Sony Future Filmmaker Awards Honor Emerging Talent

An array of on-the-rise filmmakers were honored at the first edition of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards on Wednesday at the Sony Pictures Studio lot in Culver City, California.

The event was organized by Creo and awarded prizes in six categories, which followed 30 filmmakers getting shortlisted for the ceremony last month. The shortlisted individuals received a flight to Los Angeles and a two-day industry immersion experience courtesy of Sony execs. Additionally, the winners received cash prizes and gifts from Sony Digital Imaging.

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Winning the fiction category was U.K.-based Dan Thorburn for the film Salt Water Town, telling the story of a father-son dynamic amid the impending closure of a caravan park. Daniela Lucato from Italy was awarded the top prize for the non-fiction category for The Things You Don’t Know About Me, Mom, centering on a survivor of Chile’s Pinochet regime imagining tough conversations with her mother.

Pedro Furtado, a Brazil-based filmmaker, prevailed in the environment category for The Good Dolphins; the film centers on the efforts of fishermen in Brazil to save a dolphin pod that has aided them for generations. Winning in the Future Format, which this year required films to have been shot on a smartphone, was Pan Tianhong from China Mainland with Homework for Winter Vacation, following a child’s unique take on making dumplings for the Chinese New Year.

The fiction winner among the student submissions was Colombian filmmaker Mateo Salas, attending Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia, with The Sun of the River, featuring a family’s run-in with a group of paramilitaries. The non-fiction winner for the student section was Seonghoon Eric Park, a Boston University student from the Republic of Korea, whose film, In Cod We Trust, examines the endangered fishing trade in the New England town of Gloucester.

Entertainment Tonight correspondent Denny Directo hosted Wednesday’s black-tie ceremony from the Cary Grant Theatre.

“I was so impressed by the breadth and diversity of the submissions from such an incredibly talented generation of new filmmakers,” TriStar Pictures president Nicole Brown said in a statement. “The amount of passion and creativity was astounding and made the task of narrowing it down no small feat! I’m looking forward to seeing where all their careers take them as they all have so much potential to go the distance in their careers.”

Brown served as a judge for the awards and was also a presenter at the ceremony. Other judges included filmmaker Justin Chadwick, UTA’s Jeremy Barber and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger A. Deakins.

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