The Mascot tells the story of Adam, the mascot for the Pittsburgh Pandas basketball team. Adam’s life revolves around the character and the job – until he’s fired and decides to confront the man who has replaced him...
South African winner Mark Middlewick took the bold move to cast Adrien Brody in a panda suit in his short film "The Mascot", which tells the story of an out of work mascot's spiraling identity crisis.
With First Shot, Mark took somewhat of a leap into the unknown, but his confident approach to storytelling prevailed: "Arriving in LA was a mix of immense excitement and also a healthy feeling of anxiety. But I felt so supported, everyone was working towards one single vision. It's really a launching pad to do the things I want to do."
His advice to next year's entrants is to "write what you know and stay true to the type of filmmaker you are."
The Library Book tells the story of a modest man's encounter with a stern librarian while returning an overdue book to a failing library. Their meeting results in existential discussions and unexpected outcomes...
American winner Travis Calvert's First Shot "The Library Book" tells the unexpected tale of a seemingly modest man returning an overdue library book to failing library.
Travis was inspired by some words from his leading man: "Adrien told me: you have to trust yourself. Even if you don't win, keep going and don't let anybody stop you." And in this spirit, Travis' own advice for next year's entrants is "don't be afraid to really put yourself out there. Give your best and don't stop trying."
Boredom tells the story of Danny, a 40-year-old man who chooses to remain a child – no matter what anyone else thinks...
Canadian winner Stephan Tempier's short film "Boredom" tells the story of Danny, a 40 year old man who lives his life according to his inner child.
Stephan was relatively new to the world of filmmaking, but fully embraced the collaborative spirit that fuels the competition: "I always struggle with self-confidence in my work. Doing this and having the inputs of professionals and talented people, I learned to trust myself a lot more. You'll learn from people surrounding you because they are all experts in what they do."
His advice for future entrants was to "Keep it simple. Make it about the story and the characters. Something that speaks to you."