Fusion Doc Challenge Showcase Mid-Contest Check In

April 7, 2016

These 2015 Fusion Doc Challenge finalist films premiered at Slamdance Film Festival & screened at Big Sky Documentary Film Festivals in 2016. Watch, comment, ask the filmmakers questions and vote for your favorites. The top 3 films with the most votes win a share of $1,500.

Greg Armstrong Fusion Doc Challenge Best Film Winner with"Robin Brown"

Greg Armstrong Fusion Doc Challenge Best Film Winner with”Robin Brown”

Robin Brown is story about a lifelong athlete who found self-acceptance and experienced personal transformation after a devastating diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. Something really unexpected and gratifying is the response we’ve gotten from people who treat patients with MS. We’ve had doctors and physical therapists who work closely with MS patients ask us for copies of the film to play in their waiting rooms, or to show to newly diagnosed patients. They say that helping their patients keep a positive outlook is one of the most difficult things to do. The fact that they feel our film might help them do that is about the best response we could get.” ~Greg Armstrong Fusion Doc Challenge Best Film Winner with “Robin Brown” 

Whitney Skauge Fusion Doc Challenge Best Editing, Best Directing, and Best Score Winner with "Everyone in Between."

Whitney Skauge Fusion Doc Challenge Best Editing, Best Directing, and Best Score Winner with “Everyone in Between.”

“We are extremely proud of the film and the activism displayed through our incredible subjects. We hope that the film can create a dialogue for people to explore gender topics on the whole. It is really great to be a group of young filmmakers presenting this progressive ideas without apology” –Whitney Skauge Fusion Doc Challenge Best Editing, Best Directing, and Best Score Winner with “Everyone in Between.

Sofian Khan with "Timeshifters."

Sofian Khan with “Timeshifters.”

Timeshifters is a doc about nostalgia and filmmaking in the VHS age.  I started making movies as a kid using the format, editing from tape to tape.  It all seems primitive now in our era of digital immediacy.  But looking back I can’t help but feel a fondness for those soft, warm, jittery images.  This is a love letter to the Video Home System.  Of course it was produced in 5 days using the latest digital tools, but its heart is firmly analog” –Sofian Khan Fusion Doc Challenge Best Film Winner with “Timeshifters.” 

Ashley Seering with "Renewed."

Ashley Seering with “Renewed.”

“We would like everyone to know that Renewed is a story of hope and second chances. The world needs more people like Guy and Robert” Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Ashley Seering with “Renewed.



Tommy Tang with "Hateful 48."

Tommy Tang with “Hateful 48.”

“This film came about as the result of accidentally signing up to participate in two conflicting timed film competitions: The Seattle 48 Hour Film Horror Project, and the Fusion Doc Challenge. These competitions occurred at the same time, and our solution was to make the Fusion Doc about how the 48 Hour Horror film was possible with today’s filmmaking technology” –Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Tommy Tang with “Hateful 48.”

Josef Beeby with "A Day In The Life Of A Pedestrian Crosswalk Button"

Josef Beeby with “A Day In The Life Of A Pedestrian Crosswalk Button”

“Having spent the weeks leading up to the 5-day production period lining up various possible subjects depending on the theme, we proceeded to throw out all the work we had done on the first day and restart from scratch with a new concept. The idea of doing a pedestrian crosswalk button emerged from an earlier idea of exploring a sculptor’s work through conversation with the sculptures themselves rather than him. When he was unavailable due to an injury, we shifted our focus while keeping the core idea of interviewing an inanimate object. The first draft of the script was loftier and tried to address larger issues, but we had agreed we wanted to avoid anything navel-gazing and sombre. On the third of five days we had to complete the film, we threw out everything we’d written so far and started from scratch with something much more trivia-heavy and fast-paced, aiming to be fun and entertaining rather than heavy and meaningful.” –Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Josef Beeby with “A Day In The Life Of A Pedestrian Crosswalk Button” 

Allie Sultan with "Lift like a girl"

Allie Sultan with “Lift like a girl”

“We made this film because there is a huge discrepancy in the number of films that feature women over the age of 40 in Hollywood. (Part of our industry’s larger diversity crisis!) There was a recent study from USC that surveyed women’s representation across all media. It revealed the following statistics in theatrically-released feature films from 2014-2015:

– For characters over 40 years of age, 78.4% of them were male.

– Over one-third of all female roles featured actresses in “sexy” clothing or  partially/fully nude.

– Only 3.4% of feature films had women directors at the helm

– Only 10.8% of feature films were written by women

When the majority of images we see of women on screen are of young, white, thin, overly-sexualized and objectified women, it creates a sense of inadequacy in all of us. Women feels like we’re not good enough because we don’t look like what we see on screen. Men are stereotyped into being the hero that has to save the feeble, weak female. For a man to have emotions, or a woman to be powerful outside the 18-34 year old demographic…there are stories that we can tell to reshape our thinking.

We need more women, people of color, and LGBT people of all ages to make films that reflect their stories and experiences. We also need more women/POC/LGBT writers, directors, and crew behind the camera to create them.

It’s worth taking a closer look at how we can challenge ideas of beauty and strength, for both men and women. That’s why we made this film. I hope you all enjoy it!

You can read the full USC report here. It’s worth your time! ~Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Allie Sultan with “Lift like a girl

Marco Diaz with "A Place for Lidia"

Marco Diaz with “A Place for Lidia”

It was shot in the span of 24 hours. It was edited in two days and turned in on the fourth day. It is not only the story of one cleaning lady it is the story of millions of people who travel many miles on a daily basis to work in places where they can never afford to live. It talks about our political system’s short comings when it comes to taking care of our elderly as they begin to reach retirement age.” –Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Marco Diaz with “A Place for Lidia


Erin Babbin with "Do You See What I see."

Erin Babbin with “Do You See What I see.”

On The Real Film’s new short documentary Do You See What I See? follows artist and modern day cowboy Michael Bryant to his childhood home in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Englewood. Along the way Michael discusses politicians and cowboys; hope and desperation. Our film works to unpack the baggage of forgotten neighborhoods in which violence and poverty has replaced growth and prosperity. Do You See What I See? uses one man’s story to understand what happens to a neighborhood in which empty lots outnumber homes. –Fusion Doc Challenge finalist Erin Babbin with “Do You See What I see.” 

Fusion Doc Challenge Finalist Tucker Lucas with "A Perfect Record"

Fusion Doc Challenge Finalist Tucker Lucas with “A Perfect Record”

“The film is about Dean Sime, a record collector in Fargo, North Dakota. Our hope is after watching our movie, you’ll have the urge to go out and find some new music to listen to. Dean and Lori have two dogs, Rodger and Millie, who are amazing. Just sayin.-Fusion Doc Challenge Finalist Tucker Lucas with “A Perfect Record

Watch and vote for these and other films competing in the 2015 Fusion Doc Challenge Video Contest.

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