Mike’s Thanksgiving short film wins Princeton Tiger Award

mikemessier.com  is happy to report the success of Thanksgiving, a short film Mike Wrote, Directed and Co-Produced alongside Actor/Producer Nick Gifford, with generous support from Chelos Hometown Bar and Grille .

Watch the film here – for free! – and SHARE all year long with your family, friends, and throughout your online adventures!

The film has now won two awards:  SENE Festival  2016 Audience Choice Award and most recently the prestigious Princeton Tiger Award at the 2017 Nassau Film Festival in Princeton, New Jersey.


Mike reports, “While told from an Italian-American home-front, the theme of  a son trying to impress his hard-nosed, estranged father is universal. Lewis Goldstein and the good people at the Princeton Garden Theater put on a top notch festival with a wonderfully informed, film-loving audience at a terrific, classic and very beautiful venue. I had a great time! Princeton really agrees with me!”

Mike was also able to finish his novella version of Distance from Avalon while in Princeton for the festival, held on the weekend of May 20-21, 2017.  Mike raves that “The  Courtyard by Marriott was a fine hotel for my purposes, the manager on duty, a fine chap named Dan, was quite helpful.  He guided me to a local shopping mall where I discovered the fresh seafood restaurant Big Fish which was was also very upbeat. The New Jersey Mike’s in Princeton turned out to be a pleasure. I discussed John Mayer’s cover of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and the history of The Red Hot Chili Peppers with the musically informed staff. It was pleasant. I was able to write  about fifteen pages in a few hours, while dining, and eventually finished my first draft of my Vampire fantasy while at the Princeton Barnes & Noble Booksellers Cafe.  Overall, the fresh air of a remote city gave me a unique perspective for writing. I found the good people in Princeton to be ‘just right’; not too overtly friendly or intrusive and not too distant or cynical. I really enjoyed my New Jersey adventure and I plan to be back!”

Mike Messier and Lewis Goldstein, founder of the 2017 Nassau Film Festival.

Back to Thanksgiving, Mike continues, “Our World Premiere was held at the Historic Columbus movie theater on Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island, only minutes from our shooting location. The SENE Film, Music and Arts festival crowd was very receptive and rewarded us with the Audience Award for Regional Short. Don Farias and Philip Capobres have delivered a great and very unique hybrid festival for ten years now and I am always proud to be a part of it!”


In addition, the film was also featured at the Mountain of Laughs Comedy Festival in The Greystone Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on April 9, 2017. Mike was unable to attend in person this year but wishes to think festival coordinator Willy Adkins for his support! Mike has entered Disregard the Vampire: A Mike Messier Documentary into Mountain of Laughs for Willy’s 2018 festival season!

“Independent film festivals are the lifeblood of independent film-making. Websites like filmfreeway.com  help independent filmmakers connect with appropriate festivals. The validation, exposure and experiences at these festivals – big and small – are what indie filmmakers need in order to get immediate and honest feedback from audiences beyond their comfort level!”, says Mike.


For technical info on the film’s creation, read DP Chris Hunter’s The SHOT – THE SETUP: THANKSGIVING mini-tutorial!

And check out a review by LOUD GREEN BIRD’s Frisco Kid!


2 thoughts on “Mike’s Thanksgiving short film wins Princeton Tiger Award

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