Jury Named for SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival

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Mon, 06/13/2016 - 14:48 -- Nick Dager

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Hollywood Professional Association today announced the jurors for the second annual SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival. The event is scheduled for October 26, following the Oktoberfest Reception at the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Hollywood, California. The deadline for entries is June 27. For the second year in a row Nick Dager, editor and publisher of Digital Cinema Report will serve as a juror.

"The SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their technical creativity while gaining visibility among industry leaders," said Barbara Lange, executive director of SMPTE and HPA. "Highlighting the work of both SMPTE's and HPA's youngest members, this event offers an intriguing glimpse into the future of motion imaging."

Film festival jurors are a diverse group of accomplished motion-imaging professionals from around the world. They include Elisa Bonora, an editor and producer originally from Milan, Italy, who has worked on multiple Emmy-nominated documentaries; David S. Cohen, senior features editor at Variety; Ben Gervais, a productions systems supervisor who is currently the technical lead for production and post-production for Ang Lee's upcoming feature, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk; Dorian Harris, a film and television editor since the 1980s who recently edited the premiere television episode of 11.22.63; Bryan Hillestad who has been working professionally as a character animator and an animation supervisor for two decades on a diverse range of projects, including the recent 2016 blockbuster Deadpool; Katie Hinsen, a native of New Zealand, who works as a senior finishing artist at Light Iron New York and founded the Blue Collar Post Collective; and Niven Howie, who is well-established as an editor for high-end commercials, pop videos, and feature films, and is best known for his work on music videos such as Sting's Ten Summoner's Tales and XTC's Dear God as well as iconic films Dawn of the Dead (2004) and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005). 

The jury also will include Nancy Jundi, a data scientist for the entertainment, technology, and SaaS industries; Patricia Keighley, senior vice president of IMAX Corporation and cofounder and managing director of Imax Post/DKP Inc.; Mark Kenna, the CEO of U.K.-based Bad Blood Films and a film sound consultant; Dean Lyon, a producer, director, and visual effects (VFX) supervisor with VFX credits such as the Lord of Rings trilogy and Without a Paddle; Stewart Schill, an ACE Award-nominated writer, director, and editor who has most recently edited television programs such as The People vs. OJ Simpson, American Horror Story, and Dexter; Ted Schilowitz, founding member, first employee, and product development team member at Red Digital Cinema and now futurist at 20th Century Fox and cinemavangelist at Barco; Matisse Tolin, who is the virtual reality (VR) producer and screenwriter who founded Lithic VR; and Joachim Zell, the vice president of imaging science and technical director at EFILM, where he began the EC3 onset and near-set dailies division.

The complete list of jurors is available at www.smpte.org/jurors. 

The SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival features the following award categories. Students must select one category for each entry:

Best Creative Use of Technology to Engage the Audience in the Story — Narrative Format

Running time of up to five minutes

Running time of 30 seconds or less 

Best Portrayal of Entertainment Technology in the Film — Documentary Format

Running time of up to five minutes

Running time of 30 seconds or less 

Best Creative Use of Virtual Reality in Storytelling 

Running time of up to three minutes

Best Use of Mobile Device or Tablet to Convey a Story — Narrative Format 

Running time of up to five minutes 

An additional award for Audience Choice will be voted on by the festival attendees and awarded on the evening of the festival.

"We honor the creativity and adept use of technology that these students are using to tell stories. Being a stakeholder in the Festival is reflective of our commitment to helping the next generation rise to careers in our industry. It's also inspiring," said Seth Hallen, president of the HPA. "As the industry moves toward increasingly sophisticated tools and processes, this interplay with storytelling is incredibly important. It is a great opportunity for the students to explore the process and have the opportunity to show their work to other young filmmakers, industry executives, and leading technologists. The HPA is pleased to participate in the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival and shine a spotlight on the creative leaders of tomorrow."

The SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival is open to full-time students currently enrolled in an accredited college, university, film school, or high school/secondary school. This is an international festival, and entries from all parts of the world are encouraged. As the festival focuses on technology, students should ideally major in an area that emphasizes engineering, science, advanced technologies, or fundamental theories associated with motion-imaging, sound, metadata, and workflows consistent with SMPTE's field of interest. Eligible students are required to have completed four courses toward their major course of study and be in good academic standing. Supporting documentation and identification must be presented in order to qualify.

There is no fee to enter, and SMPTE or HPA membership is not a prerequisite for submission of a film. However, students may join SMPTE as student members for just $10 or for free if this is their first year of membership when they apply via the Student Membership Challenge.

Further information about the SMC is available at www.smpte.org/student-membership-challenge.

Tickets to attend the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival will be available when SMPTE 2016 registration opens later this month. Admission to the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival is free for students, and a $25 donation is suggested for others.

Further information about the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival, including jurors, complete rules, and resources, is available at http://www.smpte.org/film-festival.