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The People Have Spoken
Tribecca Film Festival
Short Film Competition
$50,000 Grand Prize Award
June 29, 2005
Tribecca Cinama

Written and Photographed by Wendy R. Williams



Damon Dash and Tom Wolfe

On June 29th, 2005, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted the Short Film Competition
$50,000 Grand Prize Award, the culmination of a competetion sponsored by Amazon.com, The Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca's founding partner American Express. One thousand films had been entered in the contest; the finalists were shown on Amazon.com and were voted on by people from all over America. And on June 29th, the contest was down to the final five. In attendance were a group of glitterati including judges Tom Wolfe (nattily atired in his customary white suit), Damon Dash (equally satorically splendid in a silvery grey) and the always charming Jane Rosenthal (co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival).


Tom Wolfe and Jane Rosenthal


The final five were:

Fragile, by David Cumbo: A brilliantly animated psychological journey of a young child coping with the death of his older sibling.

Post Traumatic, by James Seale: An homage to the classic conspiracy thrillers of the 70's, a soldier returns home from the war in Iraq to find himself being followed by shadowy CIA types.

Street Therapy, by Jason Rice: Gritty and personal, a homeless man offers his fellow NYC residents an outlet for their frustrations ... for a small fee of course.

Rachel's Challenge: The Battle Between Good & Evil by Jon Lindgren: A documentary-style film chronicling a behind-the-scenes battle of good vs. evil surround the Columbine High School shootings.

Misfortune Cookie by Jack Paccione,Jr.: The Tale of an arrogant man who receives and unwelcome message in his fortune cookie.

All the films were charming and tightly written. My absolute favorite, however, was Misfortune Cookie, a hysterical short about a braying-jackass-of-a- businessman, who is eating lunch at a Chinese restaurant when he gets a message in his fortune cookie that he only has two minutes left to live.

But Cookie is not the film that won. The winner was Rachal's Challenge, a Christian film by a Midland, Texas based film maker named Jon Lindgren. Rachel was a beautiful film, but the story was fairly simplistic. But then it is very difficult to tackle good and evil in seven minutes or less, even if you are not from the Midland of George Bush fame.

Winner Jon Lindgren

If you missed the oppportunity to submit a film to the festival, all if not lost. Here is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:

"The on-line search for the next great short-filmmaker continues following the success of the inaugural competition

Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) and Tribeca Film Festival founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, along with Tribeca Film Festival founding partner American Express, today announced a second Amazon Theater/Tribeca Film Festival Short-Film Competition, in recognition of the critical role that short films have played in the broader filmmaking world.

Hosting a second competition illustrates the dedication of Amazon.com, the Tribeca Film Festival and its founding partner American Express to the filmmaking community. The goal is to offer even more short-film makers the opportunity to reach new and expanded audiences, as well as a convenient way for those audiences to enjoy their work."

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