Thursday, May 10, 2012
“The Summer of ‘81,” a short film produced by Preston Randolph and filmed near Meeteetse, Wyoming is the winner of this year’s Wyoming Short Film Contest. The short tells the unique story of Wyoming man, Bob Taylor and the spirit and struggles of his life's journey. From teaching in the city, to being a Cowboy in Wyoming, to raising his family without electricity in the cabin he built by hand, and of course baseball. Now in its fifth year, the Wyoming Short Film Contest awarded $25,000 to Randolph who will now have the opportunity to produce another film in Wyoming with the proceeds.
Randolph began his film making career at Cody High School, where he remains the only student to have won the statewide Wyoming High School Short Film Festival three years running. Alongside his filmmaking career, Randolph dedicates the remainder of his time in being a political activist for social justice. He has organized an annual charity drive for the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is currently working on a feature-length documentary, “Wind Chases the Sun.” The film exposes the case of Native American activist Leonard Peltier, and his ongoing 36 years of imprisonment.
According to film contest administrator, Colin Stricklin, "The point of this contest is not just to award one filmmaker $25,000. Rather, it's our goal to provide exposure to the talented filmmakers, to support independent film projects and to encourage filmmakers to consider shooting their projects in Wyoming. There is an exceptional amount of talent on display in this contest, both from in-state and out-of-state filmmakers."
For 2012, the Film Office also offered a Filmmaker’s Choice Award giving contest entrants the opportunity to recognize a fellow filmmaker. The winner of the award, and the associated $5,000, was filmmaker Mark Pedri. His film, “Western Wandering,” follows the filmmaker on a 700-mile mountain bike ride around Wyoming to discover what truly defines the state he was born and raised in.
You can still watch all of this year's entries at http://www.wyomingshortfilmcontest.com/.