Though I was not a juror, I loved all the top choices of Interpretations. “Shine” actually brought tears to my eyes, which is a major accomplishment for 3 minutes. All the winners also really thought about the lines of the script and didn’t just throw them in without any real context.
There were many other shorts that I also loved and yes, there were some personal faves of mine that didn’t make it, but just think of trying to get 10 friends to unanimously agree on 5 pictures that should be nominated for the Oscars. And with 240 pictures to choose from, I think it would be close to impossible. Films are subjective. That’s their nature. Yes, perhaps next time, there can be more awards, but the organizers never anticipated this many entries. They thought they would get maybe 50 entries if they were lucky. Also, I understand that entries that didn’t win but had an impact on the judges will be focused on in the coming weeks. So check back for those.
FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T WIN
Hollywood is a very difficult place that many people aspire to be a part of whether you are white, black, Asian, Hispanic or anything else. They don’t call it the “land of broken dreams” for nothing. If you want to make it in this industry, be prepared for lots and lots of rejection. Be prepared for lots of notes, criticism and general degradation. So in a way, not “winning” is a good preparation for Hollywood. This little film contest is a tiny dust mite in the landscape of disappointments, rejections and perceived injustices you are going to face in the biz, so if you don’t have the chops to take it, get out now! Run!
When I do pitch after pitch, write up treatments, do months, maybe even a year of work for free and then in the end, the project doesn’t get sold, I don’t sit there and think “It’s because I’m Asian,” or “It’s because I’m a woman.” I think “What can I do to improve my pitching skills for next time?” “What other venues can I approach with my project?” “How can I utilize the network I’ve made even though I didn’t get the project?” It’s a tough biz and it’s seldom fair, so the sooner you realize that and stop whining about it, the better. The person who cares most about your career is you and the only one you can really rely on to empower yourself and beat the system is also you.
OK, so you weren’t selected to win the Remy and the cash prize. As cliché as this may sound, everyone can be a winner. You now have a short film under your belt which you can list under your credits. You should have learned at least one new thing about making a film. (I know I did.) You should have made at least one new contact who can be useful to know in the future. (I know I did.) You have picked up at least one new skill that you didn’t have before. (I know I did.)
Now go out and make another!!