There is a toast we do as Film/Music/Startup/Food Prize Nation: “I am the Prize! You are the Prize! We are the Prize!”
This toast is the Rosetta stone that translates why we have all come together, and are doing what we are doing as a united group of independent filmmakers, musicians, and supporters of all the Prize endeavors.
I am the Prize! Sure, this part of the toast is somewhat narcissistic, but, heck, when it comes down to it, you (yes, YOU) are definitely the Prize. You’re one of the ones ballsy enough to make a film or put yourself or your music up on stage. If you’re part of the Prize audience, then you’re, literally, the Prize. Not only is your vote needed to help someone win, your amazing energy and unbridled enthusiasm are essential to the success of this Prize Weekend.
You are the Prize! This part of the toast requests that you say this to a friend or acquaintance or the cute potential mate you want to meet (NOTE: many a Prize romance starts this way). We need to directly acknowledge our brethren in this unique group. It is the collective “you” that has come together and grown the Film and Music Prizes into the creative and cultural juggernaut that it is. In other words, without “you” (our filmmakers, musicians, sponsors and audience), there is no “Prize.”
We are the Prize! This is that Power Rangers moment where we join together to create the brilliantly bright beacon (a veritable Power Ranger Zord) that alerts the rest of the world that awesome things happen HERE and NOW! We (that’s all of us) have joined together to create a moment that unlike any other on the planet. WE are, indeed the Prize!
So, on behalf of the amazing Prize team of Chris Lyon, Sabrina Adsit, Rachael Hansil, Julie Gustafson, Emily Smith, my family (Heidi, Tobias and Daisy) and the phalanx of incredible volunteers, we raise our glasses and, together, we say: VIVA LA FILM PRIZE!