CHICAGO – The Illinois Film Office (IFO) today announced the winner of Shortcuts, Illinois’ short film contest. The winning film, A Certain Breed, was directed by Chicago-resident Scott Smith and produced by John Fromstein. The film will screen as part of the 2011 Chicago International Film Festival short films program tonight, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at 5 p.m. at AMC River East 21 in Chicago.
“This year's films showcased talent from around the state and included animation, documentary and live action narrative projects,” said IFO Managing Director Betsy Steinberg. “We are thrilled with the evolution of Shortcuts as a way to highlight the efforts of Illinois filmmakers.”
A Certain Breed is a humorous look at a pair of overzealous volunteers at an animal shelter. The film stars Emily Wilson and Brad Morris, veterans of the Chicago improvisation scene.
Over the last few years, award-winning director Scott Smith has shot more than 12 short films, a documentary feature called, “Being Bucky,” and a spot for the Super Bowl. Among his accomplishments, Smith was one of three director finalists selected from a pool of two thousand for the filmmaking competition, Project Greenlight.
Scott Smith’s shorts films have played at such prestigious film festivals as the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, as well as Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and Chicago. Smith is currently a partner at Fulton Market Films, a full-service production company located in Chicago’s West Loop.
Shortcuts was designed to encourage filmmakers across the state to explore their creativity and showcase their skills. All Illinois residents 18 and over were invited to enter the competition. More information on the Shortcuts contest and the Illinois Film Office can be found at www.illinoisfilm.biz.
“By showcasing other forms of film besides the big blockbuster productions that Illinois has become best known for, the Shortcuts competition highlights the diversity of the Illinois film industry,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley. “This is a great way to recognize and support emerging filmmakers and help build an even more attractive film industry in Illinois.”
Illinois’ film industry saw a record $161 million in spending in 2010, which topped the $155 million in spending in 2007 and represents a 54 percent increase from 2009. Last year, the state hosted big budget projects like Contagion, Transformers 3, and The Dilemma, as well as numerous smaller projects and a thriving commercial production industry. With the recent filming of Man of Steel, several major television shows and many commercial productions that have already filmed in the state this year, 2011 is promising to be another banner year for the Illinois film industry.
DCEO and the IFO are dedicated to advancing Illinois’ reputation as a world-class film destination. With many unique locations, talented crews, and ample sound stages, the Illinois Film Office (IFO) actively pursues film projects by promoting and marketing Illinois as an ideal shooting location for films, television shows and commercials. The IFO also promotes and encourages the training and hiring of Illinois residents who represent the diversity of the state’s population.