Lights. Camera. Competition! TXU Energy and the Dallas Film Society are launching the Third Annual 2012 TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest; and, according to last year’s winners, there’s no time like the present for student film makers across Texas to seize the chance at winning the cash prizes and the accolades that come with the contest’s top honors. The company also launched the new Web site for this year’s contest today attxu.com/studentfilmcontest.
About the 2012 Contest
Competing students are asked to create a 3-5 minute video relating to the future of energy and energy efficiency in any of the five following genres: music video, comedy, animation, horror/sci-fi, or drama. Students participating in this year’s competition are asked to post their video submissions online at txu.com/studentfilmcontest between today and February 10, 2012. Entries will also be accepted by mail.
This year’s grand prize winners will win $7,500. The other prizes include $5,000 for first prize and $2,500 for second prize in the high school and college categories. High school finalists’ Audio/Visual (A/V) departments will receive 100 percent of the prize money, and finalist university students will split cash winnings with their universities’ A/V departments. Runners-up and all finalists will also receive free video editing software valued at approximately $400.
Public voting opens online at txu.com/studentfilmcontest on February 20, 2012, and runs through March 23, 2012. Online voters will be asked to score the videos based on illustrating forward-thinking ideas or perspectives, providing solution oriented stories, and for the overall presentation and entertainment quality. The five high school and five university submissions with the most online votes will be declared finalists by April 12. Grand prize winners will also be selected by representatives of The Dallas Film Society and TXU Energy.
The 2012 finalists will walk the red carpet and will be recognized at the Dallas Film Society Honors and Awards Presentation on April 21, where the high school and university finalists will find out who receives the grand, first and second prizes. Finalist films will also be screened during the 2012 DALLAS International Film Festival.
Lessons Learned from 2011 Winners
Last year, two North Texas student filmmakers won the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest. There were nearly 40,000 online votes for more than 50 entries competing to win $30,000 in cash and grants.
Katherine Yarbrough, director of “Queen Kill-A-Watt,” from The Art Institute of Dallas and Kassidy Testut, director of “Looking Out for Texas,” from Richardson High School each won the top prize in their contest divisions in the 2011 contest. Their winning films were chosen by a judges’ panel made up of experts from TXU Energy and the Dallas Film Society and announced at the 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival awards ceremony.
Both Yarbrough and Testut say that winning the contest was a great boost to their resumes, which led them to solid opportunities, including an internship at the Cannes Film Festival for Yarbrough and film school at the University of Southern California (USC) for Testut.
“I heard a lot of people saying that they could have done better,” said Yarbrough, about fellow students’ reaction to her film. “But, they didn’t enter. So, I would encourage everybody, especially the people who looked at it last year and thought, ‘Oh yeah, these are pretty good. I think I could probably do better…’ Then, do it. Just do it!”
Last year, Yarbrough split the prize money she won with the Art Institute’s film program. A technology grant in the same amount was paid directly to Richardson High School, in honor of Testut’s accomplishment last year. According to Testut, the school was able to purchase three new cameras with the prize money, which her instructor named K1, K2, and K3, after her.
“It really gave me the confidence that showed me that I can do well and that film school’s not out of my reach and I can really get into it,” said Testut about winning the contest. “And I did!”
These winning videos and other 2011 finalist entries can be seen on the TXU Energy YouTube Channel.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.
About the Dallas Film Society
The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit dallasfilm.org.