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LA Film Prize, I think I love you…

Film Prize, I love you.

There, I said it, and I it feels pretty good.

It’s hard to describe how much I’m enamored with the Film Prize and all that has come from it. While I feel like I’ve certainly done worthy things in my life (I have a wonderful wife and two kickass kids who make me proud everyday), this endeavor has taken a high position in the things that I love dearly.

But why is that? Has it made me (or my team) rich? Not by a long shot (but Chris Lyon still holds out hope for a Tesla). Has it brought us fame and notoriety? Except for those who are focused on indie filmmaking scene, our immediate surroundings and our impact on it, I would say “no” (though Sabrina is certainly holding out hope for a Twitter war with Angela Jolie).

My love for the Film Prize is rooted in the change and transformation that it has brought upon the filmmakers who participate and the community where the filming takes place. While this sounds wonderfully conceptual, I’ve had the extreme honor of interfacing with a number of filmmakers who have been transformed by the Film Prize. To give a real world example, I’ll use two filmmakers: Drayden Dunn and Colby Doler.

Filmmaker Drayden Dunn

Drayden is an aspiring filmmaker who made a film called “Swinging Diamonds” last year. The film didn’t get into the Top 20, but it was a valiant effort by him and his buddy Brandon Alexander. I recently ran into Drayden, and I could feel his enthusiasm as he recounted how much he learned from the Film Prize experience. The best part was the fact that he was now helping others realize their Film Prize dreams.

Colby Doler and Taylor Bracewell

Colby is someone who has experienced success with the Film Prize and made the Top 20 twice. He and his partner Corey Hammett earned a Founder’s Circle Grant ($5,000 filmmaking grant) in their freshman effort “Red River Ode,” and, in 2014, made an amazing  silent film “The Ninth.” Colby was from Georgia, but he immediately felt the magic of Film Prize and seemed to totally understand what we were trying to create. In February, Colby, his girlfriends Taylor Bracewell, and Corey Hammett moved to Shreveport to make films and to help create the independent filmmaking Mecca that Team Film Prize is focused (nay, obsessed) with creating.

To me, the Film Prize has earned my undying admiration because it is changing the way people think about our community, about themselves and, more importantly, about our future. And if we can create this kind of transformation (in our city and those who are here or want to be here), how could you not fall in love with Film Prize?

 

Why Do We Drink Tequila in the Prize Family?

or “¿Por qué beber tequila en la Familia Prize?”

by Sabrina Adsit

When Gregory came to us and proposed these blog posts, I knew I had better start brainstorming the perfect topics. And, in good ol’ Louisiana Film Prize fashion, I thought, “What’s a good idea if it didn’t spawn from a late night driven by the sweet nectar de agave we like to call… tequila?” It was in that moment that I decided to support a little piece of Film Prize tradition with none other than pure science.

At every event the Film Prize Family hosts, we either begin, or end with a toast and tequila shot. Many of you ask “Why tequila?” Two words: Gregory Kallenberg. A world-renowned tequila connoisseur, he even asked me if I liked the stuff during my first job interview. Of course, like any good interviewee I smiled and politely said “Absolutely!” Of course I was really thinking, “Absolutely… in a margarita!”

So here we are, 4 years later, and I’ve finally realized why Gregory chose tequila to be the official drink of the Louisiana Prize family. Like the Louisiana Film Prize, tequila has been proven to be good for your health. Really, it’s science! From helping lower blood sugar and treating colds, to relaxing you and helping you sleep… it’s everything a filmmaker needs! And alas, tequila has been proven to earn your carrier respect when you show up with a bottle of it to an event. Especially a Louisiana Film Prize event (see #13 in the article I have provided a link to below). Also, neither I nor the Louisiana Film Prize condones or supports the use of #8.

So, while you’re shooting your film, keep in mind one thing: if you get invited back for the Louisiana Film Prize Festival and aren’t a fan of tequila… let’s hope you’ve got room for improvement.

15 Reasons Tequila is Actually Really Freaking Good For You

*Drink responsibly! Get a cab, don’t be a jerk.

Location, Location: Call Us to Unlock Northwest Louisiana’s Vast Array of Filming Spots

As people begin to descend on Northwest Louisiana, some of our favorite phone calls are about finding locations. Restaurants, streets, parks, homes, commercial and industrial property, landscapes, studios, stages, and more. Shreveport-Bossier and the surrounding Louisiana Film Prize-approved parishes (what counties are called in Louisiana) are packed full of great shooting locations and over the years, our staff has become increasingly aware of exactly how much there is here. There’s no reason to compromise – these locations are the real deal. Unless you’re looking for the Rocky Mountains or a polar ice cap, we’ve got you covered. Even then, creating something from nothing may very well be feasible – even on a shoestring budget.

SandPits100_46606

Exhibit A: In Louisiana, not an actual desert.

Recently, a filmmaker called the office asking if they could shoot in Texas for a desert scene. They were really concerned whether they could even do their project in Louisiana. But there was no need to fret. Within minutes of getting the call, the Film Prize team sent several options for shooting in NWLA including a vast area of sand and dunes in Sibley, about 30 minutes away from downtown Shreveport and well within the required filming zone. The film crew was elated saying “We can make that work….you rock!” It’s hard to argue with such enthusiasm.

This particular story of discovery is just one of dozens like it we’ve encountered in the last four years of our festival. We rarely get complaints that people can’t find what they need, and usually that complaint comes when someone hasn’t called us to ask us to help. Louisiana Film Prize is not like other festival and contests. Since one of our rules is filming in the region, we would be remiss if we didn’t help you get on track. We are happy to take phone calls, emails all day long to help you out. You’re not alone!

There’s a really great resource on Shreveport-Bossier’s website of filming locations in the area. Click here to see the database. I’ve included a small sample gallery of some locations within the shooting zone that I think are pretty awesome. We will be posting more cool location articles in the future that might inspire a script idea, a scene change, or just plain convince you to do a Film Prize project in the first place.

If you need help, please contact Chris Lyon, the Filmmaker Liaison, at chris@lafilmprize.com.

Louisiana Film Prize 2015 Announces $50,000 Grand Prize

Most Unique Film Competition in the Country Gears Up After Record-Breaking 2014

Download this Press Release

Shreveport, LA –January 13, 2015 — On the heels of a record-breaking year, Executive Director Gregory Kallenberg announced the fourth annual Louisiana Film Prize filmmaking competition launch on January 13 at artspace in downtown Shreveport. The Film Prize is once again offering up a $50,000 cash prize, the world’s largest cash prize for a short film. This year’s competition will also offer an added incentive – distribution for the Top 5 films on iTunes through a partnership with Shorts International, and showings at partnering film festivals.

The contest and festival (www.LAFilmPrize.com), held each year in Shreveport, LA, invites filmmakers from all over the world to create and present a short film under one condition – it must be shot in Northwest Louisiana. Filmmakers can shoot their films from January 14 to July 14 (rough cut deadline).

In addition to the Grand Prize, this year’s filmmakers will vie for “Founder’s Circle” Grants. The prestigious $3,000 “Founder’s Circle” filmmaking grants will be awarded to five of the Top 20 filmmakers. The Film Prize will also be offering $1,000 cash prizes for best actor and actress. Later in the year, Team Film Prize will be announcing its celebrity recipient of the “Big Chief” award.

Kallenberg announced that Louisiana Film Prize 2014 broke a record with 105 submissions from all over the country (Los Angeles to New York, Houston to Chicago).  Kallenberg also announced that close to 1,000 people participated in Film Prize projects. These productions (and festival weekend) yielded close to $2.5 million in economic benefit for the Shreveport-Bossier area.

“We’re really amazed by the national attention we’ve received for last year’s competition and festival,” said Kallenberg. “It shows that we’ve started to create a true home for the independent film spirit. We can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for the Film Prize.”

Louisiana is becoming recognized as a film capital for its large and quickly growing film industry. One of the goals of the Film Prize aims to help nurture the burgeoning indie film community in Shreveport-Bossier and all of northwest Louisiana, where filmmakers come to create all types of film.

Visit www.lafilmprize.com to learn more information about the Louisiana Film Prize contest and festival.  The deadline for submissions is July 14, 2015.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Please contact:
Sabrina Adsit
(281) 414-8429
Sabrina@lafilmprize.com

Welcome to Louisiana Film Prize 2015

Filmmakers,

Since the early 2000s, Louisiana has been growing as a destination for studio and independent films. Last year, we became the number one destination for filmmaking in the world, producing one of the biggest and most diverse filmmaking resumes anywhere outside of Hollywood, New York, and Vancouver. Many films you will see in 2015 were produced here – from Terminator: Genisys to Jurassic World. If you’re a filmmaker, you need to be eyeing Louisiana. Not because of the tax credits, but because this is where it’s all happening. Louisiana is the new Hollywood, where dreams can – and do – become reality.

In 2012, we started the contest known as the Louisiana Film Prize to entice you, the filmmakers of the world, to visit northwest Louisiana to get a taste of the state, the opportunities, and to offer you a chance to jump start your career with one of the largest cash prizes for a film anywhere in the world – $50,000 cash, no strings attached. In 2013, we introduced the distribution component where you can win distribution deals on iTunes and other VOD services along with automatic festival appearances around the country meaning your film in front of more eyes. In 2014, over 104 teams registered to compete and we saw record attendance at our festival.

We are incredibly excited to announce the Louisiana Film Prize 2015 where we will continue to grow the opportunities for you as a filmmaker by continuing to provide unheard-of amounts of production support – from helping you find locations, to facilitating the distribution of calls for cast and crew, to equipment rentals and beyond. And, once you’ve finished and if you’re accepted into the festival, we will show your work before an audience most other festivals can’t even begin to promise you – thousands of captive audience viewers and prizes that would make anyone jealous. Shreveport, Bossier City, and the northwest Louisiana area are primed and ready for you to explore your creativity, to meet new challenges head on, and to go for the gold to win $50,000 cash.

Team Film Prize welcomes you to the fray and wishes you the best of luck in your race for the prize.

VIVA!
Gregory Kallenberg, Executive Director
Chris Lyon, Filmmaker Liaison

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