Competitions: RØDE Microphones’ My RØDE Reel 2017 and Zacuto’s My Story Filmmaking Competition

There are three short film competitions to watch out for each year and two of them hail from this part of the planet, The Antipodes. Two are current, RØDE Microphones‘ My Røde Reel and Zacuto‘s My Story Film Competition, with the latter closing acceptance of entries on 31st March and the former closing entries acceptance on 30th June. 

New Zealand colour grading software maker FilmConvert‘s Color Up Competition is in between seasons right now, as it were, with 2017’s coming later in the year. Time flies so I am sharing details here so you can be ready for when comp time comes around.

RØDE Microphone’s My RØDE Reel

Click the image above to go to the competition web page.

All three competitions come with great lists of attractive movie-industry prizes and sponsors, with RØDE Microphones stating that My RØDE Reel, now in its fourth year, “is the world’s largest short film competition”.

My RØDE Reel is also notable in that it offers a special Female Filmmaker award that is “selected by the judging panel, [and] is designed to encourage and celebrate women in the film community.”

I will leave it up to the three companies to share the details about each competition as only they can so if you wish to know more, please click on the links embedded in the text above or the links below.

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Image Credits:

Header image concept and design by Carmel D. Morris.

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Australian Photojournalist Daniel Berehulak Wins World Press Photo 2017 General News Story 1st Prize

Pulitzer Prize-winning Australian expatriate photojournalist Daniel Berehulak has been awarded first prize for his General News photo story on the drug addict executions situation in the Philippines in the World Press Photo 2017 Photo Contest. (At time of writing the WPP 2017 website is being hammered and pages are refusing to load.) 

Congratulations to Daniel Berehulak for his win and for working on one of the most important stories of our time.

In common with many Australian newspaper and magazine photographers, Mr Berehulak moved overseas some years ago to further his freelance photojournalism career. However, his Australian connection remains strong as a brand ambassador for Panasonic’s Lumix flagship cameras and lenses.

Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera systems are increasingly being chosen by photojournalists for their light weight, compact size , small lenses and high image quality rivalling if not surpassing that of photojournalism’s former analog mainstay 35mm cameras when loaded with slow colour and medium high speed monochrome film.

Results obtained with M43 cameras often remind me of what I used to get on my 6×4.5cm and 6x6cm 120 roll film cameras while the image quality from APS-C cameras like those made by Fujifilm is reminiscent of results from larger 120 roll film formats like 6x8cm, 6x9cm and wider.

Meanwhile digital medium format cameras systems like Fujifilm’s coming GFX 50S approach if not surpass the image quality once obtained from sheet film. The newspaper and magazine photography career opportunities we once had may not exist anymore but at least our choice of digital camera types and sensor sizes is approaching the wide variety of analog cameras that once existed.

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Director of Cinematography Nancy Schreiber Honoured by American Society of Cinematographers with President’s Award

Feature film and documentary DoP Nancy Schreiber is the very first female cinematographer to receive the ASC’s Presidents Award and it might, just might, inspire young women to take up cinematography with an eye on working in feature films. I certainly hope so. 

As reported in Variety, over the last thirty years the American Society of Cinematographers has given the Presidents Award to a list of distinguished male Directors of Photography including Gimme Shelter‘s Albert Maysles,  Blade Runner‘s Douglas Trumbull, Justified‘s Francis Kenny and Star WarsRichard Edlund.

The only other female movie professional and ASC member to win an ASC award, DoP Tami Reiker, won 2004’s Movie of the Week or Pilot for lensing the first season of Carnivalé released by HBO.

Before the World Wide Web came into being freeing up the sharing of information, gatekeepers controlled access to facts about career possibilities, especially for women.

Growing up in a far-flung regional capital meant submitting to what one was told one was permitted to do artistically and professionally, and those who kicked against the pricks were severely censured, even blacklisted.

There were no female cinematographers or directors to be seen, no role models and certainly no mentors. Potentially brilliant careers were curbed and subjected to the interests of the gatekeepers’ hold on power.

Only those of the right gender and background were permitted to know about further professional moviemaking education then given the chance of applying for it, often with a well-mentored career to follow.

Without positive examples of successful female filmmakers and especially cinematographers, I and other visual storytelling creatives of my acquaintance flushed their hopes and dreams of moviemaking careers for more mundane occupations supporting men in the traditional manner or employment in production support if they were lucky.

Most just stopped being creative, dreams shattered completely.

The Presidents Award, writes Variety‘s Valentina I. Valentini, “honors a member’s contribution to the next generation of DPs. Schreiber has been a longtime mentor to younger camera crew members, and has worked with Film Independent’s Project Involve — a program designed to enhance the careers of women and people of color.”

We all know the dismal statistics about the lack of filmmakers of color in the industry. Women and LGBT artists also nearly impossible to find. Project Involve is working to change all that….

Ms Schreiber, Variety‘s article continues, “has taught advanced cinematography at the American Film Institute, and is a guest lecturer at film schools around the world.”

If only someone like Nancy Schreiber had existed when I was young, and had reached out to potential young filmmakers outside the film school system in the east.

Variety‘s article ends with this inspirational quote:

“If this award does anything,” says Schreiber, “it will open some doors to the younger generation of women, to show that they can succeed, that they can work in all areas of the film and television industry.”

As the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media so wisely states in its motto, “If she can see it, she can be it.”

Image Credits:

Header aka featured image created for this website in Photoshop by Carmel D. Morris.