As we wrap up the second ever Musicbed Film Initiative, we’ve been blown away by not only the quantity of applications, but the quality as well. Thousands of filmmakers submitted ideas, and we didn’t envy our judges’ task of narrowing them down to one film. This initiative has grown into a great barometer of the talent and pulse of our industry — what’s on people’s hearts and minds — and we were so excited to see what people are working on. But, without further ado, let’s get to our judges’ selection.
The official recipient of our 2017 Musicbed Film Initiative grant is Cole Sax with his submission The Eighth Summit. It’s clear to see why he was the top selection for our judges’ panel. His idea is a heart-wrenching documentary about a mission to preserve not only people’s health, but their human spirit. Here’s Cole:
My film is about a Nepali family who’s facing the life-inhibiting consequences of blindness, until a doctor visits the village and gives them the gift of sight in under five minutes. Of the more than 39 million people worldwide suffering from unnecessary blindness, more than half are due to cataracts – which can be surgically treated. When I discovered this issue and read about the people suffering, and the selfless individuals dedicating their lives to curing blindness, I knew I wanted to help in some capacity.
As a writer, director, and editor based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cole has a broad range of experience in the film industry. We’re so excited to see his finished product, and we hope this year’s grant will help make his dream a reality.
Our judges’ panel had the difficult task of selecting just one submission out of the thousands we received. Overall, there were four submissions that made it to the judges’ final decisions, and we feel like they’ve earned a shoutout. Their ideas were creative and unique, and we hope we can see them come to life as well. Here are our three finalists, with a comment about their project:
Katie Griffith's story is one that deserves a larger platform and a community of support as she navigates uncharted territory as a woman making a push for the MLB. Katie's journey has captured our hearts and we hope to share her story with the world.
A rag-tag group of thieves rob a bank. The only problem: they're all undercover cops and don't know it. I Bet You're Wondering How I Got Here is a heist-comedy that takes the traditions and clichés of history's greatest heist films and flips them on their head, creating something wholly original and unique.
Nearly two decades ago, polar adventurer and National Geographic Explorer Will Steger led a multinational team on the first and only complete dogsled traverse of Antarctica. The expedition took seven months through the world’s most hostile landscape and spanned the continent from coast to coast via a treacherous 3,741 mile route. Now, Steger reflects on the non-replicable expedition and the importance of international cooperation on climate change for Antarctica - and the future of our planet.
It’s difficult to see so many great ideas not take home our top selection. But in the end, this won’t be the filmmakers’ last chance to bring their films to life. We’re sure of that.
We’d like to thank our judges for taking the time to make our 2017 selection. They told us that it was a difficult decision, and we don’t doubt that for a second. And lastly, a huge thanks to our sponsors. Without their incredible contributions and support, we wouldn’t have the chance to make this initiative a possibility.
The 2017 Musicbed Film Initiative was as inspirational as always. Thanks to everyone who submitted an application. It’s just further proof of the talented individuals in the film community — there were hundreds of films submitted that we’d love to see brought to life.
Once again, congratulations to Cole Sax for being this year’s winner. To find out more about Musicbed Film Initiative and to be notified about next year's grant, click here.
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