NBCUniversal celebrated diverse stories while finding the next generation of storytellers with its 12th annual Short Film Festival Finale Screening & Awards Ceremony. During the festival, nine finalists were honored at the Directors Guild of America and received prizes ranging from development meetings and holding deals with NBCUniversal to cash grants and NBC-lot professional services. Hosted by comedian Kim Whitley, the festival featured presenters such as Essence Atkins, Stephen Bishop, Ester Dean and Akbar Gbajabiamila. Chosen finalists were awarded honors in eight categories including the HARNESS Social Impact Award, given to the film Emergency. Each movie awarded explored the lives of ethnically diverse backgrounds facing universal challenges such as disabilities, police brutality, and social acceptance.