Meet the 2016 Winners of the Jameson First Shot Filmmaking Contest
by Alex Billington
July 29, 2016
There are filmmaking contests, then there are real filmmaking contests. This is one of the best, a real chance to break into the industry and work with genuine talent. The top three winners of the fifth year of Jameson First Shot international short film competition supported by Jameson Irish Whiskey, Kevin Spacey and Trigger Street Productions, will be featured at an event this weekend in Los Angeles - called The Weekender. This year's three winners are: Cameron Thrower (from the US), Kat Wood (from the UK), and Jason Perini (from Australia). After submitting their original scripts, these three filmmakers were given a chance to actually produce and film their short films starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and produced by Trigger Street.
From Kevin Spacey: "How many great untold stories are out there? Jameson First Shot wants to provide a platform for burgeoning filmmakers who have a vision and a voice, but don't have the benefit of an influential uncle in the movie business." That's the idea behind the Jameson First Shot contest and we've been featuring it since the first year, with entries taken in 2011 and winners announced in 2012, when it launched thanks to Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey and Jameson Irish Whiskey. They've continued on for five years and now the 2016 winners have been revealed. Check out the trailer below to get a glimpse at the three short films made by Cameron, Kat and Jason. Take a look and visit jamesonfirstshot.com for details.
The key theme for this year's Jameson First Shot competition is "Sine Metu", which means "Without Fear". The winner from the US, Cameron Thrower, grew up in the town of Summerville, South Carolina and was introduced to the theatre, acting, and directing at the age of 9 by his small community theatre. In 2002, he went to work for the AmeriCorps stationed in San Jose and it's there where he realized he needed to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in filmmaking and storytelling. Cameron made a giant leap to becoming a filmmaker by relocating to Los Angeles, something that takes great courage, and hopefully his choices (and those of the other winners) will inspire others to live without fear as well. Congrats on all the success so far.
I recently made a difficult leap moving to Berlin, Germany and starting a new life in Europe. It has been an exciting and invigorating experience so far, with many great challenges, but I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me from here. I believe fully in living without fear as it is often the only way to make true progress in a world full of many challenges. I am a big fan of this filmmaking competition as it has talented people genuinely interested in finding and supporting great storytellers. Back in 2013, we wrote about the Skype call that Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti made to the winners. Below are more videos showing the behind-the-scenes process and the big moment when the 2016 winners were told they were chosen. Watch:
This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Jameson First Shot contest. For more, visit their website.
You can see all of the past winners' videos online here. Maggie Gyllenhaal follows in the footsteps of Kevin Spacey who starred in the 2012 films; Willem Dafoe who starred in the 2013 films; Uma Thurman in 2014; and Adrien Brody who starred in 2015. You can eventually find the new 2016 films when they go online on their YouTube channel. This year we only have the names of the films: Beauty Mark by Cameron Thrower; Home by Kat Wood; and The New Empress by Jason Perini. You can see a preview of each in the 2016 trailer above (or click here). The three films from 2016 will be revealed online this weekend after the event coming up in Los Angeles, which will including filmmaking workshops and Q&As as well as the screenings.
Winners of the Jameson First Shot contest had to submit a script or screenplay of at least 5 pages but no more than 7 pages in length. Other specifics for entries were: "The script should include a key role that is appropriate for Maggie Gyllenhaal to perform and a maximum of 7 cast. The script should not include any character who is under the age of 25. Final films must be approximately 5 minutes in duration. Your story should be around the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in." We're also planning a follow-up post to feature the three short films once they're available and a profile with one of the winning filmmakers. If you want to enter next year, bookmark the website: jamesonfirstshot.com.