NAPA, Calif., Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Lexus and The Weinstein Company announced today the four winners of the third annual Lexus Short Films series at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Selected from thousands of submissions, Alexis Michalik, Byoung-Gon Moon, Damian Walshe-Howling and Pippa Bianco received their honors during last night's closing ceremonies at Napa Valley Film Festival at the Uptown Theatre.
Since the entry process began in July, filmmakers from around the world have submitted their resume and short films for the chance to direct their own short film around this year's theme of "Anticipation". This year's Lexus Short Films series has been unique, as submissions, through Withoutabox, were opened worldwide for the first time ever to aspiring directors from within the filmmaking community to be selected as one of four finalists. These finalists will have their short films produced courtesy of Lexus and The Weinstein Company, receiving first look deals.
The four finalists will also receive promotional theatrical distribution for their short films, participate in a tour of top film festivals around the world and receive an at-home filmmaking and editing suite to further bring their imagination and passion to life.
The Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said, "The Lexus Short Films series has been a fantastic partnership to help discover young filmmakers while shining a light on the short film format. This year's Lexus Short Films series provided an opportunity to reach aspiring filmmakers around the world looking to gain exposure and experience through the chance to work with Lexus and The Weinstein Company. We have been truly impressed by the number and quality of submissions received with more than 4,000 submissions from over 100 countries. We look forward to helping the finalists turn their visions into truly great films."
Mark Templin, Executive Vice President of Lexus International, added, "Our third annual partnership with The Weinstein Company for the Lexus Short Films series has once again offered a great opportunity for up-and-coming filmmakers to share their own unique narratives through the short film format. Lexus strives to create unforgettable experiences and from the submissions we've reviewed, the filmmaking community clearly shares this same passion. It has been incredible discovering these filmmakers' creativity in storytelling and we look forward to seeing the four final short films in 2016."
This year's Lexus Short Films winners will receive acclaim with Lexus and The Weinstein Company hosting regional premiere events for each film at top short film festivals starting in June 2016. The filmmakers will also have their films shown for the first time in an exclusive world premiere event at the 2016 Napa Valley Film Festival.
"Partnering with Lexus on the Lexus Short Films series allows us to discover new filmmakers that are the potential future stars of the film industry, providing the community with their approach on storytelling and directing," said The Weinstein Company COO and President David Glasser. "The third Lexus Short Films series received some truly original and impressive submissions and it was hard for us to select only four winners. We can't wait for the world to get to know these talented young filmmakers and see their premieres next year in Napa and around the world."
Lexus Short Films Season 3 Winners
1. Alexis Michalik (France, Europe)
Alexis is an actor and filmmaker who has starred in several television movies and series, such as Petits meurtres en famille, Terre de lumière and Kaboul Kitchen and feature films directed by Billy Zane, Diane Kurys, Safy Nebou, Yann Samuel, Fernando Colomo, Danièle Thompson and Alexandre Arcady. Alexis is also known for acting successfully in theater in the comedy Le Dindon, staged by Thomas Le Douarec, and Ibsen and Strindberg's Les Fleurs Gelées. He is the founder of the theater company Los Figaros and after directing two short films, Au Sol, in 2013 and Pim-Poum le petit Panda, in 2014, Alexis continues to pursue his writing career and will direct his first feature film Escort Boys.
2. Byoung-Gon Moon (South Korea, Asia)
Moon is a filmmaker who graduated from Chung-Ang University in Seoul and is known for directing the short film No More Coffee Break, which was selected for the short film competition at the 2008 International College Peace Film Festival. Moon's short film, Finis Operis, was a part of the short film competition of the critic's week at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and in 2013, he directed his short film Safe, which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
3. Damian Walshe-Howling (Australia, Oceania)
Damian is an acclaimed actor and filmmaker best known for his latest short film, Suspended, which recently screened in the official competition at international film festivals including St Kilda, Flickerfest, Nashville and Locarno in Switzerland. He is also known for his 2007 debut short film The Bloody Sweet Hit. Damian has a passion for storytelling which has taken him all over the world in pursuit of culturally diverse stories and roles. He received an AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2008 for his performance of Melbourne's "Most Loved Murderer", Andrew Benji Veniamin, in the original Underbelly series.
4. Pippa Bianco (United States of America, North America)
Pippa is a filmmaker who studied photography at Yale University and is currently writing and producing at Beyoncè's Parkwood Entertainment, directing a commission for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a writing credit on the upcoming film Bleed For This. Pippa started her career by working in independent film – assisting on Braden King's Here (Sundance 2011) and Leslye Headland's Bachelorette (Sundance 2012). Since then, Pippa's films have been selected and won awards at numerous festivals including Telluride and SXSW. Pippa was also chosen as one of nine filmmakers for the American Film Institute's Women's Directors Program fellowship in 2014, where her short film submission, Share, won the 1st Prize in the Cinéfondation category at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Continuing her success with AFI, she is a Yaddo Filmmaker-in-Residence for the 2015-2016 term.
ABOUT LEXUS SHORT FILMS
In 2013, Lexus Short Films was launched with the goal of supporting and nurturing a new generation of emerging filmmakers. These aspiring directors and writers have received a unique opportunity supported by Lexus to collaborate with acclaimed film studio The Weinstein Company to produce and showcase their work on an international stage. For more information, visit lexusshortfilms.com.
Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a worldwide reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service. Lexus is the hybrid leader among luxury brands, offering hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and premier luxury. The evolution of Lexus is reflected in the progressive designs of its new vehicles. The signature spindle grille, dynamic light treatments and sculptured lines create a distinctive look of luxury for Lexus. http://www.lexus-int.com
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. During Harvey and Bob's tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 341 Oscar nominations and won 81 Academy Awards.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE KING'S SPEECH; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; KON-TIKI; UNFINISHED SONG; FRUITVALE STATION; LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER; THE GRANDMASTER; SALINGER; 12-12-12; PHILOMENA; MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM; AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY; VAMPIRE ACADEMY; THE RAILWAY MAN; THE IMMIGRANT; YVES SAINT LAURENT; BEGIN AGAIN; THE GIVER; FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR; THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY; TRACKS; ST. VINCENT; THE IMITATION GAME; PADDINGTON and WOMAN IN GOLD. Upcoming releases include SOUTHPAW, UNDERDOGS, NO ESCAPE, THREE GENERATIONS, ADAM JONES, CAROL and THE HATEFUL EIGHT.
TWC boasts an active television production division which garnered nine Emmy nominations in 2013 and five in 2014. TWC Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, with its spin-off series Project Runway All Stars and Under The Gunn. Recent TWC television productions include Mob Wives, Million Dollar Shoppers, Rodeo Girls and Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor. Scripted projects currently in production include John Fusco's Marco Polo. Scripted projects in development include Ten Commandments and Daniel Stashower's The Hour Of Peril. TWC also developed Nanny Diaries and produced The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
SOURCE The Weinstein Company