Filmmakers Win Big with 'The REEL Challenge'

OTTAWA, March 2, 2012 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) today announced the winners of the third edition of The REEL Challenge Contest. This year's theme, Celebrating the Movie and Television Industry at Work, was an opportunity for filmmakers to produce a compelling short film to showcase the importance of promoting and protecting Canada's dynamic production industry, which, last year alone, supported the livelihoods of 128,000 artists, creators and workers – in front of and behind the camera.

David Zitzerman, member of the CFC Board, announced the Contest winners at the Canadian Media Production Association's (CMPA) Prime Time in Ottawa conference. The first place winner was Gerald Patrick Fantone of Toronto, ON. Fantone will receive $10,000, for his original short THIS FILM - a work that celebrates the countless people required to bring a production to life.

“We often take for granted the way productions are made, and remain oblivious to the hundreds of people and numerous businesses that work endless hours on both sides of the camera to make the films we all enjoy so much. This industry is worth keeping and protecting; it crosses over so many businesses and serves as a driving force of economic growth,” Fantone said.

Second place winner Alex Sikorsky of Toronto, ON will receive the $3,000 prize for his short film SUPERHEROES, a PSA recognizing the importance of the employees working behind the camera of a production, as seen through the eyes of children.

Third prize, in the amount of $2,000, awarded to Jesse Ewles of Toronto, ON for his short FILM TRUCK, illustrates the economic impact that the film and television industry has on society, as it uses countless everyday businesses for all aspects of a production.

“The number of high quality submissions received for The REEL Challenge Contest this year is clearly a testament to the growing awareness of the importance of the film and television industry's creativity and contribution to economic prosperity in this country,” said Slawko Klymkiw, Executive Director, CFC. “A healthy film and television industry means more jobs, a stronger economy, and a greater array of entertainment choices for audiences. For creativity and prosperity to flourish in the digital age, the protection of creative works matters.”

Viewers can watch all three winning entries at

The contest ran from September 6, 2011- January 13, 2012. All categories and genres of short films were accepted, including drama, comedy, animation, horror, sci-fi, documentary, experimental and music videos.

The REEL Challenge Contest is an opportunity for artists to speak out on the importance of protecting creative works. Copyright is the bread and butter for thousands of Canadians working in the film industry. Filmed entertainment takes enormous amounts of time, investment and effort to make – and in the digital age of the internet, no time at all to steal. The illegal copying and mass distribution of movies on the Internet has a destructive impact throughout our entire economy, threatening all types of jobs and businesses.

The REEL Challenge Contest is an initiative of the Canadian Film Centre, supported by the Copyright Collective of Canada. The Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding residents of Quebec.)

About CFC CFC is Canada's leading institution for advanced training in film, television, screen acting and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices in film, television, new media and screen acting to the world.