Filming is successfully wrapping up for four up-and-coming, locally tied filmmakers who were selected to produce short films in Central New York this summer. The winners were chosen from a field of 62 applicants to the inaugural CNY Short Film Competition administered by Innovation Group of CNY Arts, LLC. Each finalist has been awarded $40,000 as well as two week’s use of the Greater Syracuse Soundstage to create a 15-minute short film.
The competition is the brainchild of Keith and Juliet Giglio, screenwriting professors at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and SUNY Oswego, respectively, who have a long history of successful film credits. It is geared to early-career film professionals who are either residents of the Central New York region with a film-related college or university degree or have attended a Central New York college or university and earned a film-related degree (within the last ten years). The $200,000 project is funded by Empire State Development as part of a larger $4.8 million ESD package designed to encourage professional film production companies to make films in Central New York and help grow the local film industry. The filmmakers have been assisted by Visit Syracuse’s film office.
Judges for the competition were: Rona Edwards, a television producer who has worked for NBC, ABC, Sci-Fi Channel and VH2; Allison Robbins, a producer and writer for shows such as Melrose Place and Hawhtorne ; and Jim Jennewein, a Fordham University professor who wrote the screenplays for The Flintstones and Richie Rich.
Joshua Hunter Adams, Assistant Professor for Cinema and Screen Studies at SUNY Oswego, is the Competition Director/Executive Producer. Adams has worked as a director, producer, film editor, writer, and cinematographer for various production companies. Erin McCormack, an Emmy-Award winning producer who worked as an executive producer for WCNY and held production roles with HBO and Warner Bros. Entertainment, is the Competition Supervisor/Line Producer.
“I think the most exciting thing about this competition is that it’s less of a “competitive’ event and more of a rallying cry to local film artists who want to showcase Central New York and highlight extremely strong short-filmmaking. It’s like Christmas in summer, for me… I can’t wait to unwrap these movies and see what’s inside,” said Adams.
The winners are:
Charles Stulck , Apocalypse… Now? — Written and directed by Charles Stulck, the film follows the story of a saleswoman who comes to a small Central New York town to sell End Of The World Plan B policies door to door. Stulck is a 2014 graduate from SUNY Oswego where he earned a BA in Cinema and Screen Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, where he works in the film industry.
Kathryn Ferentchak , I Wish — This third short film created by Bliss Films is based on the short story “I Wish I May I Wish I Might” written by award-winning author Bill Pronzini and adapted by Ferentchak, who will also be directing. The story follows David, a teen with Down Syndrome, who is granted three wishes by a genie on the shore of his favorite lake. Ferentchak is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she earned a BFA in Film from the College of Visual and Performing Arts and minored in Psychology. She now lives in Park View, California, where she works in the film industry.
Carlton Daniel , Homegoing — Written and directed by Daniel, Homegoing follows the story of Junior, an aspiring illustrator, who works as a mortician at his father’s funeral parlor and is torn between maintaining the family legacy or pursuing his lifelong dream. Daniel is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned his MFA in Film. He is a resident of Oakwood Village, Ohio, where he works as a Content Producer.
Issack Cintron , Early Bird — Set in 1973, the aftermath of a heist gone wrong sees Elliot, an experienced, no-nonsense cleaner, carry out tying up the loose end that is Ben, the last remaining member of the heist. Cintron graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BA in Journalism & Cinema and Screen Studies and minored in Creative Writing. He is a resident of Bay Shore, N.Y.
The winners will enter their works into national and international film festivals. The Central New York community will have an opportunity to view the completed films at a public screening in the future.