top of page



Based in sunny Burbank and just over the hill from Hollywood, the Hollywood Verge Film Awards seeks to award outstanding independent films based upon their originality and ability to tell a compelling story. Our goal is to also have a very transparent festival and one of the ways we go about this is via a weekly festival podcast that features a discussion about a film or two from that week that caught our attention. This provides filmmakers with some added publicity as well as perspective on submissions from the festival staff.


The festival will provide up to 5 nominees in each category along with a single winner per category. All nominees and winners receive laurels. We also give out genre awards, which increases the chance of winning an award.


Note: There will be no public screening or ceremony, which allows you to keep your premiere status in tact.


What makes a Hollywood Verge film?


We love independent films. We love genuine storytelling that doesn't play by the rules. Though Hollywood is in our name, the festival really seeks films that say something and are alternatives to the 'Hollywood' style. We could care less about movies with big name actors. Production value doesn't matter as much as story and originality of vision.



DEREK LAPORTE     festival director

Born and raised in Northwest Florida, Derek grew up with a VHS camera attached to his arm. 

He had an aimless 20 years where he worked jobs he didn't care much for. Then, on the verge of attending law school, he decided to follow his dream and make a feature film. He attended film school and as a student he wrote and directed 'Qualia', a single-location science drama.

After spending a great deal of time on the festival circuit, he realized there was no festival that gave him the experience he wanted and so he sought to start the Hollywood Verge Film Awards, a festival dedicated to transparency and to getting attention for the maximum number of films possible.

MATT SALA     competition coordinator

Matt Sala was born in the past in the DC area. He's lived ever since then, but moved to NYC to go to Fordham, then was drawn to Philadelphia. He went to film school at Temple and has been working in the film industry ever since, mostly here, in Los Angeles. Currently, he freelances and works quite often as a shooter on SuperDeluxe projects.

He is a primary judge as well as a co-host of the festival podcast.

ALE SONE            screening coordinator

Ale was born in a small town in Chile. She went on to study architecture and design and would later find her footing in photography, her current passion. She resides in Burbank, CA and volunteers and coordinates for many events including the Tanabata festival, PhotoLA, and now, The Hollywood Verge Film Awards.





bottom of page