38 Film pitches competed and received over 21,000 views! Here are 3 Audience Award Finalists and 2 Jury Finalists that will move onto the the REELPITCH Finals Round. Voting opens Aug 23, 2016 at 12:00pm MDT (America/Denver) and voting closes Aug 29, 2016 at 12:00pm MDT (America/Denver.) The Filmmakers have given us the inside look at what went into their entries. Click on the image or on the film name to view (and vote) for the entries. Remember, you can vote for as many films as you like, once a day, for the duration of the contest. Happy viewing!
Audience Awards Finalists
“My name is Morgann Gicquel and I’m the director of more than thirty short films and a couple of hundred corporate work amongst music videos and commercials. I have dreamt of being a director since I was 9 after being prevented from watching Jurassic Park. Throwing a temper tantrum I decided being a director will allow me to watch my own films, even on school nights.
So I grew up with that dream and every kind of entertainment fed it and made me the director I am today. One of the most impactful material I had at the time were Scrooge McDuck comic books and I fell in love with Don Rosa’s stories. Keno Don Rosa is one of the most famous American Duck artists in Europe, he was a civil engineer who dropped everything to write and draw his favorite character. His most famous work is a twelve chapter origin story for Scrooge McDuck which got awarded the Will Eisner Award in 1995. He was the first Disney licensed artist to ever win this. Why? Because his work isn’t talking down to its readers, it’s not aimed at children, it was meant for Scrooge adult fans with multiple layers of reading. The kind curious children love.
When I was old enough I met him, and I started following him in different conventions. In 2013 I did a little news report on his coming to France (http://dai.ly/xxfq9w) and he really liked it. He liked it so much he said I could continue filming him if I wanted. And I said no… Why ? Because I wanted to make a real film, a real feature. I wanted to make something impactful, and that’s The Scrooge Mystery, a film about the blurry lines between fan-art and art.
Le Mystère Picsou (in French) draws its inspiration from Le Mystère Picasso (The Mystery of Picasso) a 1956 French documentary about Pablo Picasso’s creative process. The Scrooge Mystery will adopt the same shooting style (16mm film, shot under a glass table to see Don Rosa’s artwork come to life) but will go further and to explore that “mystery” we will meet with twelve famous Don Rosa fans who, just like him, created original material based on a licensed character. Amongst all those incredible creations we have Lego sculptures, Hollywood blockbusters, golden records, famous video games, and the list goes on.
Being a finalist brought us so much attention, we got a couple of articles in France and our five co-producers across the world are seeing it as a real chance to move forward with the project. But on top of it all it as made the project known for a lot of fans who had not seen the trailer yet (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=HB_p3TQfRAU) and the reactions are heartwarming. This really gives us the spark to keep going with the *duck*umentary.”
Filmmaker Morgann Gicquel and The Scrooge Mystery
Filmmaker Victor Okoye and Femi
“My experience in the Audience Awards was very exciting. It was a week of rushing adrenaline. I am very proud of all the support the project received and hope to improve it in the finals round.
I am Oscar Quintero, a venezuelan documentarist, and along with Marzel Avila and a team of animators we have undertaken the adventure of mixing fiction, animation and documentary to tell the story of a true artist of toys: Mario Calderon. Inspired by his life, full of ups and downs and dilemmas , but also art , music and creativity , we began a journey to childhood called : The Toymaker, a true story told by toys, a trip from fantasy , curiosity and joy, to the conflicts of maturity and the pain of loss . Unfortunately the difficult economic situation in our country (Venezuela) has jeopardized the film, for us REELPITCH represents a great opportunity, the hope to carry out a project that is almost ready to be filmed.”
Filmmaker Oscar Quintero and The Toymaker
“It’s incredibly exciting to be held in the same regard as other such talented film makers and to be judged by such an important panel of influencers.
Our project is an endeavour both artistic and political in its ambition. Shooting on film was a brave choice that many advised against but we felt it was one that honoured and engaged with the story, and will contribute to the final audience experience of the film..
A big proportion of our journey with this film has been online thanks to total strangers believing in and rooting for our project. It’s taken us by surprise, but we’ve been touched by the support we’ve received at every juncture by people from from all over the world who’ve connected with our story and our battle against gender disparity. Becoming a finalist in the REELPITCH Challenge means a huge deal to us, and we’re hoping that by getting into the finals, we might be in with a chance of winning some much needed money to get our film through post-production and completed to the highest standard possible.
Little bit about us: We are four female filmmakers from the UK who came from various areas of the industry to work together as a team on Little Bird – Georgia Oakley (director), Emily Taaffe (writer, actress, producer), Rebecca Cronshey (producer) and Victoria Zalin (producer).”
Filmmaker Georgia Oakley and Little Bird
“Tagline “They can see, hear and feel you”
Our team of skilled filmmakers are donating their time to this project, and represent a broad range of local talent from Berkshire and the surrounding area. Between them, they have the abundance of industry experience required to make such an ambitious project a reality.
The year is 2060. Samantha works for a shadowy pseudo-government organisation that manipulates thoughts and memories, while her husband James (Adam J. Bernard, Thriller Live!, Dreamgirls and Star Wars: Force Awakens) is losing his mind over visions from a past he can’t remember.
Following the minor nuclear exchange, the world lies in ruin. To prevent future atrocities, society has seen fit to implant the surviving population with computer-brain interfaces; brand name Retina. Ripe technologies maintains a monopoly of these devices, assuming a pseudo-governmental role, which allows its employees to create a safer and fairer world. Negative thought has been removed, people are given careers and relationships they ‘deserve’ based on a Karma rating system.
This world in which every citizen lives connected to Retina seems almost perfect, at least at the surface. But the digital utopia in which our characters live is not without its ghosts. As our story progresses the reality with which our characters surround themselves starts to unravel, as the true nature of the world surfaces.
Personal privacy and relationships are at the heart of the film. In a world where personal interactions are mediated through technology, how does the nature of romance and friendship change? Is an authentic relationship even possible in such a world?
In our film, we follow a natural extension of our increasing reliance on smartphones and the internet to it’s conclusion. We will explore not only how technology affects how we communicate, but also how its misuse can manipulate not only thoughts and behaviors but even our collective memory as a society.
We hope to deconstruct our relationship with technology and each other in the modern world, whilst speculating about the future of advertising, politics and the changing nature of personal interaction.
We believe that this is a story worth telling, now, at this pivotal moment in the development of communications technology. The world of the film, where technology is used to manipulate the world population, which is a scary thought, but in today’s society we all rely on technology and so much data is recorded from what we do on our devices that these ideas don’t seem so far from reality.
We conducted initial proof of concept shoots for the film in December 2015, with stand in cast and mock locations. Take a look at the results below. We also conducted additional proof of concept shoots in February 2016, producing a set of scene extracts.
Creating a complex science fiction world for a micro-budget film is always a daunting task, but with our strong team, we are more than up to the challenge. For our film, we’re going to focus on practical in-camera effects, blended with a smattering of computer generated visual effects.
We will shoot the entire film on locations scattered around Berkshire, principally in the quiet english town of Ascot, to which many of the cast and crew are local, or have strong connections to. In recondition of this connection, the profits from this film will be entirely donated to a local charity: the Alexander Devine Children’s hospice (Website: http://www. alexanderdevine.org), to aid building a new facility in the Berkshire area.
We’re planning to have the final cut of the film locked for December 2016 and released in January 2017, when we will organise charity showings at local venues. We also hope to enter this film into the festival circuit, before self distributing on DVD, Blu-Ray and digitally.
Becoming a finalist in the REELPITCH challenge means the world to us, we have been working tirelessly on App for Life for a year now and any amount of extra funding will help us to complete the film at the highest quality possible.”
Filmmaker Ben Probert and App for Life
Congratulations and good luck to the finalists! The audience and the jury choice from the finals round will each win $10,000 and the FilmStro prize. Second place audience choice and honorable mention jury choice each win $2500. Additionally, the audience and jury winners will screen at The International Audience Awards Film Festival at the Laemmle Theater in North Hollywood, April 1 – 3, 2017.
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