Retired ‘Star Wars Fan Film Awards’ Return

Lucasfilm is bringing back its “Star Wars Fan Film Awards,” after having retired the contest in 2012.The company will start to accept submissions no longer than five minutes this month through StarWars.com, with the best films screened at a cermoney during the “Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim in April 2015.

The contest originally launched in 2002 as a way for Lucasfilm to officially acknowledge and embrace the fan film genre.

The relaunch this year will enable multiple genres to be judged in seven categories — including Filmmaker Select, Best Animation, Best Non-Fiction, Spirit of Fandom, Best Comedy, Best Visual Effects, and Audience Choice — with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy choosing the winner of the Filmmaker Select prize.

A set of tickets to “Star Wars Celebration” will be awarded to the best films.

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“The ‘Star Wars Fan Film Awards’ are a wonderful way for us to acknowledge the extraordinary talent and passion of our fans that have supported us throughout the years,” Kennedy said. “Since ‘Star Wars’ has inspired so many to take up a camera and begin their own filmmaking careers, we’d like to share some of that inspiration with an audience and encourage those filmmakers to follow their bliss. I’m looking forward to witnessing the incredible creativity I know our fans are capable of.”

Lucasfilm launched the return of the awards with “The Empire Strikes Back Uncut,” a fan-made crowdsourced mashup video of the “Star Wars” sequel. The film debuted on StarWars.com.

Created by Casey Pugh and involving nearly 1,000 fans, the filmmaker first recreated “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” shot by shot with footage provided by amateur filmmakers around the world.

After the film proved a hit, Pugh decided to do the same with “The Empire Strikes Back,” and attracted over 1,500 responses from fans who sent in 15-second segments using their own actors, props, animation, artwork, or action figures.

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