Montana Film Office and Audience Awards collaborate to give international filmmaker Sarah Clift a chance to create in Montana
As part of its ambitious initiative toward gender equality in the film industry, Audience Awards film platform launched its first Women’s Film Challenge this year. Ten short-form films were chosen out of over 200 submissions by emerging female filmmakers. The shorts premiered at AudFest, Audience Awards festival held in L.A. in April and winners garnered over $75,000 in cash and prizes.
Montana Film Office contributed one of those prizes – a scouting trip to Montana, including two plane tickets and lodging for the filmmaker of their choice. Interested filmmakers from the top 40 WFC films were asked to submit a short script synopsis and Montana Film Office chose their winner.
Today, the film office and Audience Awards are pleased to announce that winner is Sarah Clift for her script, Soul Companion, currently in preproduction.
“Sarah’s work could not be more deserving,” says Audience Awards CEO and founder Paige Williams. “This prize demonstrates what the film office does as a source of good and growth for Montana. Connecting the film office with an outstanding female filmmaker like Sarah Clift embodies Audience Awards’ mission to help independent filmmakers connect with film industry leaders.”
Clift’s submission, Soul Companion, is an experimental film about a young Native American woman learning to live with seasonal depression. “This submission has a quality of elements that are especially suited for Montana,” says Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer of Montana Film Office. “A sense of place, addressing a chronic health issue that many Montana residents suffer from, and exploring Native American culture.”
“I’m thrilled that my film project has been accepted by the Montana Film Office,” says Clift. “The film focuses on a number of topics very close to my heart, including a strong female lead character. Setting the film in Montana has brought a real uniqueness to the story.”
Both Montana Film Office and Audience Awards work to nurture and support the development of the film industry. They are both pleased to help promising filmmakers like Sarah Clift find success and opportunity in Montana and around the world.