Jun 07

Filmaka members Varda Hardy and Ian Allen Lim have been selected for SHOOT magazinesNew Directors Showcase.” They flew to New York to participate on a Panel with other up in coming directors and Varda tells us all about it!


New Directors Showcase Directors Ian Allen Lim, Oliver Power, Bill Bruce, Alex Beh, Varda Hardy and Lora Schulson, co-executive director of content production for Y & R New York

I noticed Filmaka’s Jason Haikara’s Facebook Posting announcing Shoot Magazine’s “New Director’s Showcase”. Filmaka member, Jonathan Newman had been selected to be showcased last year and good things came to him from this honor, so I paid attention to Jason’s posting. I submitted two of my projects “Race to the Sky” and “What Kind Of Planet Are We On?” just making SHOOTS’s deadline by the skin of my teeth.

Two weeks later, when checking my e-mail, I discovered a note from Roberta Griefer, publisher of SHOOT Magazine. When I read it, I actually gasped. Roberta was congratulating me on being selected for SHOOT’s New Director’s 8th Annual Showcase. Wow! “SHOOT” is a highly respected advertising/commercial production industry magazine and since I very much want to make commercials, I found this honor especially exciting!

I flew to New York for this event and was accompanied by LiveTribe Productions Executive Producer Karen Lavender and Producer Jamie Bullock both of whom play key roles in many of my projects including “What Kind Of Planet Are We On?” which was screened as part of this event. Kate Salvino representing Current Content Creation (whom I’ve recently signed with) also flew in from L.A.. Between the three of them, I was surrounded by smart & beautiful company.

…Stay Tuned for Part 2!

Jan 19

Hello Filmaka’s

Filmaka founders Thomas Augsberger and Deepak Nayar are about to launch their new film Tucker & Dale vs Evil at Sundance! Tucker & Dale are two hillbillies are accused of being killers by a group of college kids camping near the duo’s cabin, starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden.  The film is directed by Eli Craig (The Tao of Steve).

The First screening will be Friday, January 22, midnight – Library Center Theater, Park City. For those lucky filmmakers who are heading to Sundance themselves click here for the full schedule.

Cant get enough Tucker & Dale? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Oct 20

Last Chance to Enter Feature Film Competition!

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This is it – the big she-bang, the grand finale. It’s our final theme of the Feature Film Competition. If you’d like to submit a few shorts and get picked to direct your own fully-funded, fully-produced feature, don’t delay – start charging your camera batteries!


Every month, from over 100 submissions, 10 Peer to Peer Winners and 5 to 10 Filmaka Selections are chosen as Entry Level Winners. Each gets $500 and the opportunity to make another film – a Jury Level submission – for which they will receive $1000 funding. TThe Jury Level films are judged by our FILMAKA JURY of world-class film professionals. Three Jury Level Winners are chosen from each theme, and at the end of the year, all Jury Winners compete in the final showdown.

Our final round theme is…


The theme is…every previous theme. That’s right – you can submit a film that relates to ANY of the previous themes for the 2008-2009 competition. They are:

      Race Against the Clock          The Other Side
      Smoke and Mirrors                 Hard Times
      Fresh Start                                  The Party
      Pros and Con Games               The First Day
      On the Road                               Truth or Dare
      Help Wanted                              Behind Closed Doors

If you’ve got a film on your hard drive that you didn’t finish in time to submit to a previous theme, now’s the time to finish it and get it down that modem line to us! PLEASE NOTE: YOU CAN NOT RE-SUBMIT THE SAME FILM YOU HAVE ALREADY SUBMITTED TO A PREVIOUS THEME. Your submission to this short film competition must be original. Re-submissions will be disqualified.

You have until DECEMBER 1, 2009, AT 24:00 HOURS to upload your short film to the WILD CARD competition. Be sure to read and follow the DELIVERY RULES and TERMS AND CONDITIONS before you submit.

So print that script, call the crew, and start laying down some bytes!


Oct 05

Hey everyone!

This Thursday, October 8th, Director Azhur Saleem and Producer James Boyle will give a talk about their experiences as independent filmmakers. Come and join the discussion at:

Mac store

1248 Third Street Promenade

Santa Monica, CA

6-8 pm

Also, here is a sneak peek at their new film:

The Marionette Unit – Inception Trailer from Fun Size Studios on Vimeo.

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Jul 24

Here’s hoping everyone had a creative and productive week. Filmaka certainly did – we’re gearing up for what promises to be our busiest couple months ever. A few highlights:

DIRECTV: We are hearing that DIRECTV is “this close” to selecting the twenty finalists whose short films will be greenlit into production. The DIRECTV marketing team read and analyzed EVERY pitch and they were very impressed with everyone’s hard work and creativity.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS: Entry level winners have been announced. Congrats!

PROS AND CONS:  Jury level winners also have been announced.  These three winners move onto the final round of our feature film competition.   Congrats!

THE PARTY:   Our jury is currently reviewing the jury level entries.  Break a leg!

REED MARTIN:    Filmaka spent several hours this week interviewing author Reed Martin (The Reel Truth).   We’ll be rolling out his interview on Filmaka.com over the next several weeks.   Thanks to the nearly 100 filmmakers from all around the world – Ethiopia, Argentina, South Africa, India, just to name a few – for submitting excellent questions.   If you live in the LA area, Reed will be speaking at The Writer’s Store in Westwood Saturday, July 25 at 11:00am.

DO YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR BLOG?:     If you have a project you’d like to promote or contribute thoughts about filmmaking in general, we would love for you to write for our blog.   Just e-mail jason@filmaka.com

Until next time . . .

Jun 02

Hard Times, DIRECTV Competitions: The Latest

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Hey, this is Jason from Filmaka.

I just wanted to give you an update that Filmaka has sent DIRECTV all of your pitches. Having read more than half of them (and I promise to read the rest in the next day or two), I can say “WOW”. We’ve done quite a few of these projects (Lincoln, Mustang, Cisco, Red Bull, Miller, etc) but each of them is unique in its own way. One thing that is always consistent, though, is your creativity. Although the pitches did contain some common themes (family, couples), they all had some unique characteristics. Thanks again for making us proud. What happens next? Well, DIRECTV will take about a week to review the pitches as well as your previous work (which is why keeping your Filmaka profile up-to-date is so important). We’ll certainly weigh in with our thoughts but, ultimately, the final decision rests with DIRECTV. Stay tuned.

As for the Digital Rights Group UK-sponsored “Hard Times” competition, we hope to announce the Entry Level Winners within the next week. Filmmakers selected their top ten and now it’s DRG and Filmaka’s turn. We like to announce them all at once so everyone has the same amount of time to produce their second film.


May 27



Jason here. A quick post at the end of a long day. Thanks to everyone who entered Filmaka’s DIRECTV Film Challenge. We received close to 200 entries which makes it one of our most successful competitions – especially since it was open to US citizens only. I think I must have read about 60 myself today and so did my colleague Carolyn. Our goal is to power through the rest by the end of the day tomorrow and then begin working on a presentation to submit to DIRECTV by the end of the week. We’ve been very impressed with what we have seen so far. DIRECTV is known for its bold creative and we think they’ll be pleased. THANKS to everyone who entered. We know you put a lot of time and energy into your submissions and are greatly appreciative.

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May 13

Smoke and Mirrors Can Lead to Feature Film Stardom

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Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors

This round’s theme is about illusions, deceptions and mirages – the tricks of the magician, whether he – or she – uses them for entertainment or for darker purposes. Of course, your film doesn’t have to be about a professional magician – plenty of politicians and Sunday school teaches have mastered these skills! Upload your 1-3 minute film about SMOKE & MIRRORS by Sunday, JUNE 21st and you could win $500 to $3000, plus the chance to have your feature film produced, with you as director!

If you are new to Filmaka, the process is: make this film; your peers and Filmaka execs then vote; if you are selected as an entry level winner, you make a second film; that film is voted on by the Filmaka jury (Werner Herzog, Bill Pullman, Neil LaBute, etc); if you place in the top three, you make it into the final round for feature film funding. Got it?

For more details, be sure to check it out!

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May 13


The First Day

The First Day

Say CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of THE FIRST DAY JURY LEVEL COMPETITION. First and second place will receive $3,000 and $2,000 cash prizes, respectively. All three Jury Level Winners are now in the final round of competition for funding of their feature film. Check out their winning entries – and past Jury Winners – on our WINNERS CIRCLE page.

First Place: At First Sight by Sahra Bhimji of the UK
Second Place: Ten First Days by Matthew Kalish of the US
Special Jury Finalist: Kind Op Maat by Chris Zomer of the Netherlands

May 13

Congrats to Fresh Start Entry Level Winners

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The following lucky (and talented) filmmakers have managed to pull it off again – these are our ENTRY LEVEL WINNERS for FRESH START! Each will receive a $500 cash prize for winning, plus the offer of $1000 in funding, should they choose to submit to the Jury Level round of this competition. Well done, ladies and gentlemen, well done!


Tuan by Nguyen-Anh Nguyen of Canada
Run Purple Run by Natomada of Brazil
2 km From Bjuv by Mans Wide of Sweden
Diary of a Jerk by Maxime Pourbaix of France
Morning Jog by Renata Yagolnitzer of the US
1hr. N A Kidz Life by Dominic Boubert of the US
Gimme 5 by Salomon Azkenazi of Mexico
It Was Only Sex by Joe Wihl of the UK
Plant by Jordan Harris of the US
Wildcard by Opiate Films of the UK


Fourth Wall by Jakrin Juangbhanich of the UK
Stain on Sidewalk by Adam Schlacter of the US
Fight Court by Punch Farm of the US
Maria Maria by J.M. Harper of the US
Beneath a Cloudless Sun by Gaz Won of the UK
The Silent Departure by Michael Wong of Hong Kong
Crepes by Nina Rac of Croatia

Fresh Start

Fresh Start

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