The New York Festivals Awards take place during the annual National Broadcasting Convention (NAB) Show, held each spring in Las Vegas. Helmed by Executive Director Rose Anderson, the awards are perfectly positioned, early in the seven-day jam-packed convention, which I attended this April.
A large international storyteller competition (submissions come from 40 countries), the NYF Awards cover the entertainment spectrum, celebrating fabulists and documentarians in more than 185 categories, including Telenovelas, Lifestyle Programs, Culinary Programs, Music, Crime Drama, Sports Journalism, Reality TV Drama, Digital Short-Form, and so on (as well as achievements in technical craft and performance). Besides all the general awards, New York Festivals also hands out an award for titles on Climate Change & Sustainability, as well as an award for public service advertising in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information.
As the awards show host, Anderson welcomed everyone to an evening champagne toast. The cocktail reception was packed with producers, directors, and other broadcast professionals, who mingled and took turns in front of the step-and-repeat platforms. Then the gala itself commenced. Upon entering the room, everyone’s eyes were drawn to the 490 golden trophies lined up on the stage.
The ceremony this year began with Anderson honoring Tony Petitti, chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, with the 2017 New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award. As the night continued, the audience got to watch trailers of the winning films, commercials, documentaries, TV episodes, etc.
This awards ceremony, I believe, is worth attending. The speeches are genuinely heartfelt and in some cases hilarious. It’s an opportunity for moviemakers and other entertainment professionals to thank friends, family, and working comrades for their help… and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the busy NAB convention floor. What makes this particular award show different, in my opinion, is the overall scope of the awards, given across multiple platforms and genres: three Grand Awards, 167 Gold World Medals, 175 Silver World Medals, and 145 Bronze World Medals.
In short, New York Festivals is a world-class act, matching the high-production values of the films it honors. Everyone leaves the night with a statue and a big smile. MM
Greg Reitman is a writer, producer and director whose film Rooted in Peace is currently playing in Landmark Theatres nationwide.
Featured image: Greg Reitman won a documentary award for Rooted in Peace at New York Festivals 2017. Courtesy of Marc Bryan-Brown Photography.