Winners announced for Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2024

Creo has announced the winners of the second annual Sony Future Filmmaker Awards at a special ceremony in Los Angeles, hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Denny Directo. Sponsored by Sony and established by Creo, this awards program highlights emerging cinematic talents, fostering original storytelling

Selected by a distinguished panel of judges chaired by Justin Chadwick, the winners of the 2024 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards are:

– Katie Blair (USA, Fiction)
– Olawunmi Hassan & Adaobi Samson (Nigeria, Non-Fiction)
– Solmund MacPherson (Canada, Environment)
– Kyle Novak (Czech Republic, Animation)
– Raheem Razak (South Africa, Student)
– Cristian Daniel (Uruguay, Future Format).

As part of their prize, winners and shortlisted candidates participated in a week-long industry immersion program, culminating in the awards ceremony. This unique opportunity allowed them to connect with industry leaders and peers, gaining exclusive behind-the-scenes insights. The program featured workshops by Sony Pictures executives, covering various topics including keynote addresses by renowned cinematographers, screenings, Q&A sessions, and guidance on working with talent agencies, utilizing cutting-edge technologies, animation, film scoring, and music rights. Additionally, the six winners received cash prizes and Sony camera equipment.

This year’s winners were selected from over 8,400 films submitted by more than 5,000 filmmakers from 148 countries and territories across six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Environment, Animation, Student, and Future Format. The selection panel included Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Co-Founders and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, Rob Hardy ASC, BSC, BAFTA award-winning cinematographer, and Kate Reid BSC, acclaimed British cinematographer. They recognized creative excellence and innovative storytelling. The winners emerged from a shortlist of 30 filmmakers, initially selected by Australian filmmaker Unjoo Moon and Emmy-winning cinematographer Robert Primes ASC, with the final judging process chaired by Justin Chadwick.

The jury expressed their admiration for this year’s winners and shortlisted filmmakers: “This year’s winners cross borders and cultures, showcasing a global array of creative talent poised to leave their mark on the industry. Their stories, ranging from societal critiques to surreal family narratives and timeless love tales, impressed us with their originality. We are thrilled to celebrate these winners and look forward to their future contributions to cinema.”

Following a successful second edition, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards will return for a third edition in spring 2025, with submissions opening later this year.

2024 Winners

Fiction

The Fiction category celebrates narrative-driven submissions that tell original fictional stories. The winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit, along with $5,000 (USD).

– Katie Blair (USA), Imogene – The story of Imogene, a free-spirited New Yorker in her 40s, whose traditional family is trying to set her up with a potential donor to get her pregnant.

Non-Fiction

This category honors short films with predominantly factual content, including archival footage, documentaries, reenactments, and animation. The winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit, plus $5,000 (USD).

– Olawunmi Hassan & Adaobi Samson (Nigeria), *Ìrún Dídì* – Tracing the evolution of Yoruba hair plaiting techniques, this film explores it as a sacred ritual of self-care and empowerment.

Environment

The Environment category, part of the Creators for the Planet initiative, highlights films promoting a positive future for the planet. The winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit, and $5,000 (USD).

– Solmund MacPherson (Canada), *Wildmen of the Greater Toronto Area* – A satirical take on Toronto citizens who legally become animals to escape the high cost of living.

Animation

New this year, the Animation category welcomes a variety of techniques including stop-motion, motion graphics, and computer animation. The winner receives a Sony camera and lens kit, and $5,000 (USD).

– Kyle Novak (Czech Republic), Ángulos de la Hora (Hour Angle) – After their flight is grounded, two strangers agree to an anonymous tryst while waiting for new travel arrangements.

Student

This category recognizes film students worldwide. The winning student and their institution each receive Sony camera equipment.

– Raheem Razak (South Africa), AFDA, Anguish – In a zombie-infested world, Sam must care for his zombie mother while surviving the apocalypse.

Future Format

This category champions aspiring filmmakers creating 2 to 5-minute films shot exclusively on smartphones. The winner receives Sony camera equipment and $2,500 (USD).

– Cristian Daniel (Uruguay), Parasomnia– A young man explores a dark corridor, seeking to uncover the mysterious presence within, unaware of what lies ahead.

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