The winners of the inaugural Rom Com Fest were announced yesterday in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent Theater following a special 20th anniversary screening of the classic rom com 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. Top honors from the festival went to Ann Lupo for IN REALITY (Jury Prize for Best Feature Film) and Erin Brown Thomas for REKINDLED (Jury Prize for Best Short Film).
The Frolic Audience Award winners (presented by Frolic, The fastest growing entertainment media brand for the modern romance fan) included Joseph Cross’s SUMMER NIGHT for Best Feature, and Alexandra Kyle’s ANXIETY’S WILMA for Best Short Film.
Rom Com Fest is an experiential festival that took place June 20-23 in Downtown LA. The festival brought together those who love and/or create romantic comedy films through memorable events and screenings – pairing rosé and desserts with films, encouraging that its audiences show up dressed in themed attire, and hosting special filmmakers and guests to talk about and celebrate the art of rom com films. Highlights included a special curated screening and fireside chat with actress Rachel Bloom (CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) on her favorite classic rom com film NEVER BEEN KISSED, as well as anniversary screenings for BRIDE WARS featuring a conversation with the film’s writers who are also acclaimed actresses known for memorable roles in romantic comedies and TV shows – June Diane Raphael (LONG SHOT, Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie”) and Casey Wilson (Showtime’s “Black Monday”, “Happy Endings”),10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, featuring a special Q&A with writers Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah (writers of LEGALLY BLONDE, SHE’S THE MAN), and the west coast premiere of SUMMER NIGHT, which included a conversation with director Joseph Cross and cast Victoria Justice, Analeigh Tipton, Ian Nelson and Hayden Szeto.
The festival was organized and curated by its Founder and Executive Director, Miraya Berke. Berke is a female entrepreneur, the founder of Pop Productions event boutique studio (whose mission is to create events that spark joy & delight), and the founder of Dessert Goals, the popular dessert festival that is held in New York and Los Angeles.
The full winners and awards are as follows:
FEATURE FILM JURY AWARD
The jurors for the 2019 Feature Jury included:
Katie Silberman, Writer (BOOKSMART, SET IT UP, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC)
Amy Nicholson, Film Writer/Critic
Sarah Ramos, Actress (Parenthood, The Affair)
Julie Rapaport, Co-Head of Amazon Studios’ Original Movies
Best Feature Film
IN REALITY – Director Ann Lupo, Writer Ann Lupo
SHORT FILM JURY AWARD
The jurors for the 2019 Shorts Jury included:
Alanna Bennett, Writer (The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico)
Alicia Swiz, Program Director for the Virginia Tech Women’s Center
Heather Maidat, Writer (BAD BOYS CRAZY GIRLS, SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S)
Millie De Chirico, Programmer at Turner Classic Movies
Best Short Film
REKINDLED – Director Erin Brown Thomas, Writers Erin Brown Thomas, Kelly Vrooman
‘FROLIC’ AUDIENCE AWARDS
Audience Award for Best Feature
SUMMER NIGHT – Director Joseph Cross, Writer Jordan Jolliff
Audience Award for Best Short
ANXIETY’S WILMA – Director Alexandra Kyle, Writer Alexandra Kyle