s Independent Pilot Competition handed out awards to excellent pilots across 12 categories. Here is a list of those winners:

– Best Animation Pilot: “Future Duck!” created by Henry Dalton and Paul Cope (London, UK)

– Best Comedy Pilot: “Cowards” created by Daniel Clark, Megan Green, Joe Kwaczala, Joe McAdam, and Chris Stephens (Los Angeles, CA)

– Best Drama or Dramedy Pilot: “Dispatch” created by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (Brooklyn, NY)

– Best Short-Form Web Series: “Annie Undocumented” created byDaniel Hsia, Elaine Low, and Brian Yang (Los Angeles, CA)

– Best Unscripted Pilot: “Love Spitters” created by Rich Seng and Nicholas Charles Peters (Chicago, IL)

– Best Actress: Caroline Fox for “This Old Thing” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Best Actor: Chris Mast for “Go, Bolivia, Go!” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Best Director: David Eisenberg for “Witnesses” (Queens, NY)

– Best Editor: Matt VanDaniker for “The Neighborhood” (Queens, NY)

– Best Writing: “Trouble” written by Sean Skelton (New York, NY)

– NYTVF Critics Award: “Witnesses” created by David Eisenberg and Jon Higgins (Queens, NY)

– NYTVF Audience Award: “The Neighborhood” created by James Manzello and Matt Pavich (Queens, NY)

– NYTVF “Best of the Fest”: “Dispatch” created by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (Brooklyn, NY)

In all, NYTVF brought 32 development deals to independent creators in 2014, the festival’s highest total yet. Now, the winners will have to focus on getting past the pilot. This year, there is certainly no shortage of opportunities.

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