Sprint (NYSE:S - News), along with contest partners Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Wells Fargo, today announced the winners of the 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge, a short film competition that calls for college students to create a short film on a smartphone. The winners are Michelle Pena of Towson University in Baltimore and Heath Simmons of the Art Institute of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.
The official announcement was made today at Howard University. At the event, Sprint, on behalf of the Sprint Foundation, donated $10,000 to support the University’s School of Communications and School of Business. This contribution is part of Sprint’s ongoing commitment to education.
About the 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge winners:
* Michelle Pena of Towson University, Baltimore, Md. – Describing her film, “New Beat,” as “every day is beautiful but one must always look,” Pena exposes viewers to raw black and white aesthetics recorded using a vintage camera application.
* Heath Simmons of Art Institute of Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C. – Capturing a moment we can all relate to, Simmons’ “Mr. Postman” short film depicts an annoying postal worker searching for a person at the wrong house. Simmons plays both characters while infusing humor and making good use of camera angles and techniques.
Pena and Simmons were selected by public voting among seven finalist videos posted on www.4gcompetitiveedge.com. The winning prize includes $2,500 to launch their film career, and a trip to Los Angeles to dine with a Sprint executive and to go on a movie set with actor and the 4G Competitive Edge campaign’s official ambassador, Idris Elba.
“The 4G Competitive Edge Competition was an excellent display of skilled and talented college students mastering their artistry,” said Matt Carter, president of Sprint Global Wholesale Solutions. “Combining creativity and Sprint 4G’s applications resulted in entertaining filmmaking while utilizing the latest technology capabilities. We hope this challenge will continue to encourage and hopefully inspire students to push the boundaries of tradition no matter the pursuit.”
A career panel discussion with film and entertainment professionals rounded out the event at Howard University and provided fresh insight on the different elements necessary for a successful career in film using the latest in technology. The panelists included: Director William Packer of “Takers” and “Stomp the Yard,” Actor Hosea Chanchez of BET’s “The Game” and Jawn Murray of the Tom Joyner Morning Show and MSNBC. Actor Idris Elba also participated in the symposium via video conferencing.
The 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge launched in December 2010 with a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to support the campaign, where college students had the opportunity to attend a career seminar with industry experts that included celebrity guests. Recognizing the importance social media plays in an evolving media space, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) partnership activated a strong presence among various networks. From servicing college radio stations and websites to HBCU social networks, TMCF sought target markets catering to students while generating buzz.
“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) that are home to nearly 300,000 students matriculating on their campuses,” said Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “The students are truly a unique pool of talent for Sprint, Wells Fargo and Idris Elba to find the most talented young minds. The 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge is a pairing of the arts and technology that distinctly aligns with the type of innovation and ingenuity we are cultivating in our next generation of leaders.”