Paying It Forward: Octavia Spencer Creates Contest for Aspiring Filmmakers

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January 26, 2013 ‐ By Drenna Armstrong
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There are few people in this world who can say they’ve made it to a certain level in their careers without hard work and perhaps, someone who didn’t mind lending a helping hand.

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer has taken it upon herself to lend that hand in her industry. EURweb is reporting that Spencer is currently holding a contest on her Facebook page for aspiring filmmakers. She explained that she knows the struggle of “making it big” in the industry because it was the same way with her and many of her friends.  As she stated:

“What many people don’t know is that it takes an average of 15 years to become an over night success. At least that’s how long it took me and my friends. But, in that time you must create and continue to hone your skills. If you are a musician, write poetry and turn it into an amazing song. If you are a filmmaker write a short and shoot it. I’ve done it twice now. I know it’s not easy. Two of my friends shot beautiful, award winning shorts on the CANON EOS 60D. One of those films was shortlisted to potentially receive an Oscar nomination yesterday. Trust me I know money is tight.  So, in honor of Award Season, I’d like to help someone else see their dream realized.”

Each film, which must be in short form, must be posted right on her page and cannot exceed 20 minutes in length. All filmmakers can enter as many films as they’d like but can only submit each film once.  The winner will receive a Canon EOS 60D, Platinum 6000 digital tripod and $1,000. The second and third place winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.

All entries must be submitted before February 10th and the winner will be announced during Oscar weekend (the show will air live on February 24th).

This is a wonderful thing Spencer is doing. Not only is she encouraging up and coming artists by sharing her story (which clearly hasn’t been easy), but she’s also doing her part to further a filmmaker’s talents. There’s something to be said for a person who sees that their success can be used to build up someone else.

If you’ve got a film or have been thinking about making one, get to it and submit!

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