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Movie Maniac Wichita’s 24-hour film race returns

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, August 4, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Get your pit crew ready, local filmmakers. Because Wichita’s first and only film race returns.

CreativeRush and the Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab will present the second annual “Down to the Wire: A 24-hour Film Race, presented by Bombardier Learjet, next weekend.

Participants can enter on their own or with a crew of up to 15 people. Teams have 24 hours to write, produce, shoot and edit a short film that is six minutes or less in duration.

All films are required to include four elements: a theme, prop, location and line of dialogue, which are randomly selected at the beginning of the race. No one knows what they will be until they are drawn. Filmmakers must then seamlessly incorporate the elements into their films.

In 2012, the race attracted 34 teams (more than 100 filmmakers total), ranging in skill levels from first-time student filmmakers to seasoned directors.

The top 10 films were screened in a showcase at the Orpheum Theatre one day after the race was completed. More than 500 people attended the event, where judges picked three winners, and the audience voted on an audience choice award.

This year, the race kicks off with a mandatory producers meeting at 6 p.m. Friday at Mindfire Academy, 4031 E. Harry, where information packets will be distributed and the four required elements will be drawn.

Then teams disperse and the filmmaking begins. Final films on DVD are due to the Tallgrass office, 212 N. Market, by 7 p.m. Saturday. No exceptions.

After that, a team that consists of Tallgrass programmers and CreativeRush members will screen all the films and narrow the field to 10. Those 10 films will be shown at 7 p.m. on Aug. 11 at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. The showcase is open to the public, and admission is $8 (it’s free for all registered team members).

A panel of judges will critique the films and pick first-, second- and third-place winners. Attendees will again vote on an audience choice award.

The first-place prize package includes a $1,000 filmmaking grant from Vimeo, a gala screening at the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival in October, up to eight filmmaker passes to the festival and a complimentary filmmaking class at Mindfire Academy for up to four members of the team.

The audience-award prize package includes up to six filmmaker passes to the film festival and a free two-night stay at the Hotel at Waterwalk.

The second-place prize package includes tickets for up to 10 team members to the opening night gala at the film festival and a private screening for up to 20 people in the LivingSound Screening Room at the Tallgrass Film Festival office (after October).

The bronze prize package includes two general admission tickets to the film festival for all team members.

The best student film winners get a student TALLPass to the film festival for up to four team members. A “student team” is considered to have more than half of the members enrolled in elementary, middle or high school, or college. Participants must provide proof with valid ID.

Registration is $100 per team. Register online and get more information at www.dttwfilmrace.com. Participants can also register at the kick-off meeting at Mindfire Academy on Friday.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at 316-268-6638 or rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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