NBCUniversal Announces SHORT CUTS DIVERSITY FESTIVAL Top Semi-finalists

NBCUniversal Announces SHORT CUTS DIVERSITY FESTIVAL Top Semi-finalists

NBCUniversal announced the top semi-finalists for its seventh-annual "Short Cuts Festival" at an industry screening on September 12, 2012 at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The event was hosted by NBC's "30 Rock" co-star Keith Powell.

The 2012 semi-finalists were awarded with round-trip airfare to New York City, as well as industry-standard software from the Write Brothers & Entertainment Partners. . Ultimately, the top finalists will be brought to Los Angeles for NBCUniversal's "Short Cuts Festival Finale" at the Directors Guild of America Theater on October 24th hosted by NBC's "The Office", Craig Robinson.

Now in its seventh year, NBCUniversal's "Short Cuts Festival" primary focus is to deliver ethnically, culturally & innovatively diverse voices to the film and television industry. The program is championed by Kendra Carter, Director of NBC's Talent Diversity Initiatives, NBCUniversal.

"This annual festival is firmly established industry-wide as a platform for promising writers, producers, directors and actors to showcase their exceptional work before a knowledgeable audience of entertainment executives," said Carter. "As a department, we consistently produce events with the goal of cultivating diversity both in front of and behind the camera .We are constantly seeking to expand the scope of the program to reflect NBCUniversal's strong commitment to promote increasing diversity as well as to provide opportunities that will result in creative gains that can be seen in the immediate future."

The October finale will feature another high-profile panel, screening of the 2012 festival finalists' films and closing reception. The four major prize categories up for grabs include: Best Short, Best Actor, Best Director and the Audience Award. Each year, an effort is made to make the prizes advantageous to the recipients' future in television and film.

The award for Best Director will receive a Panavision camera package donation valued at $60,000 and earn a finalist position in the NBC Director Fellowship program. Best Actor, will receive a one-year NBCUniversal Talent Holding Deal. The Audience Award winner will receive GoPro's HD Hero2 Outdoor Edition Camera Package and for the grand prize, the Best Short will receive a blind pilot script deal with NBCUniversal. More prizes and festival finalists will be announced in the coming weeks leading up to the festival through its main social media outlet: Facebook.com/ShortCutsFest.

"We want to congratulate this year's semi-finalists for the 'Short Cuts' program that continues to prosper with each sensational New Group of artists," said Wil Sylvince, Founder, "Short Cuts" Festival. "In addition, NBCUniversal and the greater film industry deserve our sincere appreciation for their support and devotion to this ongoing effort to offer a platform for talented filmmakers of diverse backgrounds who bring new voices to enrich the entertainment industry."

As a company-wide initiative, this year's festival partners include NBC, Bravo, Syfy, Telemundo, G4, USA Networks, Focus Features, Universal Pictures, Hulu & E!. Corporate Partners range from Panavision & Entertainment Partners to Write Brothers, Sheraton Universal, WebSolutions, & G-technology. This year's panel of judges once again includes top talent and executives from the industry, including: Ken Jeong (NBC's "Community"); Charlotte Koh, Head of Development for Hulu Original Series; Grace Wu, Executive Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment; and Michael Sluchan, Vice President, Original Scripted Series Programming, USA Network.

NBCUniversal's "Short Cuts Festival" was founded with actor/writer/comedian Sylvince in 2005 to display and celebrate diversity in the entertainment industry. The objective is to allow creative individuals with diverse perspectives the opportunity to present their material in front of key decision makers within the industry. When Sylvince is not working on the "Short Cuts Film Festival," he performs on the national comedy circuit, on college campuses and in festivals worldwide. For additional information, please visit WWW.NBCSHORTCUTS.COM.

NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51 percent interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49 percent stake.