The shortlist for the first edition of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, sponsored by Creo, has been announced. The awards aim to elevate original voices from around the globe with a fresh perspective on storytelling.
The awards ceremony will take place Feb. 22 on the Sony Pictures Studio lot in Culver City, Calif. After the awards, the 30 shortlisted filmmakers will then take part in a three-day workshop program.
The jury included filmmaker Justin Chadwick, president of TriStar Pictures Nicole Brown, UTA Partner Jeremy Barber, and cinematographer Roger Deakins.
Chadwick said, “The global response has been truly exhilarating. New voices from all over the world have sent in films in all categories in huge numbers. Films that are original, diverse and fresh, filled with passion and originality.”
Creo organizes events and programming related to photography, film and contemporary art.
More than 4,000 films from 3,000 filmmakers in 140 countries were submitted.
The shortlisted films are listed below:
In the Fiction category, the shortlist includes:
Saul Abraham (UK), ENJOY – A touching, offbeat exploration of the ways in which depression manifests in men across different generations;
Dumas Haddad (UK), Flowers – An Afro-futuristic fairytale of love following a ceremony of a mother giving away her son (Pictured above)
Dan Thorburn (UK), Salt Water Town – With the threat of closure looming over a failing caravan park, the owner and his son clash over their future with tragic consequences;
Joy Webster (Canada), Menace – A drama about a woman seeking revenge against her ex-boyfriend, a well-known TV presenter;
Ka Ki Wong (Hong Kong), Fire Room – In a staggered time and space, an unusual relationship unfolds between a pair of siblings – one an arsonist, the other a firefighter
The Non-Fiction category shortlist is composed of:
Alfie Barker (UK), Hanging On – A docudrama about the struggles of a housing community faced with eviction;
Horacio Cabilla (Spain), This Is My Reason – The stories of three cyclists using the sport to overcome personal losses and setbacks;
Juan Vicente Manrique Gomez (Venezuela), No Te Agüites (Don’t Worry) – In an indigenous town threatened by criminal groups, firearms have become part of everyday life for the local children who are forced to help watch over their community.
Julianna Jimreivat (USA), Letting Go of the Grade – As four women travel to Mexico for a climbing expedition, they explore their relationship to the practice and open up about their personal challenges;
Daniela Lucato (Italy), The Things You Don’t Know About Me, Mom – A survivor of the Pinochet regime in Chile imagines telling her mother all of the things that she didn’t want to know;
The Environment category is run in association with Sony Pictures Television’s “Picture This” initiative, which champions creativity that communicates a positive future for the planet. The shortlist comprises:
Pedro Furtado (Brazil), The Good Dolphins – Fishermen in Brazil fight to save a pod of dolphins who have helped them catch fish across generations;
Austin Smock (USA), The Beauty Between – A wildlife photographer raises awareness about the threats facing the ten million birds living on the Great Salt Lake in Utah;
Alexander Sworik (Canada), Seawolf – Two indigenous men look to preserve their heritage and save the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia;
Joaquín Ezequiel Tucci (Argentina), Despertólogo Ambiental – A documentary following Gastón Caminata, a climate activist who reminds us about the impact of humans on the planet and that change that depends on us;
Thanh Tran (Vietnam), The Voice of the Wind – As humanity is losing touch with nature, the wind is talking to us… Is anyone listening?
The Student Filmmaker competition rewards the talent soon set to shape the industry.
The Fiction category shortlist includes:
Theo-Ziny Joel (Nigeria), National Film Institute, Nigeria, Read My Body – A father preparing for war warns his son, who wants to be a warrior like him, about the impact of war and teaches him to seek peace instead;
Alisha Mehra (Australia), Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, Match Point – Two first-generation Australians compete at an annual badminton competition – one for his mother’s approval, the other for the prize money to help pay his mother’s medical bills;
Juan Pablo Daranas Molina (Cuba), New York University Tisch School of the Arts, USA, The Confirmation – A biologist opposes her daughter’s attempt to cure her disease through spiritual healing;
Mateo Salas (Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia), The Sun of the River – A family’s journey takes a troubling turn when they are stopped by a group of paramilitaries;
Pietro Venier (Italy, University of West London, UK), The Hook – An Italian teenager is faced with a dilemma: should he stay in his hometown with his best friend and family, or accept a job on a distant island fated to disappear under rising sea levels.
The Non-Fiction category shortlist is composed of:
Catalina Fonseca Arango (Colombia), Corporación Universitaria Taller 5, Colombia, Stories of a Dancing Mind – A documentary about a dancer charting her thoughts, experiences and deepest reflections;
Shiao-ya (Maggie) Huang (Taiwan), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Farewell Chang Chun – In a building in Taipei due to be demolished, the family who made it their home say goodbye through the sharing of stories, memories and emotions;
Seonghoon Eric Park (Republic of Korea), Boston University, USA, In Cod We Trust – A film probing the endangered fishing trade in the New England town of Gloucester, home to one of the oldest and largest fishing communities in the USA;
Lubeera Saphina (Uganda), Kampala University, Uganda, Ghetto Fist – Faced with challenges and following a sexual assault, a female boxer trains and finds inspiration in her sport;
Ishan Vaidya (India), The University of Salford, UK, Puffin Island – Every spring and summer the island of Skokholm in the Celtic Sea is witness to one of the greatest wildlife gatherings in Britain with the return of a huge flock of puffins.
The Future Format competition challenges filmmakers to respond to a new technical brief each year. This year, submissions were to be exclusively shot on a smartphone. The shortlist is comprised of:
Jose Jacob (India), My India – A bike ride on the border of India juxtaposed with a phone conversation about identity and nationalism between two friends;
Ria Nalavade (India), Magic Eraser – A schoolchild with a new eraser discovers that it rubs out all the lines that divide the country of India;
Ginna Parra (Colombia), Filtros (Filters) – A ten-year-old boy trapped inside the body of a zombie feels ostracized, but through social media discovers a less superficial world
Jacob Redman (UK), Subversive – An American artist living in a disused winery in the South of France leads the viewer through his studio and his creative process;
Pan Tianhong (China Mainland), Homework for Winter Vacation – A child making sweet dumplings in preparation for the Chinese New Year completes his task in a very creative manner.