Sprite Films Unveils Winning Student Filmmakers with a Thirst to Take on Hollywood

Sprite Films Unveils Winning Student Filmmakers with a Thirst to Take on Hollywood

It's showtime! Today, Sprite Films pulls back the curtain to reveal the winning short films created by student filmmakers who showcase bold creativity and a relentless Passion to tell stories through film.

Fan Favorite Award Winner - "See Your Dreams"

Olivia Riley Day, director
Akmyrat Tuyliyev, producer
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

The six finalist short films of the 2014 Sprite Films program were featured online at Sprite.com/films for America to view and vote for their favorite film during the voting period. The votes have been tallied and "See Your Dreams" is America's favorite. Olivia Riley Day from Dacula, Ga. has won a $5,000 donation from Sprite to the film department at Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition, Sprite will send Day on a special trip to attend AFI FEST 2014, the American Film Institute's (AFI) film festival in Los Angeles.

Day's win marks a first for SCAD, which has participated in the program since its inception in 1998 when it was known as the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award.

"Our team came together to create our short film from script to screen and I am very proud of the work we accomplished together," said Day. "I hope we showed everyone what SCAD is capable of in the world of film. It's so great to know that America enjoyed watching our film and we're grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year's Sprite Films program. It's also satisfying to know people enjoy watching my Passion unfold in a film I directed!"

Green Ribbon Panel Award Winner - "What We Need"
Merlin Camozzi, director
Richard Perry, producer
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

The Green Ribbon Panel of film industry and corporate professionals, including actor Michael B. Jordan, critiqued the technical aspects of the six short films and selected "What We Need" for the first place award in the 2014 Sprite Films program. Merlin Camozzi from Eugene, Ore. has won an opportunity to work on a Sprite brand project with an agency affiliated with The Coca-Cola Company. Additionally, Camozzi will see his short film debut in select theaters across the country in August 2014.

"Being a Sprite Films finalist has been an amazing experience," said Camozzi. "From receiving production support from the brand, to meeting with our Sprite Films mentor, Michael B. Jordan, to getting to premier our films at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Sprite Films has provided an incredible platform to advance our craft and share our work on a national level. Being selected as the top film this year by the Green Ribbon Panel is a real honor, and I am beyond excited to see our project hit theaters later this summer."

Student filmmakers from 23 participating colleges and universities across the United States submitted scripts to the 2014 Sprite Films program. The films were inspired by an aspect of urban culture and delivered a unique story from their individual point of views. In August, the Sprite Films program will be promoted in select movie theaters nationwide and featured on promotional materials such as Branded cups, popcorn bags and theatre displays.

"Each year, we partner with prestigious film schools to showcase refreshingly talented filmmakers who are the future of the film industry. The competition was intense between the participants, and their passionate pursuit of self-expression is demonstrated in their films," said Kimberly Paige, associate vice president, Sprite Brands, Coca-Cola North America. "We applaud the winners as well as the finalists, and we cannot wait to see what they do next."

In addition to the opportunity to develop a short film from script to screen, the students were introduced to actor Michael B. Jordan who served as their mentor and program ambassador. He met the students and shared his personal advice on working in the film industry.

"I have worked with multiple first-time directors and producers - many of whom made my career as an actor - and it is important to me to give back and support emerging filmmakers," said Jordan. "I hope the advice I shared with the talented 2014 Sprite Films filmmakers based on my own experiences will fuel them to follow their individual dreams in the film industry."

Instagram Film Contest

Beginning July 15, Sprite Films will launch a first-time call for non-student filmmakers to participate in a short film submission contest via Instagram. The open call will provide an opportunity for consumers to upload films showcasing visual examples of unique self-expression. Youth from across the United States will have the opportunity to participate in Sprite Films through this inaugural online program, and Sprite will spotlight select participants on its social media channels. Visit Sprite.com/films for more information on how to enter the contest.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn.

SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE ©2015 Business Wire