January A&A Film Contest Winner

Eighteen films were submitted to Arts & Academe’s first monthly film contest. Three were chosen as finalists last week by the contest judges, David Sterritt and Mikita Brottman, and today, they have announced the winner:

Unpredictable, by Heather Winchell, Maryland Institute College of Art

Sterritt and Brottman write:

The top three are all terrific, but we still find Unpredictable the coolest, quirkiest, and most … unpredictable. We like the way the stuttery soundtrack matches the jerky animation, the fine use of stop motion, and the humor of the “story,” too—the way the man is plagued by mysterious boxes that keep ominously hounding him. There’s an interesting use of dimensions—two-dimensional figures morph into three-dimensional—and objects like the boxes transform into organic figures like plants, sharks, and spiders. We’ve never seen paper be so sinister. We also like the way
different qualities of paper come to be important—stiff-looking paper versus flexible newsprint. Original and enjoyable—a real treat.

Congratulations, Ms. Winchell! And thanks to all of the January entrants, and on to … the February contest!

February 2011 Arts & Academe Student Film Contest

1. The films must be 20 minutes or less and posted publicly (no password protection) on YouTube, Vimeo, or some similarly reliable, accessible, and free Web site.

2. By February 11, the college-level student filmmaker should e-mail, with FILM CONTEST in the subject line, the film’s URL to alexander.kafka@chronicle.com, along with:

• the filmmaker’s full name
• age
• where she or he is enrolled
• the name of her or his filmmaking instructor
• the title of the film
• (optional) a brief two- or three-sentence synopsis or other filmmaker’s note
• films co-directed by more than one filmmaker will be accepted

On February 18, Arts & Academe will post the three finalists selected by the judges—Sterritt and Brottman—along with brief written comments from them about why they chose those films.

And on February 25, Arts & Academe will post the winning film, again with brief written comments from Sterritt and Brottman on how they selected the winner.

(In future months, the exact submission and posting dates will vary slightly, but we’ll try to follow the same basic schedule.)

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