Could you be the next Spike Lee or Tyler Perry?
Sprite Refreshing Films (formerly Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmakerâ€™s Award program), isÂ hosting a nationwide search looking for young, creative writers and filmmakers. The program is free and open to teenâ€™s ages 13-19 years-old and college students who are looking for an opportunity to write, create, produce, direct and edit short films, each featuring celebrities, alongside industry pros.
The project is Spriteâ€™s initiative to empower and inspire the next generation of creative minds, explains Alana Bardauskis, marketing and PR Manger for Dreaming Tree films, a production company working with Sprite. â€śA lot of times teenagers donâ€™t get access to opportunities that allow them to express their creativity via film and television at that age and sometimes the schools donâ€™t have the funding. This is an equalizer to bring teens from all over the country to take part in a collaborative learning experience where they can get hands on opportunities of a lifetime,â€ť she says.
Programs like Sprite Refreshing Films are challenging the status quo by producing highly trained young filmmakers of all races and ethnicities whose vision may eventually change the way movies and television shows are made.
For high school senior Kristen Robinson, the program has landed her corresponding jobs with BET and given her a nice clip to add to her reel when applying to broadcast journalism undergraduate programs. Last year, Robinson and her team produced, shot and edited a documentary featuring hip hop artist Roscoe Dash where they captured his main performance at Atlantaâ€™s biggest concert of the year and conducted exclusive backstage interviews.
â€śWorking with all the media professionals and celebrities was really a once in a lifetime opportunity,â€ť says Robinson. â€śWhen people aspire to be a filmmaker or broadcast journalist it can seem far fetched, but this fueled me to stick with my passion.â€ť
There a three ways you can get involved in Sprite Refreshing Films:
Screenwriters: See your vision come to life. All entrants must be 18 or older and attend one of the participating schools.
Teen filmmakers: You could be one of 60 filmmakers chosen from across the nation. Youâ€™ll work in teams of 10 to produce one short film in seven days. No experience is required but you must be between the ages of 13-19. Six film crews will compete in six different cities: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Miami.
Staff Intern: This is your chance to run the film set as a director, producer, technical director or behind the scenes documentarian. You must be between the ages of 18-26 and be a student of one the participating school.
Finished films will be showcased and go head-to-head for viewing nationwide through a text messaging voting competition. The top three films will also be viewed and judged by the Green Ribbon Panel, a collection of industry experts who will judge on the technical aspects of the film. The winner will be announced in June and have their film showcased in more than 2300 theaters nationwide.
So what are you waiting for? The deadline is Nov. 30th signÂ up now at www.spriterefreshingfilms.com
Read more about breaking into the film industry…
- Rules for Making Money in Hollywood
- ACTIONA New Generation of Filmmakers
- Backtalk with Antoine Fuqua
LaToya M. Smith is an assistant editor at Black Enterprise