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The Best of DC Shorts

DC Shorts proudly presents jury and audience awards to our top films. These shorts are programmed into two different “Best of DC Shorts” showcases that are screened at the U.S. Navy Memorial and Angelika Mosaic on September 20th and 21st. It is a great way to conclude the week — and catch the selections that might go on to fame… and that special golden statue!

We will post the award winners on this page on Sunday, September 14.

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Meet the jurors: Filmmakers, festival programmers and industry insiders who watch eligible films and select the winners of our special trophies crafted by the artisans at the Washington Glass School.


JR Russ, a DC native, between work at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities & play in the Burning Man community, has dedicated his life to creativity in the Washington metropolitan area.

Melissa Bisagni is the Media Initiatives Program Manager in the office of Museum Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Austin Bragg is a filmmaker from Washington DC, specializing in short comedy. His work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Collegehumor.com, Comedy Central, and The Onion AV Club.


Sophia Pink is a senior at Washington International School. Her short documentary, Honk If You Love Someone, won the Outstanding Local Film Award at the 2013 DC Shorts Film Festival.

Dustin Kaspar is the year-round Educational Programs Manager and a Feature/Shorts Programmer with the Seattle International Film Festival. He loves all variety of films but takes great pleasure in leading the presentation of films for young audiences..

Steven DeGennaro’s short First Date won both “Outstanding First Time Director” and “Audience Favorite” at DC Shorts in 2012.  He is currently in post-production on his first feature, Found Footage 3D.


Shawn Christensen is a filmmaker, musician, and painter.  His short film, CURFEW, won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2013 Academy Awards.

Joanne Feinberg is Director of Programming at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in Ashland, OR. She is graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with many years experience as an editor and producer of commercial and documentary productions.

Curator of Staff Picks videos for Vimeo.com by day, and photographer/filmmaker all the other times, Ian Durkin spends a lot of time looking at, and thinking about, film.


Charlotte Rinderknecht is an award winning animation producer having worked with animators from Disney and Warner Bros. She is currently developing a blended film set during the Civil War and is writing a live-action screenplay set in Appalachia.

Kyle Bell is an award-winning animator/director contributing to classic Claymation commercials, television specials, M&M’s, music videos and movies including Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, Focus Features, ParaNorman and the upcoming film, The Boxtrolls.

Sophia Kendal of Moscow, Russia, is the Director of Pishto Goes Away, DC Shorts’ top animated film from 2013.


Deirdre Haj is the director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and creator of the PNC Roadshow and “A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy”  programs.

Melanie Addington has worked with the Oxford Film Festival since 2006 and serves as the Development Director. In her real-world job, she eats pizza and plays on Facebook as social media director/writer/video producer for PMQ Pizza Magazine.

Matthew VanDyke is a documentary filmmaker whose first film, Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution, was screened in over 150 film festivals (includeing DC Shorts) and won more than 50 awards.