FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Justin Lin, Marlon Wayans, Will Packer and Tracey Wigfield Join As Judges for the 11th Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Randall Park, Hasan Minaj, Malcolm D. Lee and Masi Oka Also Set to Judge Annual Festival That Celebrates Diverse Stories While Finding the Next Generation of Storytellers
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – September 13, 2016 – As part of the company’s ongoing initiatives to find new voices, the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL unveiled the judging panel for its 11th annual festival. The diverse group of award-winning directors, writers, producers and actors include director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond), producer Will Packer (Ride Along series, Straight Outta Compton), writer-producer Tracey Wigfield (The Mindy Project, creator and showrunner of NBC’s upcoming Great News), Marlon Wayans (NBC’s upcoming Marlon), Masi Oka (Heroes, Hawaii Five-0) and writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, Barbershop: The Next Cut) as well as festival alumni Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat, Trainwreck) and Hasan Minaj (The Daily Show).
“Our judging panel is comprised of creatives and festival alumni who enrich film and television with diverse stories and unique perspectives,” says Karen Horne, SVP of Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment. “I’m proud that our SHORT FILM FESTIVAL along with our other NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs continue to discover and recognize talented storytellers with new and original voices.”
Founded in 2006, the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is the first and only film festival created and run by an entertainment studio with the mission of discovering diverse voices both in front and behind the camera. This celebrated annual initiative, known for introducing up and coming directors, writers, producers and actors to top industry tastemakers, also awards prizes ranging from holding deals and development meetings at NBCUniversal to monetary grants. The bi-coastal festival is part of the robust NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs (NBCUNI TIPS) that promote and encourage people of diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of storytellers.
This year’s festival will culminate with a finale screening and award ceremony on October 19, 2016 at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood.
“I'm excited to return as a judge for NBCUniversal's SHORT FILM FESTIVAL,” said director Justin Lin. “Discovering and nurturing the next generation of talent is a personal mission of mine, so I feel privileged to be amongst the first to see original and diverse stories from up and coming filmmakers. I’ve seen several festival alumni go on to present their work at Sundance and Cannes, and I expect nothing less from this year’s filmmakers.”
Last month, the festival officially kicked off in New York with two days of screenings and events for this year’s 14 semi-finalists. They received GoPro equipment packages and LumeCube kits to document their experiences at curated events that included a SAG-AFTRA-hosted champagne kick-off reception and a WGA East-sponsored round table discussion with Oscar®-nominated writer-director Shari Springer-Berman (American Splendor). The two-day program ended with screenings of the semi-finalists’ short films before audiences of industry professionals including film, network and cable executives as well as managers, agents and producers. This year’s semi-finalists are:
- Afuera Director: Steven Liang, Writer: Steven Canals
- Alien Hunter Director: David Telles, Writer: David Telles & Alex Meraz
- Day One Writer & Director: Henry Hughes
- Guest Room Writer & Director: Joshua Tate
- In Their Eyes Writer & Director: Gina Levy
- Los Angeles 1991 Director: Miguel De Olaso, Writer: Miguel De Olaso, Bruno Zacarias & Tim Hyten
- Parachute Girls Director: Alex Rubens, Writer: Emily C. Chang
- Partners Director: Joey Ally, Writer: Jen Tullock & Hannah Pearl Utt
- Password Deals Writer & Director: Brie Eley
- Rosa Writer & Director: Alejandra Parody
- Search Party Writer & Director: Tesia Joy Walker
- Things I Hate: Lady Grooming Director: Liam Edward Brady, Writer: Molly Anne Coogan
- Vamonos Director: Marvin Bryan Lemus, Writer: Moira Morel & Erick Castrillon
- You Can Go Director: Christine Turner, Writer: Daniel Solé
The NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is presented by NBCUniversal and NBC Entertainment with title partners: Universal Pictures, NBCU Open Possibilities and Seeso. Additional 2016 festival partners include Oxygen, Xfinity, USA Network, Bravo, Syfy, Focus Features, Fandango, E! Entertainment, Telemundo, Esquire Network, and Hulu, as well as GoPro, SAG-AFTRA, Writers Guild of America – East, Writers Guild of America – West, The Hollywood Reporter, Keldof and Panavision.
About the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Founded in 2006, the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is the first and only film festival created and run by an entertainment studio solely dedicated to celebrating the importance of diversity in entertainment and discovering the next generation of storytellers. The annual bicoastal program is a nationwide search for diverse talent, both in front of and behind the camera, including those from ethnically diverse backgrounds, members of the LGBT community and female filmmakers. Winners are awarded with prizes ranging from development meetings and holding deals with NBCUniversal to cash grants and industry standard software and camera packages. Festival alumni include Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) and Hasan Minaj (The Daily Show). For more information, visit NBCUshortsFEST.com #NBCUshortsFEST
About the NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs (NBCUNI TIPS)
Since 2000, NBCUniversal has been dedicated to discovering and nurturing on screen and behind-the-camera talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds through the NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs (NBCUNI TIPS). NBCUNI TIPS are amongst the most extensive and robust diversity and inclusion programs in the television industry. They feature 21 programs including the Writer’s on the Verge Program, Diverse Staff Writer Initiative, Emerging Director Program, StandUp NBC nationwide search for stand-up comedians and the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL that celebrates diverse stories. Program alumni are celebrated producers, writers, directors and actors in the entertainment industry who have gone on to win Academy Awards®, Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards. For more information, visit NBCUniTIPS.com.
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