Winners in the REELPITCH Challenge Finals Span the Globe

September 6, 2016

Presenting the winners of REELPITCH Challenge Finals Round! The REELPITCH Challenge had over 500,000 views, over 60,000 votes and the best four films were selected by a distinguished jury panel and the audience, You!

Over 175 film projects competed across four categories: Pre-production, production, Post Production & Distribution & Outreach. The submissions were narrowed down by audience & jury selections and the top 19 film pitches competed for their share of over $28,000 in cash & prizes to help make their film dreams come true.

The 3 top most voted videos and the top 2 jury selections from each category moved on to the finals round to compete for $28,998 total in prizes. 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.


1st Place Jury Award: $10,000 + a Filmstro soundtrack license for movie up to $1M budget worth $1999

2nd Place Jury Award: $2,500


1st Place Audience Award: $10,000 + a Filmstro soundtrack license for movie up to $1M budget worth $1999

2nd Place Audience Award: $2,500

FilmStro offers the world’s first soundtrack creation studio. Score your film and make a masterpiece! In addition to the prize money, the first place audience award and jury selection each won a FilmStro soundtrack license, worth $1,999, for movies with a $1M budget or less.

Audience Award Winners:

REELPITCH Challenge Finals Winners

First Place Audience Award Winner, Filmmaker Morgann Gicquel and “The Scrooge Mystery”

Tell us a little bit about you and why you competed in ReelPitch.

“My name is Morgann Gicquel, I have dreamt of being a director since age 9 because my parents didn’t want me to see Jurassic Park on a school night (I figured if I made my own films nobody would prevent me from seeing them, especially not on a school night) and I have since then made over thirty short-films and around two hundred corporate videos. I first heard of the Audience Awards not even a year ago for their Kodak Super8 Filmmaking Challenge and, as I love film in all its forms (” The Scrooge Mystery” is shot in 16mm), I decided to run. I didn’t win by a very small margin (57 votes) but it didn’t get me down either, I realized how incredible this kind of platform was for creativity and connecting with your audience and decided it was best suited for “The Scrooge Mystery,” my next project, which had the potential to interest a majority of Scrooge McDuck’s fans. When the ReelPitch rolled in, it felt like the perfect match, love at first sight.”

What does winning the audience prize mean to you?

“First of all that I will rest. It has been a very intense two-month preparation period with a lot of stress as we rode the roller coaster of the votes so sleeping is in order. About the $10,000 I won’t lie, and I hope it won’t upset our wonderful competitors who all deserved to win, but the money won’t be enough to deliver the beautiful feature we all want everybody to see in a movie theater, not enough to go filming just yet, not even enough to pay our crew for the work they already did but it will be enough to lite the spark. We will do everything to utilize this money the best we can, probably with a little shoot in Kentucky and we will keep everybody posted. But more than that, I really want you to understand, that even if it might not match our budget, it is HUGE. Winning first place in an Audience Awards challenge means we have fans behind us, it means the film is awaited by many, and this will change everything for us. When we won the first round we were able to partner with another co-production which means this film will be supported by five international production companies.That doesn’t necessarily means money, but that means a LOT of people are going to fight for this film to be shot and released in the best of times. It’s too early to say but we often hear that a documentary such as ours should take between 6 and 8 years to be completed, you might have helped us speed up the process quite a bit.”

How will the prizes help advance your film career?

“As a director the sad truth is you work a lot alone in front of a computer writing dossiers, funding requests, changing this and that, and you don’t get to meet your audience. I did thirty films over a decade and I can’t really say I have an audience, more of a fan club composed of about twenty-two family members and friends. Well, last night it might have changed. Last night 1697 people have voted for my project, they have followed my project for the past three weeks and decided it was worth their time. I might still not have an audience just yet, but I definitely met them, all thanks to the Audience Awards, and they look fantastic.”

-First Place Audience Award Winner, Filmmaker Morgann Gicquel and “The Scrooge Mystery


REELPITCH Challenge Finals Winners

Second Place Audience Award Winner, Filmmaker Emeka Mbadiwe and “Bear Fruit”

Tell us a little bit about you and why you competed in ReelPitch:

“I am a devoted filmmaker focused on creating content that inspires and uplifts people. Inspiration is the most powerful thing. I competed in ReelPitch for an opportunity to explore possibilities of sharing my work with a broader audience. ”

What does winning the audience prize mean to you?

“Winning this prize means everything to me. My voters voted for me because they believe in the impact that my films have had on people all over the world.”

How will the prizes help advance your film career?

“The prize will help tremendously. I now have the support I needed to produce even better quality work.”

-Second Place Audience Award Winner, Filmmaker Emeka Mbadiwe and “Bear Fruit

Jury Award Winners:

REELPITCH Challenge Finals Winners

First Place Jury Award Winner, Filmmaker Georgia Oakley and “Little Bird”

Tell us a little bit about you and why you competed in this ReelPitch.

“We are a team of young women seeking to tell a female driven story with a largely female team. We want to show a seldom told story of a woman using war as a means of escape- including escape from things we, as an audience, are encouraged to expect our female protagonists to want.
Shooting a period short film on 16mm was always going to be expensive and we entered hoping to increase the funds we raised through Kickstarter, allowing us to finish the film and to make it as high quality as possible for our audience to enjoy.”

What does winning the jury prize mean to you?

“It is a real honour and a wonderful vote of confidence in the project, and it’s really encouraging to know we have the support of these industry professionals.
On a practical level it will allow us to finish the film and finish it to a high standard, so we can then bring it to a wider audience through the festivals we can now afford to enter!”

How will the prizes help advance your film career?

By allowing us create the best possible short film, the prize will help us connect with other filmmakers and producers, and hopefully start to tell stories on a larger scale with integrity and skill.
This prize will also allow us to screen our film to industry folk and take it to more festivals that we could previously afford, with a view to developing this story further.”

-First Place Jury Award Winner, Filmmaker Georgia Oakley and “Little Bird


REELPITCH Challenge Finals Winners

Second Place Jury Award Winner, Filmmaker Oscar Quintero and “The Toymaker”

“The Audience Awards was a great experience, filled with lessons. To develop a project in South America for a global audience is a big challenge, specially coming from our country Venezuela, for we are living a terrible economic and political crisis that has aislated us from the world. The Audience Awards is a window to a global audience, to receive recognition in this platform and its jury is very important to us, it is a sign that in spite of all the difficulties we are doing things right.”

Tell us a little bit about you and why you competed in this contest.

“My name is Oscar Quintero, I have primarily directed documentary, and along with my partner Marzel Avila, who has specialized in fiction and animation, we have developed the project “The Toymaker” in last few months, mixing these three narrative ways to tell the story of Mario Calderón, an incredibly interesting and inspiring person. We participated in the Audience Awards because our project has been in danger, the lack of economical resources threatened our dream. Also, we wanted to compete with productions from all over the world to prove that we did have in our hands a story with international potential.”

What does winning the jury prize mean to you?

“To win the jury prize is very special to us, it is way to validate our work. It is the eyes of important people, with criteria and career paths who are backing up our project. That fills us with confidence and motivation, and its without a doubt a very important drive for “The Toymaker.”

How will the prize help advance your film career?

“This prize is a huge boost for our project and our film career. There are very few opportunities for us in our country and the Audience Awards is like air that keeps our dream alive. It gives us a motivation to keep going and never give up. To us this prize means we have a future filled with possibilities and a sign that the world is interested in hearing our stories.”

-Second Place Jury Award Winner, Filmmaker Oscar Quintero and “The Toymaker


Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch and Sundance Institute Board Member.

Darrien Gipson, Executive Director, SAGindie

Sascha Rice, Global Marketing Director Motion Picture, Eastman Kodak Company

Harry Vaughn, Associate Programmer, Documentary and Catalyst Narratives Reader, Sundance Institute

Adnaan Wasey, an Emmy- and Webby-nominated executive producer of innovative media, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and head of POV Digital, the new media production division of the long-running PBS documentary series POV.

Check out upcoming competitions here.

Audience Awards is an innovative, filmmaker platform, with a rapidly growing community that is 150,000-members strong. AudAwards features live events, audience voting, branded film challenges, video contests and film news. Audience Awards provides an organic opportunity to cross-promote brands, projects, products, services, causes and the work of emerging filmmakers on a broad scale.



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