Local Filmmakers Win Grant to Collaborate
A story of two bumbling armed robbers grabbed the top prize at the Gateway Film Center’s Show Us Your Shorts 2019 finals.
The winning short films from the past 11 monthly competitions were screened Saturday at the Gateway before an audience of filmmakers, friends, fans and judges, and Anthony Codispoti’s The Baker Brothers emerged as the winner.
In addition to the bragging rights, Codispoti gets a $4,000 grant to make Shane M. Thompson’s winning screenplay from the Show Us Your Screenplay competition, The Residents of Pinewood Grove. Once completed, the collaborative short film will play during the Gateway’s pre-show program for one month.
“I’m excited to collaborate with the writer,” Codispoti said. “Most of the stuff I’ve made I’ve written, so working with a writer is going to be a new, fun experience. I couldn’t be happier.”
For judge John Dougherty, Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission, these dual competitions cut to the heart of his mission.
“The film commission loves to support up and coming filmmakers,” Daugherty said. “This is one of those programs we appreciate and want to continue to support.”
Though they may have missed out on the grand prize, the other filmmaking finalists have nothing but praise for the program.
Tyrone Russell, whose film Marco puts an amusing twist on an old kids’ game, said his films are all about spreading the love.
“I love the fact that as a short filmmaker I get to just get out and grab my friends and make stuff,” he said. “I get to do what I want to do, and that’s get out and create some films that make people happy!”
Dan Lowery and his brother came to filmmaking from a love of cinema, and their ode to great coffee, The Perfect Cup, landed them in the SUYS finals.
“We both just love film so much,” Lowery said. “This was the first film we made together. We thought, hey, we have this camera. We love watching movies. Why don’t we make one?”
Lowery enjoys each month’s screenings, whether he has a film in contention or not.
“We love coming to see these,” he says. “It gives us inspiration.”
Gateway Film Center President Chris Hamel, who also served on the finals jury, announced during the event that the program will continue. The next round will begin July 6, with competitions continuing on the first Saturday of each month.
That came as welcome news to Ben Yackshaw, who made this year’s finals with Swipe, his look at modern dating.
“It’s awesome that the program is continuing. It’s not about the wins and losses – it’s about meeting people. I have met people at this event that have gone on to be in my movies, or help with my movies, or I’ve helped with their movies,” he says. “It’s great.”
Columbus Underground contributor and maddwolf.com film critic Hope Madden, a finals judge as well as one of the program’s monthly co-hosts, sees a bright future for Show Us Your Shorts.
“Momentum just kept building every month as word started spreading and more filmmakers got involved,” Madden says. “There’s so much talent here, and this program is a great way to show it off.”
For more for info on submitting short films, visit Gateway’s page.