Four first-place winners – one from each major region of the world and one in a new 35mm category – have been announced in the annual Kodak Film School Cinematography Competition. The contest is designed to recognize the creativity and talent of student cinematographers in the collaborative process of visual storytelling.
This year’s winners from the regional competition are Joshua Spires from the University of Texas for the Americas region; Johannes Praus from the University of Film & Television “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam for the Europe-Africa-Middle East region; and Masanori Yokota from Osaka University of Arts for the Asia-Pacific region.
The winner of the worldwide 35mm competition is Brendan Barnes from AFDA in South Africa.
The four winners will receive a trip, courtesy of Kodak, to the 2012 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France, where they will have the opportunity to screen their films in the Kodak Short Film Showcase. The filmmakers will also participate in networking sessions and other activities that are part of the festival.
For the third consecutive year, John Bailey, ASC (The Big Miracle, Ordinary People) judged the entries. “We feel very fortunate to have John Bailey, a world-renowned cinematographer, sharing his insights, experience, and eye for talent with these students,” said Johanna Gravelle, worldwide image capture marketing director for Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging Division. “We are so encouraged by the high-quality, creative filmmaking we see coming from film schools around the world. This competition is a wonderful way to recognize the talented students, and it’s just part of Kodak’s many efforts to support the emerging filmmaking community.”
The winning films explored a diverse range of topics. Spires’ film, The Whale, follows a young boy who lives in an ephemeral fantasy to try and escape the cycle of paternal abuse. Praus’ Submerged deals with a clash of cultures when a daughter brings home a boyfriend from a different circle. Yokota’s Bullet of Angry is the story of a grieving father who seeks revenge of his daughter’s killers. Those of the Water, shot by Barnes, explores an ancient Xhosa belief of Abantu (The People of the Water) that come into question after a young boy washes up from the ocean.
Second place winners were also named in each region and in the 35mm competition. These recipients receive a $2,000 Kodak film product grant. They are: Marcella Nunes from Universidade Estácio de Sáin Brazil for Itapoanama; Dimitar Skobelev from National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Bulgaria for The Service; and Hachul Chung from Seoul Institute of the Arts in South Korea for Knock. The runner-up in the 35mm competition is Lotta Kilian from University of Film and Television “Konrad Wolf” in Germany for We Die.
The Kodak Film School Cinematography Competition is open to students and recent graduates in Asia, Latin America, Canada and the U.S., as well as Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Participants compete at a national level first. Then those finalists move on to be judged for the top four spots in the competition. All entries must be produced on film by a student crew.