Grand Prize Winner: “Harmonica” By Ye Kuang
Ye Kuang comes from China, and now he is currently doing his MFA degree in Filmmaking in New York Film Academy.
Ye studied 3D animation and after effect technics in Soul, Korea and participated in a few TV series and Music Video Production there before he came to America.The passion for film and willing to be a director is what has brought him here to Los Angeles for further education and career development. Multicultural experience is quite unique and worth-mentioning treasure that has given him the opportunity to develop my value for my perspective in storytelling and for his life in general. He gets chance to compare different value between eastern and western culture and aesthetics of art and filmmaking. Ye finds that as an Asian mind, when you naturally think some of the aesthetics and values only work in a certain culture as in Asian, you will be surprised to find out that it actually related and connected in western culture and belief, what is different is the way people express themselves.
He is especially interested in the subject matters that explore human nature such as Fight Club, Seven and The silence of Lamb as such. Probably due to the society and cultural background that je grew up and his personal attribute, He wishes he could tell audience what he see behind certain social phenomenon and humanity through film. At the same time, He wishes he could learn from different film and to experience different life.
Second Prize Winner: "The Hero From Ireland" By Paul O’ Halloran
Paul O’Halloran is an Irish immigrant and filmmaker living in the Washington DC area. A graduate of George Mason University’s Film and Video Studies program, Paul now works as an editor in Northern Virginia. He has been making short films for over ten years, exploring themes of nationalism, cultural identity, psychology and mythology.
Third Prize Winner: "Dead Sites" By Jason Outenreath
Jason Outenreath is a 3rd year MFA Film Production student at the University of Texas at Austin. A filmmaker and teacher, he has found his calling writing, directing, and producing narrative films and documentaries often focusing on social issues affecting the world at large. Additionally, he founded a film literacy non-profit 501c3 organization, CineAid, which works with at-risk youth in the city of Austin, TX to raise awareness about global issues through film, as well as encourage young creative voices through the art of filmmaking. It was after his two year Peace Corps service in Nicaragua that he was inspired to attend film school and create a nonprofit organization dedicated to film education. A fluent Spanish speaker, he graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in Cinema Studies in 2010. Since then he has devoted his energy to changing the world by giving a voice to the voiceless and telling stories that otherwise would not be told.
Point Park University High School Scholarship Winner: "Conflict of All Ages" By Kelly Tran
Kelly Tran is a 17-year old aspiring filmmaker/director from Norwin High School. She developed her love of storytelling at a young age from the bedtime stories her dad used to tell her and the adult swim TV shows her non-English speaking grandma used to leave on. When she’s not filmmaking, Kelly sings, plays piano, reads, writes, commissions music, and watches “SNL” and “The Office.” Her favorite movies are “American Beauty,” “Boyhood,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” She plans to attend either Point Park University or New York University with a major in Cinema Arts. She’s hopeful for a lasting life in cinema.
Fredrick Johnson has nearly twenty-five years of media production experience, principally in Los Angeles, where his work included productions for MTV, VH1, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola, Warner Bros., and Universal Studios Theme Parks. He has worked on shorts, documentaries, reality television, commercials and is currently in post production on his first feature film. As a writer and director, his films have won many awards, including the CINE Eagle and the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Award. Fred is currently an Associate Professor at Point Park University, where he founded the Cinema and Digital Arts department in 2003. He has more than twenty years of experience in media production education, previously at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, where he also earned an MFA at the School of Cinematic Arts. Fred has also taught a short course in Alternative Story Structures at FAMU, the Czech National film academy in Prague.
Jessica Conner is a film, mass communications and marketing professional with over 15-years of experience. She currently works freelance in the commercial production industry. For fourteen years she was the Assistant Director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. Throughout her 14-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Film Office, Jessica assisted in marketing the southwestern Pennsylvania region to the film industry resulting in over $900 million to the local economy and thousands of local jobs. She assisted in all aspects of local production, including location scouting, finding crew and vendors and other local resources to support a film, television or commercial production. Some films she assisted include The Last Witch Hunter; Concussion; The Dark Knight Rises; The Fault in Our Stars; Foxcatcher; Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl; Love the Coopers and Southpaw to name just a few. Jessica also worked on many initiatives to support the very successful Film Tax Credit program in Pennsylvania. Conner is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Communications and a minor in Film Studies. She also has a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Point Park University. She is a native of Pittsburgh, PA.
Minette Seate is a senior producer at WQED Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a scriptwriter, a copywriter, an entertainment writer, an ad agency producer, an actor and a voice-over performer. She worked as coordinating producer on the WQED co-production of the American Masters film: August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand. The documentary premiered nationally in February of 2015. Minette was awarded a 2012 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for the documentary Pitch Perfect. Seate has also been awarded an Emmy for the special The County Jail. Over the years, she has been nominated several times, including a 2010 nomination for the Horizons series. She was the long-time producer of WQED's award-winning minority affairs program Black Horizons hosted by Chris Moore. Black Horizonscelebrated its 40th anniversary year in 2008 receiving proclamations from both Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh. Seate continues working as a senior producer at WQED, hosting and producing a variety of programs including the weekly series Filmmakers Corner. She is a proud member of Pittsburgh's arts and production communities.
Len Caric is the co-founder of AmericanArk Films with Mark Fallone. Under AmericanArk Films, Len was Executive Producer and Producer of “Henry Hornbostel: In Architecture and Legacy.” This production aired on WQED, Pittsburgh Public Television Station first on November 22, 2013 and appears currently in rotation. “Henry Hornbostel: In Architecture and Legacy” was selected for the 2014 Napa Valley Film Festival. Len also Produce and Directed “Roof of the World” which was also featured on WQED. Len is an Adjunct Instructor in the Masters of Entertainment Industry Management program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School. In addition to AmericanArk Films, Len has been a serial entrepreneur for over 30 years in Western Pennsylvania. Currently, Len is President and CEO of Uncle Charley’s Sausage Company and is a former Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Len received his Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Evan Carson is our student judge. He is a CMU student in the College of Fine Arts working with primarily film and video. He studies movies regularly and tries to see as many as possible each year here in Pittsburgh and back in his hometown Amherst, Massachusetts. Evan works with narrative as well as experimental filmmaking and often works on music videos for local artists.