By a Front Row Features Staff Reporter
The three winning script writer and directors of the 2016 Jameson First Shot competition Saturday premiered their winning short films to the film community in Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Also in attendance were Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty”) , award winning film producer Dana Brunetti (“The Social Network”) and Golden Globe winner Maggie Gyllenhaal (BBC’s “The Honourable Woman”), who plays the lead in all three films.
Jameson First Shot is an internationally acclaimed short film competition sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey, that gives undiscovered filmmakers from around the world a chance to realize their dreams, fulfill their talent and break into the film industry. They are inspired with access to top-notch talent, advice and on-set support from the film industry, as they look to create a film that will serve as a springboard for their career.
“Jameson First Shot exists to give undiscovered filmmakers a chance to break through and work with well-established actors,” said Spacey in a statement. “In a world that now requires more effort than ever to cut through the noise, it’s great to be able to offer filmmakers a platform from which to tell their stories and get discovered.”
In March, Cameron Thrower from California, Kat Wood, from Sheffield in the UK and Jason Perini of Sydney, were selected as the 2016 winners. Within days, they travelled to L.A. to begin production on their films. Previous winners had the opportunity to direct top talent, including Spacey, Uma Thurman and Adrien Brody, who appeared all previously in lead roles in the Jameson First Shot films. This year was no exception as Thrower, Wood and Perini were given the opportunity to work with Gyllenhaal, an Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning actress.
“It was an honor helping these filmmakers to realize their creative visions,” said Gyllenhaal in a statement. “They each brought such different qualities to the table but they all approached the challenge with the courage, conviction and passion of real artists. It was a pleasure to work with each of them.”
The winners were selected on the basis of their ambitious, brave and thought-provoking scripts that responded to the brief of exploring how unexpected things can happen when you fear less and invite life in. Thrower’s “Beauty Mark” short film depicts unexpected reactions for Maggie’s unconventional character Beauty Valerie. Wood’s “Home” uses heavily weighted silences to depict Gyllenhaal’s character having to take a giant leap of faith. Gyllenhaal found Perini’s “The New Empress” to be “interesting and unusual” in its completely frank approach to cinematic storytelling.
Viewers can watch each of the winning Jameson First Shot 2016 short films at www.jamesonfirstshot.com
For more information on the competition please visit www.jamesonfirstshot.com or go to youtube.com/jamesonwhiskey to follow our 2016 winners’ journeys in the competition, see behind-the-scenes at the 2016 shoots and watch last year’s winning films.