First round of contests for new site features $50K prize
Aiming to provide a showcase for emerging filmmakers, newly minted SeeFlik is launching a pair of online short film competitions.The contests — a Judge’s Award and a Fans Favorite — will be open only to students who attend or are within five years of graduation from accredited undergraduate or graduate film programs. SeeFlik, headed by longtime industry Larry Meli, touted the contests as a “farm system” for the entertainment industry. “Tens of thousands of emerging artists and filmmakers graduate from college each year and have few options other than the traditional film festivals to have their voices heard,” Meli said. The first round of the contests will conclude on Feb. 29 with winners receiving $50,000 and a showcase for talent agencies and studios. The company is launching with operating capital of $1 million, funded by Wall Street execs Adam Wachter and Jeff Parket and other execs. Wachter is chief operating officer, and Parket is chief financial officer. David Greenblatt, who co-founded Endeavor, will serve as an adviser to contest winners and mentor them through the process of meeting agents, managers and studio execs. SeeFlik has tapped half a dozen industry vets to serve on its Judge’s Awards panel — Michael London, Shane Black, Angelo Pizzo, Keir Pearson, Robert Kamen and Suzanne de Passe. The Fans Favorite competition will employ “American Idol”-style voting, in which the winning short is determined by the number of votes received. “SeeFlik puts in one place a great forum for emerging filmmakers to be discovered,” Greenblatt said. SeeFlik has also signed up nearly 20 film schools as affiliates to cover various forms of marketing including schools at Florida State U., NYU, Syracuse U., UCLA and USC. The competitions are not limited to students and alumni from the affiliated schools, and SeeFlik plans to expand the network of film schools. To be eligible, films must be original and no longer than 25 minutes. Contestants enter by uploading films digitally to the SeeFlik site.