ATLANTA, Oct. 18, 2016 — Coca-Cola and Regal Cinemas are bringing back one of the longest-running branded student film programs in the country. The two companies are teaming up to announce the return of a student filmmaking initiative now called the Coca-Cola and Regal Films program. The premier program invites aspiring, up-and-coming filmmakers from more than 20 top university and college film schools across the country to participate.
This six-month initiative provides students with hands-on roles managing all aspects of filmmaking. From developing scripts and managing the creative process to casting and production, student finalists ultimately will create a 35-second film about the special movie- going experience. The program also gives students the opportunity to work alongside marketing and creative teams at The Coca-Cola Company and Regal Cinemas.
Coca-Cola has been an intimate part of the movie experience since the inception of film, dating back to the days of silent films. Eighteen years ago, The Coca-Cola Company created a competition for up-and-coming filmmakers called the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’sTM Award, as part of its commitment to the education community and the arts. Most recently known as Sprite FilmsTM, the program grew to a whole new level. Now with Regal’s involvement, the Coca-Cola and Regal Films program has evolved to give students even greater national exposure and access to the cinema industry.
“An ice-cold delicious Coca-Cola is a quintessential part of the movie-going experience. Bringing this program back allows us to continue the great tradition of supporting the industry and the next generation of writers, directors and producers,” said Andrew McMillin, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “We are excited to work together with these students and empower them to tell a story through their lens.”
Coca-Cola and Regal teams will select up to five finalists who each will receive $15,000 to produce a 35-second film. A Red Ribbon panel comprised of entertainment industry experts, Coca-Cola and Regal representatives will choose the 2017 grand prize winner, who will be announced at the CinemaCon conference in March 2017. The 2017 grand prize-winning film will debut on thousands of screens in Regal cinemas nationwide in spring 2017.
“Regal is proud to partner with Coca-Cola and support these ambitious film students and this long-standing program,” said Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer, Regal Entertainment Group. “Offering students with resources such as access to our theaters to produce their films and the ability to utilize our movie distribution capabilities gives participants a significant platform to share their talents with our passionate audiences across the country.”
Coca-Cola and Regal Films’ 2016 grand prize winner is Ameer Kazmi, writer and director from New York City’s School of Visual Arts, for his film “Blindfold”, which will be shown in Regal theaters nationwide beginning October 28.
Kazmi’s film tells the story of a young woman’s stressed-filled day that gets turned on its head when her two roommates have a surprise planned for her. After discovering a little red box holding a blindfold on her kitchen counter, she is guided by her roommates through the streets of New York City to a Regal movie theater where her senses are triggered and her experience is made more special by enjoying a refreshing, ice-cold Coca-Cola.
“Winning the Coca-Cola and Regal Films program has been a dream come true. It was extremely eye-opening to work with two major brands, like Coca-Cola and Regal, and be able to fully explore all facets of filmmaking beyond the creative,” said Kazmi. “I’m thankful to Coca-Cola and Regal for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see my film on the big screen with my friends and family at our local Regal Theater.”