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Louisiana Film Prize narrows to 20 finalists

Twenty filmmakers have advanced in the Louisiana Film Prize contest vying for a $50,000 prize that will be handed out in October. It is the second year of the short film contest that is expected to draw 3,000 movie buffs to downtown Shreveport for the festival weekend.

During last night’s ceremony at Robinson Film Center, the 20 finalists each received a $500 stipend to fine-tune their films and promote them to garner votes of audience members who will judge their work during the festival. Film Prize founder Gregory Kallenberg said judges from across the country viewed the rough cuts and there were about 60 films in contention for the 20 spots.

“It was one of those years that you have so many great films, and it is painful and heartbreaking to go through the process where you have to pick 20," Kallenberg told the crowd.

Kallenberg announced other contest perks, including a judge’s award for the best editor. He said the State of Louisiana will award $20,000 in exchange for editing a music video. He also said five short films will be guaranteed iTunes and Amazon distribution.

“What ends up happening with iTunes distribution is it puts more money in a filmmaker’s pocket. It allows us as filmmakers to do our work, to come back and do more work, without the fear of having to raise money every time we turn around," Kallenberg said.

The festival is set for Oct. 4-6. The prize is decided by a panel of judges and the audience, each having equal say in the decision.

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