Prize Fest 10
New frontier will take you beyond your imagination
Every fall for the past decade, Shreveport has become a mecca for aspiring filmmakers eager to see whether their artistic vision is worthy of taking home the annual Film Prize, part of Prize Fest, the brainchild of local culture promoter Gregory Kallenberg. The event encourages filmmakers to put their creativity on the line against other artists hoping to test their mettle in the competitive field of movie making for prizes, publicity and perhaps a nudge toward a professional career in the film industry.
Last year, the pandemic forced the festival to develop creative ways to present the event virtually. This year, they hope to come back with live events, as well as opportunities to attend virtually. And this edition will span two weekends, Sept. 24 through Oct. 3, rather than just one. Organizers report that the event has been named one of Moviemaker's Best Film Fests in the country.
Originally, the Film Prize was created to encourage creative individuals to make films using local talent and vendors. All of the entries must be shot in Louisiana to qualify.
Since then, it has grown, established the Prize Foundation, and expanded into a junior film prize division aimed at young filmmakers. Besides the visual medium, the festival has added music, food, fashion, comedy and business enterprise startup categories. Each division operates as an autonomous prize-granting event. In addition, the foundation has gone beyond
the region with a film prize in Memphis, Tenn., and has recently started a junior edition in New Mexico.
The new kid on the block this year is the Comedy Prize, and organizers said they have already received applications from over 30 comedians from all over the country to participate in the event. Finalists have already been announced in the fashion and culinary categories, but the winners won't be announced until the event itself.
According to Kallenberg, this year's festival is shaping up to be one of the most exciting since the event began with those new categories coming online.
“Prize Fest and Film Prize 2021 is incredibly special,” he said. Not only is it the event’s tenth outing, but “the filmmakers, musicians, chefs, comedians and designers all seem so focused and spirited, and when our creative entrepreneurs are showing this much love, the event is always incredibly magical.”
In the film division, Kallenberg said, “While we never release our numbers, I was shocked by the number of films that were turned in. More than that, the quality for Film Prize films has never been higher across the board. I don’t envy the decision the judges and the audience have to make.”
Those judges come from all over the country and are described as a panel of industry professionals and screenwriters. This year they include Juday Ray, filmmaker (Los Angeles); Darion D'Anjou, filmmaker (Atlanta); Craig T. Williams (NYC), award-winning screenwriter; Kimberly Skyrme, award-winning casting director; Shawn Quirk, executive director, Rhode Island Film Festival; producer Milan Chakraborty; and Tim Rhys, founder of Moviemaker Magazine.
Organizers are proud of the fact that the distaff side is so well represented in the entry pool. This year’s group includes seven women who have submitted films for consideration.
The contestants include filmmakers from California, Washington, DC, Arkansas, North Carolina and Louisiana. Each had to make the trip to Louisiana to shoot their films to qualify for the $25,000 top prize. Organizers say that to date, the Film Prize Foundation has awarded over $500,000 to independent filmmakers.
New this year will be what the organizers are calling the Big Top Event. It’s an openair theater housed in a large tent that will be located at Festival Central in the 700 block of Texas Street. As mentioned, this will be the premiere year for the Comedy Prize featuring live stand-up performances. They have also announced that "pop-up" events and "takeovers" will be during the festival. For instance, Rhino Coffee will host a gathering for the 20 film finalists and offer specially named cocktails.
While attendees will have the option this year to attend in person or virtually in deference to the pandemic, those who participate in person will be required to show proof of a negative Covid test or proof of full vaccination.
Last year, audiences saw 20 films that were viewed over 45,000 times, according to the Foundation. The festival site was viewed over 38,000 times by 6,750 unique visitors. The Music Prize hosted a live eight-hour broadcast music festival featuring local and regional acts. As the country works to recover from all the shutdowns, organizers are optimistic this year’s show will not disappoint the faithful who gravitate to the event each autumn.
Attendance prices range from $10 to $30 for most events, while enhanced access can run as high as $250 for the entire festival. Details and numerous options are explained on the festival website.
Complete information on the events planned this year and the complete updated schedule are also included on the festival’s website prizefest.com.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
September 24-October 3, 2021 | SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
FRIDAY, SEPT. 24
MPCon Day One (Municipal Auditorium)
Fashion Prize (SciPort Discovery Center)
Music Prize Night One (The Garage, 211 Market Street)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 25
MPCon Day Two (Municipal Auditorium)
Music Prize Night Two (The Garage, 211 Market Street)
THURSDAY, SEPT. 30
Film Screenings Begin (Various Venues)
Voting for Film Prize Begins
Film Prize Opening Night Party (Texas Street)
FRIDAY, OCT. 1
Film Screenings Continue (Various Venues)
Film Prize University (Robinson Film Center)
Film Prize Red Carpet Event (Texas Street)
Food Prize Come and Get It Dining Experience (The Garage, 211 Market Street)
SATURDAY, OCT. 2
Film Screenings Continue (Various Venues)
Food Prize Live Demonstration Lunch (The Garage, 211 Market Street)
Filmmaker Meet and Greet Opportunities (Texas Street)
Comedy Prize Competition Event (Location TBA)
Prize Fest Closing Party (Texas Street)
Voting for Film Prize Ends
SUNDAY, OCT. 3
Film Prize Winner Announcement (Live Streamed)
COVID-19 Rules and Policies
• Full vaccination or negative covid test along with photo ID
• If using tests, must be obtained within 72 hours of the first day of each weekend to enter festival events
• Guests will need to first present proof to obtain a wristband and can then pick up their festival passes.
For full details/more information https://prizefest.com.