The Wyoming Short Film Contest opens for entries this Friday, January 21 in conjunction with the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. Film makers can submit their videos online at www.wyomingshortfilmcontest.com. A $25,000 first prize will be awarded to the winning entry with a storyline that takes place in Wyoming, features Wyoming, or presents the state as a major character.
The winner will be decided in two rounds. First is a public voting round, where viewers from around the web rate the films. A judging panel will then decide the winner based on the top ten most popular entries. Some criteria that the judges will keep in mind when viewing the films include Cinematography, Screenplay/Acting, Sound Design, Editing, and Overall Production Value. "This two-round structure helps us find the best possible films. The public gets to play a part in the process, while film professionals and scholars decide the ultimate winner," said Colin Stricklin of the Wyoming Film Office. "It's a great way to get people excited about the contest."
The Wyoming Short Film Contest was introduced at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, and ran again in 2009 and 2010. "The winner from the first year just finished making a documentary with his prize money, and the 2009 winner begins production on his prize-funded feature this week in Cheyenne," said Stricklin. "We're excited to give another filmmaker startup funds for 2011, and look forward to more of the same for many years to come."
The Wyoming Film Office is not only launching the 4th annual Short Film Contest but also sponsoring legislation this year to continue the Film Incentive program. Film Office Manager Michell Howard explains "Our incentive is an up to 15% cash rebate on filmmaker expenditures in Wyoming. It allows us to stay competitive in the world of location filmmaking. It means more dollars coming into the state." For more information visit www.filmwyoming.com