Exclusive: Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge 2013 Has Its Short Film Winners And You Can Watch 'Em Right Now

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
If you're an independent filmmaker or film student who is looking to broaden your creative circles, exercise your filmmaking skills in new ways and win up to $5,000, then you may want to check out Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge. It's a two-week intensive crash course in cooperative, DIY fueled filmmaking that takes place here in Los Angeles. While it may sound a lot like the 48 Hour Film Projects that seem to be in just about every major city this side of the moon, CFC stands a bit to the left with less emphasis on competition as a true collaborative effort is encouraged between teams -- direct one short, and design sound for the next, who knows what you'll do, but it's all for the greater good of storytelling. So while their 2013 challenge has come to a close, there will always be 2014. So if you're curious about what they do, the folks at CFC were nice enough to pass onto me the exclusive to run this year's top 3 shorts, which you can watch right over here.

SECOND ANNUAL COLLABORATION FILMMAKERS CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES WINNING FILMS

(LOS ANGELES, CA--MAY 6, 2013) The results are in and "A SIMPLE TEST," a film by Jonathan Smith and his collaborator Mike Carrier, has earned the $5,000 top prize in the second annual Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge (CFC).  Justin Galindo received $1,500 and the Key Collaborator Award for best embodying the spirit of collaboration by assisting other filmmakers during the competition. Rounding out the champions was "A SIMPLE TEST" by Jonathan Smith and his collaborator Mike Carrier, voted favorite film by the audience and awarded a $1,500 prize. This year's esteemed judging panel included: pop culture icon KURT LODER, MATT LILLARD (SCOOBY-DOO, THE DESCENDANTS), Slamdance president & co-founder PETER BAXTER, Zero Gravity manager ANDREW WILSON, StyleHaul development head MELODY HAMMER, and BETHANY ORR, last year's winner. CFC Founder JOE GRESSIS and the CFC team, as well as guests MICHAEL BIEHN (THE TERMINATOR, SUSHI GIRL), RICHARD GUNN (GRANITE FLATS, DARK ANGEL), JENNA MATTISON (THE TREE OF JESSE), JENNIFER BLANC BIEHN (THE CROW, DARK ANGEL), among others.

"It's always a pleasure to be surprised--not just by new young filmmakers, but by new young filmmakers with talent," stated Judge Kurt Loder.

The winners were announced this Saturday, May 4th at the Short Film Showcase at the Harmony Gold Theater, concluding the challenge's month-long competition. The CFC is a one-of-a-kind film festival based in Los Angeles. Teams of two filmmakers are paired together based on compatible strengths, then collaborate and compete to see who can make the best short film in two weeks. At the Orientation on April 9th, the festival paired filmmakers together and released a Theme Quote meant to inspire this year's movies. The key ingredient to this challenge's success was the collaboration between the filmmakers, playing off of each other to create stronger films.

This year's theme was, "It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees." -Emiliano Zapata

 "We are thrilled with the films showcased this year," said Joe Gressis, Founder of the Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge. "This challenge continues to bring out such amazing creativity and growth in filmmakers--embodying the true spirit of the competition."

Complete List of Films Showcased
HACK by Paul Stephen Edwards with Tarniesha Stimage
STARGAZING by Summera Howell & Kari Lane with Arran Alps
DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT by Angel Lebon
DEAD BODY ACTING CLASS by Mike Carrier with Jonathan Smith
TISSUE by Patricia Furnare with Eric Mendoza
INTERVENTION BARBIE by Cristina Sasso with Coco Quinn
MONTY DREAMS OF AFRICA by Marco Ragozzino with Angel Lebon
DRAVEC by Arran Alps with Whitney Manis
SUNDAY by Coco Quinn with Richard Jordan
A SIMPLE TEST by Jonathan Smith with Mike Carrier
EL TORO by Juan Ramirez with Eric Coker
INVITATION by Sharif Matar with Robert Steinberg
TRUCK by Eric Coker with Kaypri


About Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge
The Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge was founded in 2012 by writer/producer Joe Gressis and is held in association with Very Important Productions, an independent production company. Past projects include 2011 indie feature A LITTLE HELP, a film by Michael J. Weithorn (King of Queens), starring Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Chris O'Donnell; Adult Swim's Drinky Crow Show; Comedy Central's Emmy-nominated Baxter & MacGuire; and Streamy-nominated hit web series Oishi High School Battle.

For more information about the Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge please visit
http://www.collaborationchallenge.com.
  
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