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May 27

DIRECTV

DIRECTV

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 23

SHOOT names Jonathan Newman to New Directors Showcase . . . and more

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Hello, everyone. Jason from Filmaka here.

We are having some technical issues with our blog which is why our postings have not included photos and videos in a couple weeks. We are working hard to fix that problem.

Johathan Newman

Johathan Newman

The biggest news at Filmaka this week is that SHOOT named JONATHAN NEWMAN to its New Director’s Showcase. Jonathan, as you may recall, was the winner of Filmaka’s FORD MUSTANG STORIES competition and SHOOT selected him because of his Mustang film “Father’s Day.” Jonathan is flying from London to New York to attend the reception at the DGA. We’ll be posting updates from Jonathan’s trip. Congrats, Jonathan!

The Filmaka staff – and many of you! – have been busy getting ready for the DIRECTV Film Challenge. Pitches are due this Monday 5/25 so, if you have any free time over Memorial Day weekend, this could be worth your while. Twenty semi-finalists will be awarded $5,000 each to turn their pitch into a film. After a month of production, ten winners will be awarded $50K, with the top winner receiving $15K. Check out http://www.filmaka.com/directv

Our Webby Award winners from Mexico City, Luis, Rodrigo, and Arturo are hard at work publicizing their success in Mexico – several articles and a radio interview so far. In a couple weeks, they’ll head to New York with Filmaka’s Jana Augsberger and Allison Polly to accept their Webby Award for Best Drama Series (THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LA VIDA LOCA).

Filmaka had a meeting with a potential new client – always looking for opportunities for our members – and we’re working on some exciting changes to our website.

Finally, we have also been working on an experimental project. We’ll fill you in as soon as we can.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Jason

May 19

Hard Times

Hard Times

Don’t forget that today is the last day to vote for Filmaka’s “Hard Times” competition. The top ten vote getters move onto the next round, in which they will make a second film on the same topic. Thanks for supporting your fellow filmmaker. (After you select your top ten, Filmaka will select our top five to ten for a total of twenty filmmakers who make it to the next round).

You can see the films and vote here!

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May 13

Smoke and Mirrors Can Lead to Feature Film Stardom

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SUBMIT A SHORT AND WIN FEATURE FUNDING!

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

MORE JURY WINNERS!

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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ANNOUNCING OUR ENTRY LEVEL WINNERS

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!

PEER-TO-PEER WINNERS

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

FILMAKA SELECTIONS

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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May 13

Your Vote Can Turn Hard Times into Good Times

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170 filmmakers did their part – now it’s time to do yours.

Hard Times

Hard Times

Your member votes will determine 10 of the filmakas who win $500 and proceed to the Jury Level of the HARD TIMES competition! That’s the round voted on by the likes of Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Zak Penn, and other industry leaders. We have extended voting to TWO WEEKS to give you all a chance to watch more than 170 entries! You now have until MAY 19 to cast your votes. Remember, if you submitted to this theme, you have to vote or you’ll be disqualified. This month’s FEATURE FILM COMPETITION is sponsored by the DIGITAL RIGHTS GROUP UK, a leading multiplatform content distributor based in the UK, who will be taking a sneak peek at your entries for possible series development!

This was the biggest response ever to a Filmaka short film competition so THANK YOU everyone and GOOD LUCK.

May 13

Filmaka Jury Member Neil LaBute Wins Tony Nod

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Congrats to Filmaka jury member Neil LaBute, whose latest play REASONS TO BE PRETTY has won three Tony (R) Award nominations: Best Play, Best Actor in a Play (Thomas Sadoski), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Mann Ireland). Congrats on your well-deserved recognition, Neil. We really appreciate your support of our filmmakers.

Jason Haikara

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May 13

Filmaka’s Ten Commandments Wins Webby for Best Drama Series

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Webby

Webby

Filmaka received some really big news last week – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LA VIDA LOCA won the WEBBY AWARD for BEST DRAMA SERIES. We are very excited about this huge honor, not only for ourselves, but also – and primarily for – the creative team behind the series: Luis Bernal Salazar, Rodrigo Lopez Aldana, and Arturo Gonzalez Alonso. We have gotten to know these guys very well over the past two years. They really poured their hearts and souls into the creation of this web series – almost getting arrested and worse – so this honor is hugely deserved.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll recount the journey of the series from inception to its current success. This is only the beginning for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and our talented filmmakers from Mexico City. More on that later.

– Jason Zachary Haikara (three names in honor of the tres amigos with three names)

May 13

Mexico’s Sergio Valdez visits Filmaka

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Over the past few months, all of us at Filmaka have gotten to know Sergio from his short films and chats on Facebook. Sergio is a two-time (!) finalist of Filmaka’s feature film competition so we were very excited when he e-mailed us to say he was coming to LA from Mexico to visit friends.

Sergio Valdez

Sergio Valdez


Carolyn (Gray) and I took Sergio to lunch at Monsieur Marcel, a French restaurant (naturally) in Farmer’s Market. We figured he didn’t want Mexican food, even though it was the week of Cinco de Mayo – which Sergio told us was just a reason for us gringos to drink more tequila. Well, he was more diplomatic than that.

The highlight of Sergio’s visit to Filmaka was definitely his meeting with our founder Deepak Nayar. Deepak always enjoys meeting Filmaka members and, as you can see from the photo, they really hit it off. Deepak encouraged Sergio to start thinking about feature film ideas, since he has made it into the final round.

Sergio always looks so brooding in his Facebook profile photo and in his films (he’s also an actor) so it was great to see that he’s a really engaging guy with a great sense of humor.

While he was in LA, Sergio also spent time with Filmaka star member Varda Hardy and her family – they have gotten to know each other the past year and are considering a collaboration.

Anyway, this is my first blog as myself so I will try to wrap this up without being too wordy (too late?). Sergio, it was great getting to know you and we look forward to seeing more of your creativity.

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