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A small film festival in even smaller rooms

Final Judgement


Piermont Film Festival 2020

Winners, Finalists and Selections

Best of Festival Feature Drama: Occupants

Finalist:  The Moment

Best of Festival Short: Raheel

Finalist:  Ungubani (Who Are You?)

Best of Festival Comedy Short: #PrincessProblems

Best of Festival Documentary Short: From Beacon to the Border

Short Selections

Burning Grief

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away 

Time Can Break Your Heart



Russ Emanuel - Director

Russell "Russ" Emanuel is an award-winning American director, producer, and independent filmmaker, having directed such actors as John Heard (actor), Robert Picardo, Vincent Pastore, Glynnis O'Connor, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Jeremy London, Ryan Hurst, William Devane, Marina Sirtis, Sean Kenney, Armin Shimerman, and Gary Graham. Originally from San Francisco, he grew up in both Japan and the United States, garnering an international viewpoint of the world throughout his childhood. After graduating from the University of Southern California to study Cinema-Television, he founded Russem Productions in 2002 in order to promote his short films including GIRL WITH GUN (2005) and documentary RESTORATION OF PARADISE (2014), as well as current films COLLAR (2017), THE ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE (2018), and THE ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE II (2021). Presently, WISPER (2020) marks Emanuel's fifth foray into feature filmmaking, after having directed P.J. (2007), CHASING THE GREEN (2009), THE LEGENDS OF NETHIAH (2012), and OCCUPANTS (2015).



Ayat Asadi.rahbar - Director, writer, producer

Born 1984, in Kermanshah City, Iran.
He began his artistic career with directing and theater,  in 1998, and started making documentary films in 2004.
12 awards from student and national festivals in acting, writing and directing theater and has won 20 international short film awards.
Bachelor of Filmmaking from the University. 



Brittney Lee Hamilton - Screenwriter, executive producer and star

Brittney is an actor whose work includes TV, Film, Theatre, & Voiceovers.  On screen, she has been seen (and heard!) in such shows as PUBLIC MORALS (TNT), THE KNICK (Cinemax), BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO), POKÈMON (Recurring-Cartoon Network and Film), REGAL ACADEMY (Recurring-Nickelodeon), and CATSKILL PARK.  On the stage, she has been seen Off-Broadway and regionally.  She wrote and starred in NO, I’VE NEVER PLAYED ANNIE, her NYC Cabaret Debut, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.  She is the owner of B.Lee Productions, and has won numerous awards for #PRINCESSPROBLEMS for the screenplay, film, pilot, and as 'Bree'.  Follow @brittneyleeham and @princessproblemsfilm for updates on the film's journey!  

from beacon to the border


Andrea Garbarini - Director, producer

Andrea Garbarini is an R.N , mother of two who got into filming and political activism after the loss of husband , who was a fire fighter during 911. Her credits included producing a documentary titled From the Ground Up with Gage and Gage productions. It won critical acclaim in multiple film festivals as well as being aired on the OWN Network and multiple PBS networks

Ungubani (Who Are You?)


Booker T. Mattison - Director

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's classic story "The Gilded Six Bits," which aired on Showtime. It starred Chad L. Coleman ("The Walking Dead," "The Wire") in his first leading role. The film also starred T'keyah Crystal Keymah ("That's So Raven," "In Living Color"), and Wendell Pierce ("The Wire" "Treme'"). The Hollywood Reporter said, "Mattison's direction and feel for her characters match up to Hurston’s sterling piece of fiction...full of atmosphere and strongly developed characters."

Mattison's film "Habeas Corpus" starred Chad L. Coleman, Tim Reid ("Sister Sister" "WKRP in Cincinnati") and Jamie Hector ("The Wire," "Bosch"). "Habeas Corpus" can be streamed on KweliTV.

Mattison's most recent short film "Bosniak" has screened at Blerd City Con 2019 in New York City, the University of Georgia, the F.R.E.S.H. Community Film Festival in Daytona Beach, FL, Clark Atlanta University, the Roxbury International Film Festival in Boston, the Russell Byers Charter School in Phladelphia, and the Indie Summer Shorts Showcase in Atlanta.

Mattison's sophomore novel Snitch received a starred review in Publishers Weekly that said, "Author and filmmaker Mattison's sophomore outing reads like its ready for screen adaptation... Mattison has a superb ear and his skills keep on growing." His debut novel Unsigned Hype was nominated for a South Carolina Book Award.

Mattison received his Master of Fine Arts in film and television production from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and his Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Norfolk State University.

Mattison has taught at the College of New Rochelle, Brooklyn College and Regent and Hampton Universities. Presently, he teaches directing, screenwriting, and advanced production in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!).

The Moment


Tom Aspy - Director, producer, writer

Tom Aspy is a filmmaker from Budapest , Hungary

Burning Grief


Mike Donaghy - Director

Mike Donaghy’s varied career as a filmmaker has included short films such as “Something Wrong;” work with Sony, the BBC, Manchester City FC, Liverpool Community Health and the Walker Art Gallery; and interviews with musicians such as Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher and Kasabian.



Paul Schwartz - Director, writer

Paul Schwartz is a director, writer and composer.

In 2018 he completed his first film: TIME CAN BREAK YOUR HEART. A narrative short, it deals poignantly with memory, loss, and the power of love. Future film projects include THE WALTZ LESSON, a short about a couple whose troubled marriage is healed through the power of dance, and UNICORN, a feature about a misanthropic sculptor who visits a foundry in the countryside to cast a statue in pure gold, and in the process finds his heart opened by a free-spirited young woman.

He is the composer of two operas. ORPHEUS 68, which was commissioned by a consortium of Scandinavian opera companies, explores the junction of politics, art and romance against the background of the Prague Spring in 1968. It received its widely acclaimed premiere in 2012. SNEHVIDE (Snow White) is a children's opera. It is both targeted to an audience of children, and is entirely performed by children. It was commissioned by Operaen I Midten in Denmark, and received its premiere in November of 2017, performed by a company of 64 singers and dancers aged from 7 to 17.

Mr. Schwartz has composed ballet scores for New York City Ballet (twice), Milwaukee Ballet, Ohio Ballet and The Royal Ballet. He has conducted for NYCB and Ballet Rambert in the UK, as well as serving as the musical director of several Broadway shows, including PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SONG AND DANCE, and ON YOUR TOES. He has also served as a conductor and musical director for both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in London. He began his conducting career as an assistant to Andre Previn with the Pittsburgh Symphony, leading a contemporary music series.

Mr. Schwartz is the composer of a musical based on Edith Wharton's SUMMER, which won the Richard Rodgers award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and went on to have productions by the York Theatre in New York, and the International Festival of Musical Theater in Cardiff, Wales. Also active as a playwright, his recent projects include A DATE, and THE SIENA QUARTET: performed as part of the Actors’ Studio Kazan Festivals of June 2013 and 2014. His play AN IDEAL TRUTH has had readings at Manhattan Theatre Club and TACT. Other plays in development at the Studio include BRILLIANCE, TRUST and EMERGENCE.

As a record producer Mr. Schwartz has sold over 750,000 of his own records world wide, and many millions more through his collaborations: notably with Josh Groban, Carlos Santana and David Foster. He is the creator of two popular series of cds: the ARIA series, and the STATE OF GRACE series. STATE OF GRACE III won the NAR Lifestyle Album of the Year award. The ARIA cds continue to be something of a cult: both in the US, and especially in Europe, with the result that most recently some of his music was used in a 2017 Superbowl commercial for Alfa Romeo.

Mr. Schwartz received his education at the Royal College of Music, London University, and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He is the recipient of the Adrian Boult Conducting Prize, a composition prize from the Royal Ballet, and two New York Foundation for the Arts composition prizes.

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away


Thad Lee - Director, producer, writer

Born in Mississippi. Lived in Los Angeles and New Orleans. Back in Mississippi.

Our Festival

A small film festival in even smaller rooms. Beautiful Piermont on the Hudson serves as the backdrop for this new, exciting film festival. Located just 13 miles northwest of the George Washington Bridge, the festival is easily accessible for all in NYC, with picturesque upstate NY village charm, on the Hudson River. The Village of Piermont has been featured in such films as, "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "At First Sight" and represented on the small screen with, "The Blacklist" and "Law & Order". The festival will feature screenings with Q and A's, outdoor musicians and special guests. This event is free to the public.

Information for filmmakers

Rules & Terms

Applicant must have created the project or, have written permission from the owner of the content to submit the film to us.

1. Film must be completed and un-released.
2. We do not accept any films made before 2015.
3. Film must be in English.
4. All fees are non-refundable.
5. The same film can be entered in more than one appropriate category, but each category requires an additional entry fee.
6. PFF is not responsible for any tangible materials that arrives broken.
7. All films must be submitted digitally.

8. Categories may be edited by the judges if deemed necessary.
9. Winner must supply backup blu-ray disc.

Contact Us

Do you have questions about our festival? Would you like to suggest a film for next year's festival? Send us a message, and we will get back to you soon.

Piermont Film Festival

PO Box 35, Piermont, NY 10968

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