Actors Angela Bassett and Jennifer Lopez will be two of the judges of the upcoming LMN Student Filmmaker Competition, a nationwide contest (co-produced by Lifetime Movie Network, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Women in Film & Television, WMA and Women in Film) honoring the best short films by female film students in the U.S.
The contest is open to all female film students (including executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors) and is designed to "encourage and discover the next generation of female filmmakers." Also judging the contest are producers Lauren Shuler Donner (the X-Men movies) and Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator 3, Æon Flux), and, director Mimi Leder (The Peacemaker, Pay It Forward).
Citing the dismal employment stats for women in film (in 2005 women comprised 17% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 domestic-grossing film–the same percentage as in 1998) as the driving force behind the contest, Lifetime Executive VP and GM Louise Henry Bryson said, "This is the same percentage of women employed in these roles in 1998. Through this competition, we hope to grow that percentage by helping to find the next great women filmmakers who will make important contributions to the Hollywood community" (hopefully, more important contributions than Terminator 3, Æon Flux, The Peacemaker, and Pay It Forward).
The first-and second-place winners will have their films screened at a special program curated by NYWIFT at the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival in October and will be invited to attend the 2007 Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast hosted by THR and Lifetime Networks in December.
The winning films will be featured on Lifetime and will be shown in their entirety on the Lifetime website. The first- and second-place winners as well as two runners-up will also receive cash prizes and meet with representatives of WMA. The competition runs through July 16, with the winners to be announced in October. For more information, visit LMN.tv/studentfilmmakers.