Editor‘s Note: This article is part of a partnership between Indiewire and Vimeo in support of the 3RD ANNUAL LEXUS SHORT FILMS SERIES. Lexus and The Weinstein Company are crowd sourcing director submissions from the filmmaking community worldwide for the third series of Lexus Short Films. Click here for more details, and here to view the call for submissions and past winners’ videos.
Filmmaker Shawn Christensen wrote and directed “Curfew,” which won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. In the above video, he explains his motivation and his process for crafting the film about a depressed young man (played by Christensen) who, at the lowest point in his life, is asked to watch his 9-year-old niece.
Though each filmmaker has to find their own process, Christensen finds that outlines don’t work for him. “I don’t outline — the premise being that I don’t want to get boxed into something I have to do.” That said, he explains that “you kind of have to set aside rules when you make a movie like this.”
His #1 bit of advice for aspiring filmmakers? “Be strong in your convictions and trust your first instincts.”
Short filmmakers are in luck, because Lexus and The Weinstein Company are accepting director submissions for the 3rd Annual Lexus Short Films Series. You must submit a short film (from two to 20 minutes) that you have previously written and directed and that exemplifies your innovative, creative filmmaking voice.
Four winners will be selected to create new works based on this year’s theme of “Anticipation.” The four selected filmmakers will be invited to interpret the meaning for their own narrative and to tell a story based around their vision. The winners will participate in a tour of film festivals around the world to promote their work as part of the Lexus Short Film Series sponsored by Lexus and produced by The Weinstein Company.
Filmmakers will also receive a first look deal, courtesy of The Weinstein Company, as well as an at-home filmmaking and editing suite. The four finalists will be announced at the closing ceremonies of the Napa Valley Film Festival in November 2015.
Previous winners have gone on to screen their films at festivals including Harlem Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, New Filmmakers LA and Ottawa International Film Festival.
The submissions deadline is October 25, through Withoutabox.