Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jameson FIND Your Audience Award Now Accepting Submissions

From Film Independent - Whiskey and Film - What a great combination! This press release says it all.

Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, which is one of the four Film Independent Spirit Award filmmaker grants. Funded by Jameson® Irish Whiskey, the $40,000 cash grant is designed to assist a feature narrative or documentary filmmaker in building the audience for his or her film. The winner will be highlighted at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 25, 2012. 

The Jameson FIND Your Audience Award was established last year when Film Independent saw the need to meet independent filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: getting their films out into the marketplace. Last year’s winner was Jeff Malmberg’s critically acclaimed and Spirit Award-winning Marwencol. As part of the grant process, Film Independent will provide ongoing consultation regarding distribution, marketing and publicity. 

“Distribution models are in flux and many quality, artist-driven films don’t secure a traditional release each year. Thanks to the generous support of Jameson, Film Independent is once again able to help a filmmaker get his or her movie out into the world in a meaningful way,” said Josh Welsh, Director of Artist Development. 

“We are excited to be supporting the Film Independent Spirit Awards for our third consecutive year,” said Wayne Hartunian, Vice President, Scotch and Whisky Portfolio at Pernod Ricard USA. “Our partnership maintains the brand’s commitment to film and celebrating the achievements of American independent filmmakers. Furthering that commitment, the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award tackles the most common stumbling block for upcoming filmmakers by providing the tools to share their work with a wider audience.”

Applicants must be the director or producer of a recent American narrative or documentary feature with a production budget of $2.5 million or less that has not yet received significant distribution. The film must have screened at a film festival no earlier than September 1, 2010 and no later than August 31, 2011. In addition, applicants must be past a Spirit Award nominee or winner, Los Angeles Film Festival alumnus or completed one of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs (Labs, Project Involve or Fast Track) or by nomination solicited by Film Independent. Films with innovative, alternative marketing or distribution plans are encouraged to apply. Films that have overall North American distribution deals or that have not yet begun a film festival run are ineligible. There is no submission fee and the deadline to apply is December 2, 2011. Complete submission guidelines, applications and more information can be found at

The 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be held Saturday, February 25, 2012 in the afternoon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.  The premiere broadcast of the ceremony will air later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC. 

As the first event to exclusively honor independent film, the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premier awards show for the independent film community. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.

Now in its 27th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. 

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award.  The Filmmaker Grants include the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, Someone to Watch Award, Truer Than Fiction Award, and Piaget Producers Award.

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers.  Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.  

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project:Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a member, visit

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).  

The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu® flavored rum, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila (through a joint venture with Tequila Avión); such superior wines as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines. 

Pernod Ricard USA is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country.  Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit:

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