Shorts Jury Awards Program

Three jurors select winners of the Best Animated, Best Documentary, and Best Live Action categories. Winners of these awards will qualify for consideration in the Short Films categories of the annual Academy Awards®. The Programmers’ Choice Award is determined by the CIFF Short Films Programming Team.

The winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and be announced during the live shorts program taking place on the last day of the in-person festival.


Best Animated Short
Presented By: MP Star Financial
This award winner will qualify for consideration in the Shorts Films Animation category of the annual Academy Awards®.

Best Documentary Short
Presented By: Jules and Fran Belkin
This award winner will qualify for consideration in the Shorts Films Documentary category of the annual Academy Awards®.

Best Live Action Short
Presented By: Jules and Fran Belkin
This award winner will qualify for consideration in the Shorts Films Live-Action category of the annual Academy Awards®.

Programmers' Choice Award: In Celebration of the Life of Toni Oliverio
Presented By: The Sloop Family
In memory of long-time CIFF shorts programmer, Toni Oliverio


Florentina Almonte

Florentina Almonte

Florentina Almonte is a Content Acquisitions Executive at Shorts TV International, where she is responsible for managing all aspects of the acquisitions process of short films content for the US, EMEA, and LATAM territories, as well as the licensing of the Oscars- nominated short films for theatrical and digital releases in the US and internationally. Almonte is an experienced television and film professional with a background in many aspects of the business and important experience in launching and developing TV networks in the United States and Latin America. She has also developed original programming concepts in the US Hispanic market. 

For a significant part of her career, Almonte was Programming Director at HITN TV. In this U.S.-Hispanic cable network, she served in various managing capacities at the company and developed the network's programming strategy. During her tenure, she was additionally involved in negotiating affiliates' distribution agreements with major cable companies and OTT platforms. Almonte also worked at A+E International Networks, where she served as a managing liaison between A+E's global Ad Sales teams and the US team. And she also worked with the Affiliates/Distribution team developing and implementing marketing initiatives for History en Español US. Almonte has served as a juror at the NY Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)/Emmys Awards and a member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). CableFAX named her as one of "The Most Influential Latinas in Cable" for 2016.

Milan Chakraborty

Milan Chakraborty

Milan Chakraborty, Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks, oversees all of the company’s efforts in independent, studio and streaming film. He is an 18 year veteran of the film industry. Chakraborty worked at Warner Bros and New Line Cinema in production finance and accounting on projects including Batman Begins, Superman Returns, History of Violence and V for Vendetta. Chakraborty began independently producing in 2008 and has produced and executive produced over 20 features including My Friend Dahmer, Assassination Nation, Plus One, The Dark & the Wicked, multiple Spirit Award nominee The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, and Four Samosas. Chakraborty, most recently executive produced his first documentary, BLACK BARBIE directed by Lagueria Davis, which is premiering at SXSW and playing at CIFF this year.

Colette Freedman

Colette Freedman

Colette Freedman is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter. Her plays and musicals have been done all over the world, including Serial Killer Barbie and Sister Cities, (Jacki Weaver, Alfred Molina, Stana Katic, Jess Weixler).  She has produced a number of films and written several indie gems including And Then There Was Eve which won The Los Angeles Film Festival and is distributed with Breaking Glass Pictures. She co-produced the film Quality Problems, which has won several of awards, and is distributed with Freestyle Media and can be seen on iTunes and Amazon. Currently, she is in post production for her coming of age film Miles Underwater and her film 7,000Miles (Wendie Malick) is on the festival circuit. A top Hollywood script doctor, script doctor and Broadway dramaturg (Mozart: Her Story - The New Musical) which just opened at Carnegie Hall. Freedman is also the Dramatic Writing Program Officer at Antioch University and faculty member  at NYFA,  and Studio Arts where she teaches screenwriting, playwriting and novel writing.