Pictured: Kym Whitley, Host — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

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.

See pictures below.

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: (l-r) Damon Russell, "Cul-de-Sac"; Cynthia Kao, "Groundhog Day for a Black Man"; Chris Lee, "Lost Dogs"; Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television; Cullan Bruce, "Lost Dogs"; Mayumi Yoshida, "Akashi"; Sai Selvarajan, Parker Baze, "Audible Static" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: (l-r) Allen Maldonado; Mayumi Yoshida, "Akashi"; Kelvin Yu -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Kym Whitley, Host -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Chris Sullivan, "This Is Us" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: (l-r) Amy Louise Pemberton, "Legends of Tomorrow"; Victor Turpin, "Shades of Blue" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Essence Atkins, "Marlon" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: (l-r) Hana Mae Lee, Chrissie Fit, "Pitch Perfect 3" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Hana Mae Lee, "Pitch Perfect 3" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Akbar Gbajabiamila, "American Ninja Warrior" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Stephen Bishop, "Imposters", "Being Mary Jane" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Jameela Jamil, "The Good Place" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2017

Pictured: Manny Jacinto, "The Good Place" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Nia Chantal

Journalist. Actress. Music Lover. Concert- Goer. Travel Enthusiast. Beauty Addict. Just a Southern girl living life to the fullest. Follow my journey on Instagram @niachantal