NoBudge is happy to announce the winners of our 6th annual NoBudge Awards. 2018 was a big year for us, increasing our offerings from 54 films (last year) to 192 (this year), and gaining praise from the New York Times, The Guardian and Vulture. We also expanded our live screening series, as we partnered with Nitehawk Cinema to bring live shorts programs and parties to Brooklyn (we also screened at MoMA!). As we look forward to 2019, we reflect back on an excellent year in independent film and video work. Here are this year’s award winners. Note: not all films originally on this list are currently available to view. See full original list below.

Best Film: “Agua Viva”

Best Drama: “Caroline”

Best Comedy: “Observatory Blues”

Best International Film: “Atelier”

Best Animated Film: (tie) “Agua Viva” / “Spell of the West”

Best Documentary: “Lance Lizardi”

Best Director: (tie) “Agua Viva” directed by Alexa Lim Haas / “Cheer Up Baby” directed by Adinah Dancyger

Best Screenplay: “Men Don’t Whisper” written by Jordan Firstman & Charles Rogers

Best Cinematography: “Copa-Loca” cinematography by Konstantinos Koukoulios

Best Editing: “Goodbye, Brooklyn” edited by Cecilia Delgado and Daniel Jaffe

Best Experimental: (tie) “Green Screen Gringo” / “Two Parts Black”

Best Performance: David Call in “Cole”

NoBudge Persons of the Year: Lorelei Ramirez / Tynan Delong

NoBudge Hall of Fame Inductee: Doron Max Hagay

Spirit of NoBudge Awards:

“Cross My Heart”

“Fast and Loose”

“The Darby Bonarsky Story”

“The Practice of Loneliness”

“Kim Bush’s Abduction”




  • Agua Viva

    A Chinese manicurist in Miami attempts to describe feelings she doesn't have the words for. “Agua Viva,” written, directed and animated by Alexa Lim Haas, is a gorgeous, melancholic portrait of a stranger in a strange land. As she quietly goes about her day giving manicures and pedicures in a Flo...

  • Observatory Blues

    The brilliantly loony “Observatory Blues” tells the life story of Fernando Music, a writer born with no hands that becomes famous for a series of books about space and sex. Beautifully shot on 16mm and featuring a genius cast moving in all kinds of glorious directions (including a narration by Hu...

  • Lance Lizardi

    A young man takes his love for lizards to the extreme. He legally changes his last name to Lizardi and then, camcorder in tow, goes in search of any lizard he can find and zoom in on. A crash-course in lizard awareness, he meets and chats it up with several townsfolk with something lizard-related...

  • Cornholios

    Three devoted Cornholio enthusiasts struggle to make ends meet in New York. Presented as a direct cinema black and white documentary by the Maysles' Brothers, “Cornholios” (actually directed by Jess Lane), is an inspired low-art gag about being obsessed with a character from “Beavis and Butthead”...

  • The Practice of Loneliness

    Brie adapts a new practice, a lifestyle of loneliness to achieve her highest self. Written and directed by Ester Song Kim, “The Practice of Loneliness,” is a stylish anti-rom-com about seeking happiness in solitude. Shot on nostalgia-soaked 8mm film, and featuring actors dubbed into French (thoug...

  • Kim Bush's Abduction

    Several hours of unanswered texts and phone calls have everyone at a Christmas party wondering: where is Kim Bush? Filmed in Gulfport, Mississippi, and starring real-life sisters Courtney and Gabe Bush (playing themselves), “Kim Bush’s Abduction,” is a rolling mix of mystery and comedy, brimming ...

  • Fast and Loose

    Playing a version of himself, director Whitmer (aka Whit) Thomas drifts through L.A., meeting up with a series of friends and alienating them in various ways. Both comedic and revealing, "Fast and Loose" is a casual hang but an incisive one. As a self-reflection of a particular sort of friend gro...

  • Cheer Up Baby

    In New York City, a young woman reckons with being sexually assaulted by a stranger on the train. This powerful drama from director Adinah Dancyger, moves in small waves, accumulating resonance with each exchange. India Salvor Menuez plays Anna, a woman forced to navigate a harsh reality. In the ...