Kevin Spacey, Willem Dafoe Give Young Auteurs Whiskey Shots

Spacey’s Trigger Street premieres U.S. winner of short-film competition sponsored by Jameson

Distilled spirits met spirit of indie film, as Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Prods. picked three aspiring filmmakers to write and direct shorts starring Willem Dafoe, in a competition sponsored by Jameson whiskey.

Trigger Street, in conjunction with Pernod Ricard’s Jameson brand, sorted through hundreds of entries to select one winner each from U.S., South Africa and Russia — the three biggest markets for the whiskey.

It’s second year for the Jameson First Shot contest. Three-year pact came together when Spacey was at 2011 Dublin Film Festival, which Jameson sponsors. Spacey, Oscar-winning thesp whose recent turns include starring in “House of Cards” on Netflix, said he stipulated from the outset that films not include product placement. Rules specify that films not include scenes of excessive drinking, among other conditions.

“It just sort of made sense to take it one step further with Jameson, from sponsoring a film festival to actually supporting short films,” Spacey said.

The competish’s 2013 U.S. winner is Shirlyn Wong, an NYU graduate film student currently working on her thesis project. She described her 9-minute short, “Love’s Routine,” as a dark comedy about Barry (Dafoe) and his elderly wife, Margie (Linda Porter), that explores the nature of human love. The other two winners were South Africa’s Hanneke Schutte and Russia’s Anton Lanshakov.

“There’s so much rejection in the industry,” said Wong, 30. “For me, now I have so much more confidence and drive.”

Trigger Street prexy Dana Brunetti declined to provide project’s production budgets but said they were on the order of a “student film.” But he added that the company enlisted experienced cast and crew for the shoots, which took place in L.A. this spring over the span of two weeks.

Dafoe, who boarded project at Spacey’s behest, said he had never worked on short films before (or student films, for that matter) but found the experience rewarding.

“I believe in it,” Dafoe said. “It was exciting to work with people at the beginning of their careers who aren’t jaded.”

Spacey starred in the three 2012 Jameson First Shot films but said he wanted to bring in another actor to give the project more credibility.

Trigger Street and Jameson premiered “Love’s Routine” and screened the other two shorts Wednesday night at Hotel Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Companies posted them online at jamesonfirstshot.com and YouTube.

Jameson First Shot will run at least one more year, with potential to extend beyond. Contest solicits films geared around one of three themes: “legendary,” “humorous” and “a very tall tale.” In an odd twist, California residents are not eligible to enter because of a state law that prohibits sweepstakes sponsored by liquor companies.

Watch the three 2013 winning shorts:


SEE ALSO: Kevin Spacey Deals on ‘House of Cards’

More Digital

  • Picture shows: MAKING OF - Underwater

    Netflix Orders 'Oceans' Natural History Series From 'Blue Planet II' Creator

    Netflix has ordered a multi-part natural history series on the world’s oceans from Freeborne Media, the production outfit of acclaimed natural-history producer James Honeyborne, who created “Blue Planet II.” Each of the series’ episodes will focus on a different ocean, “combining the disciplines of oceanography, geography and earth sciences to experience these characteristics in new [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Adds Five Original Series to India Slate

    Streaming giant Netflix has added five originals across genres to its India series slate. “Bombay Begums”, created, written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava (“Lipstick Under My Burkha”), will follow the varied journeys of five women who bond in contemporary urban India. The series is executive produced by Chernin Entertainment (“The Greatest Showman”) and EndemolShine India [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • New AirTV Mini improves cord-cutting experience

    Dish’s AirTV Releases New Android TV Streaming Stick

    Dish’s AirTV subsidiary is releasing a new streaming device designed to combine over-the-air broadcast TV with the company’s Sling TV service and other streaming services. The new AirTV Mini streaming stick looks similar to a Fire TV stick, and is powered by Google’s Android TV software. The AirTV Mini stick is 4K-capable, allowing consumers to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content