Boom! Marko Slavnik Wins $100,000 From Nikon Festival

Boom! Huge congrats to Marko Slavnik for taking home the $100,000 Nikon Festival prize for his short film “Chicken vs. Penguin”. I was lucky enough to speak with him by phone from the Sundance Film Festival yesterday to congratulate him–what a great guy. Humble, hardworking and knows how to tell a good story on film. When I asked him what he planned to do with the mooolah, his response was exactly what I’d hoped to hear. First and foremost, he plans to repay all the people who volunteered and supported his efforts to make the short. Second, he plans to stuff the rest of the dough right where you’d want a talented filmmaker like himself to put it: into his next movie. The balance of his winnings should allow him to create what he wants to do on his terms. Everybody, please give it up for Marko. Mad respect.

Boom Boom!! Much respect to the winner of YOUR choosing too. Audience choice–leading in votes and views–was Josh Friedberg for his film “New York State of Mind”, a series of gorgeous visuals of his favorite city in the world. As a former owner and founder of 411 video magazine, a video skate zine based out of southern California that he sold and subsequently folded. I learned from Josh that he intends to put most of his winnings back into the skateboarding community that has given him so much as an artist by using the money to revive the 411 video mag as a platform for himself and others to explore video and skateboarding. So cool.

It was an honor and a treat working with my two newest pals and co-judges @ijustine and @rainnwilson. Our task was not an easy one, weeding over 1000 films down to 1 winner. Mad respect to Nikon for allowing this to be open to all formats, for providing expressly meaningful prizes (ie, not just gear, but CASH and gear), and for encourage filmmaking in general, not just their brand. AND here’s to hoping Nikon believes in this enough to give us the Nikon Festival 2.0 next year. Thanks again to everyone who participated. Thanks to B&H; for the D3s hookup for the festival. And overall, it was truly an inspiration to watch all this come together. Both Winner’s vids after the jump – click ‘continue reading’. Check them out. Love to hear your thoughts.

Chicken Vs. Penguin by Marko Slavnik. $100,000 Winner

and the audience award worth $25,000 goes to….
New York State of Mind by Josh Friedberg

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It was perfect! Good music, lovely visuals, awesome storyline. Marko absolutely nailed it!

Brennan says:

Seems like you two like the sound of your voice more then anything! Good job with the contest though>

fas says:

That video really deserved the win, loved the music.

Jonny says:

Awesome work by both parties… i love all these new short films that are popping up all over. So many talented people making use of whats available. It's almost brought back that indie work ethic and creativity from the old super 8 days.

Coming from skiing and mountain biking, i can't wait to see what those guys start producing over the next couple months and years.

jeremy says:

I was watching the winners movie and thinking "no way this is 140 sec's"….there was so much to the story! it was awesome and had such a great story, perfect perfect winner.

Greg says:

whoa that girl was beautiful to look at!!.. The end felt good on the winner vid. but other than that it was just cute… Dangit where's the micheal mann "collateral" style shooting!!

LOVED it. Loved the inspiration. Loved entering. Loved viewing & I LOVE the winning vid, esp. the grand prize winner and I also loved his other entries as well. Gripping. Thanks for the shot of inspiration.

I love the contrast between the two winners. A great story and great artistry without a specific story. No doubt, Marko shot some great scenes that gave his story its humor and power. But the photography wasn't the power element…the story was.

In contrast, Josh presented powerful photographic imagery that captivates the viewer. No specific story. Every New Yorker, or anyone who has been to New York, creates their own story out of memories or experiences when Josh presents aspects of the city that resonates with each individual in their own unique way.

Great job and well deserved honors to Marko and Josh.

Matt Beaty says:

Absolutely deserves the win. Great story, and told really well too.

John H. Maw says:

Gripping. Great work. Wonderfully creative and superb story telling.

Jamie says:

Let's just hope next year Nikon have the balls to take this international. I was quite disappointed that I couldn't enter this being a non-US citizen.

I entered that contest and my video was no where near as good as that video that was awesome.

Carlo says:

Marko, your movie kicked arse!!! Rock on!

Spencer says:

Awesome entries. Thanks so much to everyone who put this contest together. Without these contests we'd never get to see work like this, and the creators would probably never get the recognition they deserve.

This is what will save cinema from Hollywood.


Richard A. Lee says:

I received two messages from the two winners. First, a good story line, cleanly produced, will evoke good emotional relationship from viewer to video. Second, editing rules.

becky ruppel says:

Awesome! Love the creativity by Marko, hope to see more…

Shane Smith says:

Awesome Job! I'm sure there were many great submissions. 1st and 2nd were excellent picks.

nice work on the winner you pretty much killed it. Now hopefully you will be making a lot more of those videos

Hieu Nguyen says:

Awesome Awesome Videos Deserved every bit of it..Great Job guys

M.S. says:

Ha! love the winning vid, def. earned it! hilarious! Congrats to the winner, Nikon for supporting and the judges for picking a worthy winner! Looking forward to next year.

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