Los Angeles, Culver City (CA)
February 22-23-24, 2023
Here we go! We’re just back from this wonderful experience of SFFA in Los Angeles!
It was an honor for us to be part of the Sony Pro team and enjoy such a beautiful festival at its first-ever edition!
Thirty filmmakers were shortlisted across six categories: Filmmaker Fiction; Filmmaker Non-Fiction; Filmmaker Environment; Student Filmmaker Fiction; Student Filmmaker Non-Fiction; and Future Format.
The awards were assigned by judges of the caliber of Roger A. Deakins, Academy Award-Winning Cinematographer, Justin Chadwick, Award-Winning British Theater, Television and Film Director, Nicole Brown, President of Tristar Pictures and Jeremy Barber, partner, Motion Picture Literary and Talent, United Talent Agency.
The Winning and Shortlisted Filmmakers met in Los Angeles, during the award ceremony at the iconic Cary Grant Theater in Culver City. For three days they participated in exclusive workshops at Sony Studios and had exclusive access into the Inner Workings of the Industry.
It was a great opportunity that Sony wanted to offer to these talented creatives!
Below, are all the winners:
Fiction Dan Thorburn (UK), “Salt Water Town”
Non-fiction Daniela Lucato (Italy), “The Things You Don’t Know About Me, Mom”
Environment Pedro Furtado (Brazil), “The Good Dolphins”
Student Filmmaker – Fiction Mateo Salas (Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia), “The Sun of the River”
Student Filmmaker – Nonfiction Seonghoon Eric Park (the Republic of Korea, Boston University, USA), “In Cod We Trust”
Future Format Pan Tianhong (China Mainland), “Homework for Winter Vacation”
You know we communicate most with visuals, so you were the first to see our recap video of the ceremony, other social content, and some sneak peek of our “sunny” day in Venice Beach (that was NOT so very sunny) with all the Sony Pro Ambassadors and the SonyProFilmmaking team.
DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION CENTER – DMPC
To have more fun, we also involved our partners Eli Sokhn and the Badasskid team, the day after the ceremony, we were fortunate enough to visit the DMPC (Digital Media Production Center) in Los Angeles with the whole crew. The DMPC boasts a standing set that includes a complete lighting grid on a 3,500 square-foot soundstage, as well as a 1,100 square-foot photo studio that was used for hands-on classes and demonstrations.”
We received a warm welcome from the brilliant host Samuel Wilson Fares, who guided us into the stages and filled us into one of the best experiences of our life: The Sony’s Crystal LED display!
In a room equipped with 27 seats, we were amazed by the stunning 24-inch display system boasting over 37 million sub-pixels and an ultra-wide aspect ratio of 2.66:1. Here, renowned cinema legends such as Claudio Miranda mastered their movies, and something truly magical unfolded before your eyes.
During our visit, we were treated to a few breathtaking minutes of the cinematic Top Gun experience, featuring the work of DOP Claudio Miranda, as well as awe-inspiring images from Avatar and other notable films.
SONY PICTURES STUDIOS
In the evening we embarked on a captivating 2-hour tour of the Sony Pictures studios lot. As we strolled through the very same spaces where iconic movies such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Men in Black” and “Spider-Man” were brought to life, we were transported to a world of imagination and creativity.
One particular highlight was the unique sound experience we had in one of the most meticulously designed Foley Stages in the world, equipped with a wide range of pits, surfaces, and props.
Here Foley Artists make magic happen!
We highly recommend a visit to these studios if you have the opportunity. The sensory experience that you will have is unforgettable and will leave a lasting impression on your memory.
Following the tour, all of the attending filmmakers were invited to a private feedback session with Sony engineers. During this session, we were able to openly exchange our thoughts and ideas about the latest cameras, and request new features. The atmosphere was on of collaboration and mutual respect, with both parties working towards a common goal of advancing the technology in the film industry. It was truly inspiring to see such a wonderful initiative aimed at driving progress in our field.
SUNNY CALIFORNIA – read the funny story
We packed our luggage with lots of t-shirts, and our community members, friends, and contributors, for years, told us about the great weather and the sun in California… Instead, we were greeted by the first blizzard in over 30 years. LOL
But as they say, a good company can make any experience truly great. So, in the morning, we embarked on a tour of The Academy Museum, where we discovered a treasure trove of cinematic artifacts that trace the rich history of our beloved art form.
One exhibition that stood out was the “The Art of Moviemaking: The Godfather.” It features an impressive collection of original objects from the making of The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), providing a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind one of cinema’s most iconic masterpieces.
From costumes and makeup elements to props, scripts, and equipment, these materials – many of which were on display for the first time – shed light on the contributions of the various branches of the film industry and how they innovated to navigate the evolving landscape of Hollywood.
Last but not least, we also had a blast shooting in Venice Beach, even as the rain poured down upon us. Thanks to our friend and producer at Badasskid Laith Souqi we were fully equipped with waterproof gear and had all the necessary arrangements in place to capture some truly stunning and unique shots rarely captured in sunny Venice.
One particular highlight was Paolo Sodi‘s individual session with a surfer in the rain. We are eagerly anticipating the results of his shoot, as we’re sure they will be nothing short of spectacular.
Upon returning to the hotel, we had the opportunity to delve deeper into the Sony Venice 2 and Rialto System conducting quick tests with all the filmmakers in low-light conditions.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to share as much as we can with you about this incredible trip, providing an immersive experience! You’ll feel as if you were right there with us in LA.
However, we also highly recommend checking out the Instagram profiles of the amazing filmmakers who joined us on this journey, including:
@toutifr @horaciocabilla @jeremie_thequirky @alexandrudon @madalinamerca @dennisschmelz @zilverschmitz @meciargoncalves @viniciussouza.dop @PaoloSodi @philipbloom @a_chapman1975 @jennyalicefilms @ninoleitner @martindeiuliis @srodalmenara @kristofhpozo @fechu @repollita01 @slashcam
They did a great job there and told different stories from different angles!
A big thank you to the SonyProFilmmaking family who invited us to join and live this incredible experience! We can’t wait to meet you all again soon!
Special thanks to Florence Quintin, Yann Salmon – Legagneur, Sebastian Leske, Anna Doublet, Martina Goodman, and all the amazing Sony teams!