In 1974, the Academy Awards first recognized short fiction films as a worthy category. While many Audience Awards contests accept scripted shorts, our Live Action Shorts Film Festival is our tribute to “Live Action” and it’s many definitions. Here are the top three winning films from the festival.
In first place is award-winning film, Cootie Contagion by Joshua Smooha. Cootie Contagion is a 2013 Student Emmy winner and a 2013 Student Academy Award Finalist. The film also won the Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship for Development from the Emmy Foundation and was an ASC Student Heritage Award Honorable Mention.
Smooha talked with us about the struggles and triumphs of making the film. He explained, “when you shoot in a style that involves a lot of camera moves and stylistic choices, sometimes you have to sacrifice more coverage for time. My cinematographer, Nick Reinhard, was a great collaborator and we came out with a product we are both really proud of.
The shots you see in Cootie Contagion are roughly the only setups in the movie. Everything had to be planned and storyboarded precisely. I didn’t leave myself room for error because if a set up didn’t work, I probably didn’t have a different angle.
Warning: Code Red! It’s a Cootie Outbreak! The disease is spreading and Matt’s at risk. Matt likes Becca, his infected science partner. Cootieologist Connor has warned Matt about the dangers of girls and will quarantine Matt if necessary. Matt has to stay away from Becca’s birthday party, or it could be the end of boy-kind as we know it.
The second place film, Save Me a Dance by Maxime Guérin takes place on a Saturday morning right after a big party. Antoine, 17 years old, wakes up with a hangover but no memories. He can’t recall why Pauline is lying in his bed. She remains silent even though she knows a bit more than he does.
Taking third-place is, I Think It’s Pretty Obvious by Micael Acosta. Acosta is a recent actor-turned-filmmaker and when asked about his recent shift in roles, he explained,
Personally it’s a triumph knowing that I can conceptualize an idea, turn it into a script, and turn that script into a film. I couldn’t do it on my own however, I’m still very new to filmmaking- this is only my second project!
I Think It’s Pretty Obvious features recent exes, Jason and Tess who are stuck inside of their apartment during a Zombie Apocalypse. With no food or water, they must decide who ventures outside to get it.
A huge thanks to our community of creatives and filmmakers who submitted, and hearty congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to seeing the top three films premiere at AudFest 2018! To stay up-to-date on our festival winners, visit: https://audnews.com/contests/winners