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Entries in Awards (22)

Monday
Apr092018

Announcing the Short Film Slam Finalist - Round 1

Kicking off the Short Film Slam at the Sci Fi Center On behalf of participating filmmakers, audiences, venues and as writer/editor at The Madlab Post, I am happy to present the Finalist and Movie of the Month for Round 1 of the 2018 Short Film Slam.

 

Finalists advance to the next round of competition and are eligible to compete for the BEST SHORT FILM Award in the final round, with a total prize of $1,000.

Filmmakers whose works are chosen as Movie of the Month win one of several non-cash prizes like the filmmaking publication of their choice, marketing support, or a subscription to Vimeo Plus.

Before announcing the Round 1 Finalist, I would like to thank The Sci Fi Center for a fun Kickoff screening in Las Vegas! I met some cool people there who were glad to discuss their favorites among this ecletic lineup of short films, including rare titles.

 

'My Bedroom' Director Samantha Tan at the Short Film Slam.I would also like to thank Temple University student Samantha Tan for an enlightening Q&A session at the screening in Philly; where she gave audiences further insight into the motivations behind making her experimental horror film My Bedroom

 

Now let's take a look at the nominees for Round 1 Finalist & Movie of the Month....
Straight out of The International Film School of Paris, Temple University and Montgomery Blair High School, the nominees among STUDENT films are Blessed Days directed by Valentina Casadei, My Bedroom directed by Samantha Tan, and The Fabric of America directed by Alyssa Berrios and Ghandi Bridage Youth Media.

 

'Blessed Days' Directed by Valentina CasadeiIn the short drama Blessed Days, An unexpected dream brings an 85-year-old lady to relive the last moments of life at an art museum with her deceased husband.

 

'My Bedroom' Directed by Samantha Tan

 

In the exprimental horror film My Bedroom, A young girl named Emily wakes up in the middle of the night because of the noises in her bedroom.

 

'The Fabric of America' produced by Ghandi Bridage Youth Media

In the short documentary film The Fabric of America, A high school student explores the direct influence and impact that our immigration system has in Montgomery County, Maryland.

 



 

Hailing from Lativa and Australia, the nominees among INTERNATIONAL films are Just Go! directed by Pavel Gumennikov, Big City directed by Jordan Bond, and The Morning After directed by Leanne Mangan.

 

'Just Go!' Directed by Pavel GumennikovIn the Action/Drama Just Go! (inspired by an incredible true story), a young man who lost both his legs in a childhood accident comes to the rescue of the girl he loves when she is victimized by villains.

 

'Big City' Directed by Jordan Bond

 

In the short drama film Big City, a lonely taxi driver is befriended by a passenger who tries to coax him out of his shell.

 

 

'The Morning After' Directed by Leanne ManganIn the short drama film The Morning After, A backpacker wakes up in a rice paddy field in Cambodia with no knowledge of how he got there, what happened the night before, or where his girlfriend is. 

 

 

Representing the states of Colorado and California, the nominees among films MADE IN AMERICA are Colorado Counties: A Journey in Watercolor directed by Ronnie Cramer and Grant Me Hope in 5 Minutes directed by Sherry Wang.

 

'Colorado Counties: A Journey in Watercolor' Directed by Ronnie Cramer

 

In the documentary Colorado Counties: A Journey in Watercolor, a man travels by foot, Jeep and a Harley-Davidson to paint scenes in all 64 counties in Colorado.

 

 

 

'Grant Me Hope in 5 Minutes' Directed by Sherry WangIn the Sci-Fi/Action short Grant Me Hope in 5 Minutes, a good robot goes to battle with an evil robot, to protect an Alien princess.

 

Coming from Spain alongside a Chicago-bred filmmaker who moved to China, the nominees in the WILD CARD category are SAVE directed by Iván Sáinz-Pardo and What I Hate about Myself directed by Ben Mullenkinson and Bobby Moser.

 

'Save' Directed by Iván Sáinz-PardoIn the horror film SAVE, A baby breaks the silence between an estranged couple.

 

'What I Hate about Myself' Directed by Ben Mullenkinson and Bobby MoserIn the documentary film What I Hate about Myself, An 18-year-old Chinese girl enters a televised competition for free plastic surgery, in an effort to look more "Western."

 

Now it is the time to first announce the Runner Up: 
With a total score of 39pts based on audience votes, the Runner Up for Round 1 Finalist is Blessed Days (dir. Valentina Casadei).

 

ALSO With a total score of 39pts based on audience votes, the Runner Up for Movie of the Month is What I Hate about Myself (dir. Ben Mullenkinson & Bobby Moser)

 

I also want to take this time to give a special shout out to Jordan Bond, whose film Big City received 38 points and was just one point away from becoming a Runner Up for the Best Short Film Finalist in the first round.

 

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...


With a total score of 44 points in Round 1 of the 2018 Short Film Slam, the Finalist is Just Go! (dir. Pavel Gummenikov). With the most points overall based on audience votes, Just Go! is also the Movie of the Month winner and recipient of a one year subscription to Vimeo Plus or an alternative non-cash prize of the filmmaker's choice. As a Finalist, Just Go! will advance to the next round (.i.e. Final Round) of competition where it will compete for the BEST SHORT FILM Award. That officially marks the end of the first round.

 

Most of the remaining nominated films will now move to the Wild Card category, where they will be eligible to also compete for a prize in the final round.  

 

Thank you to all of the audience members who voted on each film in Round 1. Also thank you to the filmmakers for being a part of the 2018 Short FIlm Slam. I look forward to a fun year in short films as we continue to learn how audiences respond to your work. And thank you to everyone around the world who appreciates and supports the art of short films as well as the people who make them. Round 2 is currently underway, complete with thrills, chills and ice cream.

Stay tuned to learn about where and how you can watch these films and vote for your favorites!

Sunday
Dec252016

Congratulations to 'Bon Voyage' Director Marc Wilkins on Making the Oscars Shortlist!

Drifting through an ocean of dead bodies, two holiday sailors find themselves on a rescue mission that puts their fears and ideals in a dramatic conflict with the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugees. That is the synopsis for Bon Voyage, a Swiss film currently in the running for an Oscar nomination. Directed by Marc Wilkins, the Mediterranean sea drama made it out of the 137 films that qualified as possible contenders in the BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT category.

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Bon Voyage is among the 10 films that will advance in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards, Wilkins has been hard at work making sure his film is introduced to members of the Academy who haven't seen it. Members of the Academy will select five nominees from among the 10 shortlisted titles; the final nominess for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

As Bon Voyage heads to Australia where it will screen in January at FLICKERFEST, I'd like to take a moment to say bravo to Marc Wilkins! Your short features some of the best cinematography I've seen this year. Here's hoping you get that nomination!

Thursday
Feb252016

Hey Academy, how about an Oscar for 'Earned It' by The Weeknd?

Dear voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

Knowing the 88th annual Academy Awards are a few days away, I'm writing to encourage your recognition of one of the most acclaimed musical compositions on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack -- "Earned It," performed by Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) -- as Best Original Song.

The tune excels at seducing listeners into believing our needs and desires will be met in ways that can only be fully understood through the experience of surrendering to an outside force. It is spellbinding in the same way that Fifty Shades of Grey portrays it's protagonist Anastasia Steele as innocent and unsuspecting prey that gets wrapped up in Christian Grey's web of mind games, control and eroticism. "Earned It" is a force that pulls at us like the ropes that bind actress Dakota Johnson's body in the music video, also helmed by Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Tom Mackay, Executive Vice President of A&R at Republic Records describes working with The Weeknd as an unbelievable experience; in a collaboration with Universal Pictures that resulted in the singer's first Top 5 single of his career, on the Billboard music charts. Written by Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Quenneville and Stephan Moccio, "Earned It" is also the only song that appears in the Fifty Shades of Grey twice. In addition to the singer winning his first Grammy award for this tune, in the category of Best R&B Performance, The Weekend also scored a Best Song Written for Visual Media nomination for "Earned It."

Universial Pictures, music buyers that crowned Fifty Shades of Grey with the highest selling multi-act compilation soundtrack since Get Rich or Die Tryin (2005) and the largest debut for a soundtrack since Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences recognize that this is more than a hot tune.

It just works....on all levels, and for the right reasons. Period.

The track's arrangement, led by Abel Tesfaye's performance, lends itself to the hynotizing nature of the film it was made for and is as magical as any Best Original Song can get.

Wouldn't YOU agree that 'Earned It' by The Weeknd deserves an Oscar?