Competition Awards $15,000 to Artists' PSAs Celebrating the Movie and Television Industry at Work
OTTAWA, March 2, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) today announced the winners of the third edition of The REEL Challenge Contest. This year's theme, Celebrating the Movie and Television Industry at Work, was an opportunity for filmmakers to produce a compelling short film to showcase the importance of promoting and protecting Canada's dynamic production industry, which, last year alone, supported the livelihoods of 128,000 artists, creators and workers - in front of and behind the camera.
David Zitzerman, member of the CFC Board, announced the Contest winners at the Canadian Media Production Association's (CMPA) Prime Time in Ottawa conference. The first place winner was Gerald Patrick Fantone of Toronto, ON. Fantone will receive $10,000 for his original short THIS FILM - a work that celebrates the countless people required to bring a production to life.
"We often take for granted the way productions are made, and remain oblivious to the hundreds of people and numerous businesses that work endless hours on both sides of the camera to make the films we all enjoy so much. This industry is worth keeping and protecting; it crosses over so many businesses and serves as a driving force of economic growth," Fantone said.
Second place winner Alex Sikorsky of Toronto, ON will receive the $3,000 prize for his short film SUPERHEROES, a PSA recognizing the importance of the employees working behind the camera of a production, as seen through the eyes of children.
Third prize, in the amount of $2,000, awarded to Jesse Ewles of Toronto, ON for his short FILM TRUCK, illustrates the economic impact that the film and television industry has on society, as it uses countless everyday businesses for all aspects of a production.
"The number of high quality submissions received for The REEL Challenge Contest this year is clearly a testament to the growing awareness of the importance of the film and television industry's creativity and contribution to economic prosperity in this country," said Slawko Klymkiw, Executive Director, CFC. "A healthy film and television industry means more jobs, a stronger economy, and a greater array of entertainment choices for audiences. For creativity and prosperity to flourish in the digital age, the protection of creative works matters."
Viewers can watch all three winning entries at www.thereelchallenge.ca.
The contest ran from September 6, 2011- January 13, 2012. All categories and genres of short films were accepted, including drama, comedy, animation, horror, sci-fi, documentary, experimental and music videos.
The REEL Challenge Contest is an opportunity for artists to speak out on the importance of protecting creative works. Copyright is the bread and butter for thousands of Canadians working in the film industry. Filmed entertainment takes enormous amounts of time, investment and effort to make - and in the digital age of the internet, no time at all to steal. The illegal copying and mass distribution of movies on the Internet has a destructive impact throughout our entire economy, threatening all types of jobs and businesses.
The REEL Challenge Contest is an initiative of the Canadian Film Centre, supported by the Copyright Collective of Canada. The Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding residents of Quebec.)
CFC is Canada's leading institution for advanced training in film, television, screen acting and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices in film, television, new media and screen acting to the world. For more information please visit: cfccreates.com
The REEL Challenge - Winners' Biographies
Gerald Patrick Fantone - First Place Winner
Gerald Patrick Fantone is an emerging filmmaker based in Toronto who comes with a wealth of experience in theatre and film. A graduate of York University's Film Production program and a Berlinale Talent Campus alumni, he has also been mentored by veteran Canadian directors, Jerry Cicorriti and John Greyson. He has served as the director for A Child Is Born , the annual Kingsway Lambton Christmas Pageant, and as the assistant director for DramaWay Theatre Productions, a Toronto-based theatre organization that provides creative programs to individuals with special needs. Besides writing and directing, he also facilitates drama, onscreen acting, film, and visual art classes for children and individuals with disabilities. Fanton is also a recipient of the world-acclaimed Rotary Club International "Youth Impact Awards" for his service to people with special needs. His most recent films include Play. Stop. Rewind. (VIFF 2010) and The Durian Experience (Milan LGBT 2010).
Alex Sikorsky - Second Place Winner
Alex grew up on the shores of the Black Sea. As a child, he spent his summer nights watching movies in an open-air theatre, and was enthralled with the world of cinema. At 10 years of age, Alex was given his first still camera, an old Smena 8a, and since then he's never stopped shooting. While living in Israel, Alex gained a deep appreciation for cinematography and moved to Canada to pursue his passion for film. Alex's purpose is to create work that raises public awareness on important issues, as he believes that this is the true responsibility of being a filmmaker.
Jesse James Ewles - Third Place Winner
Jesse James Ewles is a Canadian independent filmmaker from Toronto, ON, who has a list of credits under his belt, including directing music videos for notable bands Grizzly Bear, Of Montreal and Owen Pallett. He completed his first short film for Bravo! TV entitled Kingdom of Frogs, in January 2010. His main influences include Jan Švankmajer, Julian Schnabel, William Blake as well as 1970s Public Broadcasting animations produced by CBC and PBS. He was named the best unsigned director of 2008 by videos.antville.org.
View their winning videos at thereelchallenge.ca
For media inquiries, please contact:
Brian Mullen, Communications Coordinator, CFC, 416.445.1446 x463