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Indie Pilots ‘According to My Mother,’ ‘Poor Todd’ Take New York Television Festival Prizes

Independently produced pilots from a trio of writers from Queens and a comedy writer from Los Angeles have taken top prizes at the 12th annual New York Television Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

The weeklong festival features a competition for completed pilots and for the first time added a script competition. Participants also compete to secure development deals with the fest’s partner networks and production companies.

“According to My Mother,” created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin of Queens, won for drama pilot. The series revolves around a gay Korean-American man in New York whose life changes when his devout Christian mother moves in with him. Isaac also took the fest’s award for drama actor.

“Poor Todd,” created by Liz Astrof of Los Angeles, won for comedy pilot. The series focused on a pediatric dentist and her “menschy” husband.

The winners were chosen from a pool of 84 official pilot selections and 21 scripts.

NYTVF Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray. “The engagement from the industry and willingness and enthusiasm to support the artists invited to the festival are by-products of the fact that we are seeing exceptional storytellers participate in our initiatives across the board,” said NYTVF founder and exec director Terence Gray. “I’m blown away by the response from both the creative community and industry decision-makers, and this fantastic week has us already looking forward to next year.”

Here is a complete list of pilot, script and development deal winners:

Best Animation:
“Fired On Mars” created by Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman – Los Angeles, CA
Jeff just got fired from his graphic design job. On Mars. And there’s no way for him to get home.

Best Comedy:
“Poor Todd” created by Liz Astrof (Los Angeles, CA)
A self-proclaimed “low maintenance” pediatric dentist and her long-suffering, under-earning menschy husband deal with everything from humorous daily minutiae to major life struggles like money, career, life insurance, and kids…potentially.

Best Drama:
“According to My Mother” created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin (Queens, NY)
This modern take on the family series features a young, gay Korean-American living in New York and his disapproving, devout Christian mother who moves in with him…and changes everything.

Best Short-Form Comedy Series:
“Textbook Adulthood” created by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (Los Angeles, CA)
Two SAT tutors wonder if the transitional job they started in their 20’s has turned into a sad career as they enter their 30’s.

Best Short-Form Drama Series:
“Her Story” created by Jen Richards and Laura Zak (Los Angeles, CA)
This modern relationship drama follows Violet and Paige, two transgender women in Los Angeles, who have given up on love when chance encounters suddenly give them hope.

Best Unscripted:
“Comedy Digs” created by Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga (Los Angeles, CA)
In this twist on the home improvement genre, SNL writers-room alum Shelly Gossman helps her fellow
comedians turn their grungy pads into homes suitable for grownups as they sort through comedic oddities and tackle tricky DIY projects.

Best Actor, Comedy:
Keith Powell for “Keith Broke His Leg”

Best Actor, Drama:
Daniel K. Isaac for “According to My Mother”

Best Actress, Comedy:
Julia Mattison for “Brooklyn Sound”

Best Actress, Drama:
Angelica Ross for “Her Story”

Best Writing:
Adam Weinstock and Andy Jones for “On the Bright Side”

Best Directing (Tie):
Sonja O’Hara and Jaspal Binning for “Doomsday” and
D.W. Waterson for “That’s My DJ”

Best Editing:
Drew Van Steenbergen for “Brooklyn Sound”

NYTVF Critics Award:
“The Worst Husband” created by Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)
Vance Johnson is a decent guy who is newly married and new to the suburbs. Confronted by judgmental neighbors, conservative in-laws, and nosy co-workers, his good deeds somehow get twisted and misunderstood, and he comes across looking like the worst guy ever.

Best of the Fest – Independent Pilot Competition:
“The Worst Husband” created by Steve Dildarian (Los Angeles, CA)

Bento Box Development Award:
Tiffany So and Saba Saghafi for their project “Limited Space” (Los Angeles, CA)

Comedy Central Development Award:
Julia Mattison and Noel Carey for their project “Brooklyn Sound” (Brooklyn, NY)

IFC Comedy Selects:
“Door on the Left” created by Kati Skelton (Brooklyn, NY) and
“E. Coli High” created by Kevin Barker and Ben Miller (Brooklyn, NY)

OneX Pitch Deal:
Chas Jackson (Los Angeles, CA)

Pop Pitch Deal:
Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh (Los Angeles, CA)

Red Arrow Entertainment Development Award:
Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman for their project “Yidlife Crisis” (Montreal, Quebec)

Seeso Development Award:
Tynan Delong, Ryan Bennett and Ana Fabrega for their project “Jana and Shasta” (Brooklyn, NY)

Super Deluxe Pitch Deal:
Meghan O’Neill (Brooklyn, NY)

truTV Greenlight Deal:
Shelly Gossman and Blythe Haaga for their project “Comedy Digs” (Los Angeles, CA)
This winner has been selected to develop a project in partnership with truTV and NYTVF Productions.

WEtv Pitch Deal:
Joseph Gerbino and Erica Hart (West Palm Beach, FL)

(Pictured: “According to My Mother”)

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