1 / 6 / 2017

LEXUS AND THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY ARE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF EMERGING FILMMAKERS

Today, at the Tokyo Short Film Festival, Lexus and the Weinstein Company announced the fourth season of the award winning Lexus Short Films. Each season, Lexus presents a theme to inspire and engage filmmakers to craft amazing stories. This season’s theme is TRANSFORMATION which is born from the Lexus brand’s belief that amazing things happen when you transform the ordinary into extraordinary.

Filmmakers can submit their films for consideration utilizing Withoutabox, the premier submission service for film festivals and filmmakers. The partnership between Lexus and The Weinstein Company truly supports up-and-coming filmmakers by creating a unique opportunity for them explore the art of filmmaking using all the latest technology and guided by renowned industry experts. This type of mentorship is similar to the process used in Lexus factories where master craftsmen known as Takumi teach and inspire the next generation.

For Season 4, an esteemed filmmaker selection committee which includes Oscar nominee, writer and actor Taylor Sheridan (best known for the films Hell or High Water and Sicario and the television series Sons of Anarchy) alongside key executives of The Weinstein Company and Lexus will be reviewing the submissions to select the four finalists. Joey Horvitz with The Weinstein Company will return to produce the next series of films.

“The Lexus Short Films project is a way for us to give back and support the creative community that always inspires us as a brand. We’ve come a long way since Season 1 thanks to the great collaboration with the Weinstein Company who shares our passion to support new, talented filmmakers and actors.” said Spiros Fotinos, Global Head of Brand Management and Marketing at Lexus. He added, “We are really excited by this year’s theme as it is something that also drives us as a brand. Aiming to make the ordinary extraordinary is how we can create amazing experiences.”

Simultaneously on June 1st, Lexus and The Weinstein Company will be debuting the four award winning films from Season 3 with the exciting online release of: Game, Friday Night, MESSiAH and The Nation Holds Its Breath. The films will be available to stream on Prime Video via Amazon Video Direct and www.LexusShortFilms.com as well as other channels. Season 3’s films were accepted into over 65 film festivals winning multiple jury and audience awards.

The Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said, “We are thrilled to be partnering again with Lexus and releasing these incredible films online for the world to see. Each filmmaker’s talent needs to be showcased globally – we cannot wait to see what our new filmmakers have in store for next season to encompass the theme of transformation.”

“The launch of Season 4 of Lexus Short Films coupled with the highly anticipated online release of the four films from last season will not only attract these novice filmmakers to do something new for their career but also highlight the impact and importance of the partnership between The Weinstein Company and Lexus to the filmmaking community,” said The Weinstein Company COO and President David Glasser.

To find out more about The Weinstein Company and Lexus International’s Lexus Short Films, please visit www.LexusShortFilms.com.

LEXUS SHORT FILMS SEASON 3 FILMS:

Title

FRIDAY NIGHT

Filmmaker

Alexis Michalik

 

Alexis Michalik is a filmmaker who has starred in Petits meutres en famille, Terre de lumière and Kaboul Kitchen and feature films directed by Billy Zane, Diane Kurys, Safy Nebou, Yann Samuel and Alexandre Arcady. Alexis has recently been featured in Le Dindon, staged by Thomas Le Douarec, and Les Fleurs Gelées, from Ibsen et Strindberg. He is the founder of the theatre company Los Figaros and after directing two short movies, Au Sol, in 2013 and Pim-Poum le petit Panda for the Cannes Adami collection in 2014, Alexis staged two plays, which are still running in Paris: Edmond and Intra Muros. He recently wrote and directed Friday Night which is featured in Lexus Short Films Season 3 and is now writing and will direct his first feature film: Edmond.

Country of residence

France

Synopsis

While visiting her daughter who is studying abroad, Claire is thrown into the midst of a city-wide attack. In a place where she doesn’t speak the language or know her way around, she’s forced to navigate in the dark of night in a desperate search to find her daughter and ensure her safety.

Awards

  • Best Shorts – Special Mention – Award of Excellence
  • Phoenix Film Festival – World Cinema – Best Short
  • Napa Valley Film Festival – Audience Award

 

Title

MESSiAH

Filmmaker

Damian Walshe-Howling

 

Damian Walshe-Howling is an actor, director and writer who is known for his performance in the television program, Underbelly, which he won an AFI Award in 2008 for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Drama. His film credits include He Died with a Felafel in his Hand, Macbeth and A Wreck A Tangle and his theater credits include A View of Concrete, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Fool for Love and Men. Recently, Damian was selected for Lexus Short Films Season 3 and he wrote, produced and directed MESSiAH. He is currently working as a director with the production companies, Princess Pictures and Guilty Content.

Country of residence

Australia

Synopsis

A plump, hapless Irishman and his sophisticated Parisian girlfriend get more than they bargained for when they encounter a particularly mischievous stranger in the Australian Outback.

Awards

  • Australian Cinematography Society – Gold Award
  • Best Shorts – Best of Show

 

Title

GAME

Filmmaker

Jeannie Donohoe

 

Jeannie Donohoe is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has written and directed several short films, including Game (currently in festivals), Lambing Season (selected for over 50 film festivals and multiple awards; named one of the “Best Short Films of 2014” by Indiewire; currently airing on PBS Film School Shorts) and Public (Palm Springs ShortFest, PBS Imagemakers). Jeannie was selected from over 4,600 applicants to write and direct Game for Lexus Short Films, produced by the Weinstein Company. Jeannie earned her MFA with honors in Directing from Columbia University. She attended Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, and also earned an MS in Education while teaching middle school in the Bronx through the Teach for America program. Jeannie is currently developing her first feature-length film.

Country of residence

USA

Synopsis

A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?

Awards

  • Best Shorts - Special Mention – Award of Excellence
  • Julien Dubuque Film Festival - Best Short Film Award
  • LA Indie Film Festival - Audience Choice Award
  • Napa Valley Film Festival - Audience Award
  • San Luis Obispo International Film Festival - Special Jury Award – Narrative Short Category
  • Tokyo Lift-off Festival – Winner of Best Live Action Narrative - wins official selection New York Lift-Off

Title

The Nation Holds Its Breath

Filmmaker

Kev Cahill

 

Kev Cahill, after graduating with a math and computer degree from Trinity College Dublin, worked as a DJ for Red Bull, sold smoothies at festivals and had a wholesale fruit company. Then he crashed the van and broke the businesses. This forced him to start working in films, specifically in VFX. He has worked on large budget productions like Game of Thrones, Star Wars VIII and Fantastic Beasts. He was also making some music videos of his own on the side. In 2015 he directed his first short film More Than God, it has screened at over 40 international film festivals and won a bunch of awards. This led him to be selected as one of the Lexus Short Film directors and make his 2nd short film The Nation Holds Its Breath. Kev is now directing commercials and has worked with Oxfam and McDonald’s. He's currently working on his first feature script.

Country of residence

Ireland

Synopsis

On the day of the most important football match in Irish history, a young father-to-be is torn between a) standing at his wife’s side to hold her hand and witness the miracle of childbirth, or b) witnessing the miracle of the national team reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Awards

  • Best Shorts – Special Mention - Award of Excellence
  • Chicago Irish Film Festival – Audience Award
  • Cine Gael Montreal Irish Film Festival – Audience Award
  • Dublin International Film Festival – Audience Award
  • Hollywood Comedy Shorts Festival – Best Rom Com
  • LA Indie Film Festival – Best Direction Award

ABOUT LEXUS SHORT FILMS

In 2013, Lexus Short Films was launched with the goal of supporting and nurturing a new generation of emerging filmmakers. These aspiring directors and writers have received a unique opportunity supported by Lexus to collaborate with acclaimed film studio The Weinstein Company to produce and showcase their work on an international stage. For more information, visit www.lexusshortfilms.com and follow #LexusShortFilms

ABOUT LEXUS

Since its U.S. market debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a worldwide reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service. Renowned for the superior reliability of its vehicles, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader, offering hybrids that combine innovative technology and premier luxury. To date, Lexus has grown into 90+ markets worldwide. The evolution of Lexus is not only reflected in the progressive designs of its latest vehicles, but also in the brand’s mission to captivate the next generation of luxury consumers with consciousness, products, and services that are visionary, original and exciting. http://www.lexus-int.com

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein. During Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 357 Oscar nominations and won 82 Academy Awards.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; SCRE4M; SPY KIDS: THE KING’S SPEECH; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; SCARY MOVIE 5; LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER; PHILOMENA; THE IMITATION GAME; PADDINGTON; WOMAN IN GOLD; SOUTHPAW; CAROL; THE HATEFUL EIGHT; SING STREET, HANDS OF STONE, THE FOUNDER and Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture: LION.

TWC boasts an active television production division which garnered twelve Emmy nominations in 2015. Weinstein Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, with its spin-off series Project Runway All Stars, hosted by Alyssa Milano, Project Runway Jr, featuring supermodel Hannah Davis and fashion critic Kelley Osbourne Under The Gunn, and Threads. Scripted series include Peaky Blinders with Netflix and critically acclaimed miniseries War & Peace, which debuted on Lifetime, A&E and HISTORY in 2016. Scripted projects in development include Stephen King’s The Mist (a straight-to-series 10 episode order) for Spike TV, military drama Six (a straight-to-series 8 episode order) for HISTORY and animated series Spy Kids for Netflix (a multi season commitment). TWC will also launch several new projects in 2017 across several networks, including MTV, Lifetime, and AMC.