Film Competition Past Winners

ROUND 1 WINNER

"The Vase"

Directed by Dev Mitra and Wesley Wang

During the Incandescent Review’s first film contest cycle, we decided on The Vase as our first winner! We, as both judges and as audience members, felt that the story, humor, and execution were not just enjoyable, but memorable. The main premise is that one day, a young man discovers that he has amazing telekinetic abilities, however, his discovery falls on deaf ears. Although the main character tries to show off his new found ability, he is dismissed by his mother, his friends, and ultimately isn’t able to prove very much to anyone. The premise of the plot feels familiar, and may have even been something that has been done before, but the comedy and quick wit within the writing of The Vase makes the familiar ideas feel fresh. The Vase has elements and shining moments of amazing cinematography- times where the angles used are creative and engaging. Ultimately, this film was strong in multiple categories, which is what helped us determine this as the winner. The writing is funny and witty, the technical elements of film are accomplished well, and when the film breaks out of standard expectations in areas like cinematography, it aids in the films ability to stand apart from others.

ROUND 2 WINNER

"Audience of One"

Directed by Keanu Hua

“Audience of One” is a 30-second PSA about depression and reaching out to those who suffer from it. Though it is very short and centers around a much-covered topic, “Audience of One” was uniquely compelling among the pieces submitted cycle because of its excellence of craft. The animation in the first half is extremely well done. Paper and hand movements are fluid and lifelike, while continuously moving textures lend continuously flowing energy, dynamism, and visual interest to the image. The visuals are paired masterfully with the narration, emphasizing its ideas without being redundant and both following and propelling the narration’s momentum. Sound design is well done in this piece, too: the piece opens on the sound of paper tearing, establishing a sense of space and action before we even see the notebook imagery. Though the second part of the animation is in a less polished style, it effectively carries the flow and momentum of the piece, right through the notebook page blowing into the camera for the end screen. It’s a little unfair to compare “Audience of One” to pieces in the competition with longer stories and arcs, especially since the piece is a PSA of a well known message. Ultimately, though, we felt it was worth highlighting because of how well it uses moving visuals and audio — the craft of filmmaking — to convey its message.

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