Star Wars Fan Films Recognized by AtomFilms and Lucasfilm, Ltd. by Melissa Minners
Since 2002, Atom Films, one of the internet’s best sources for short-form comedies, dramas and animations, in conjunction withLucasfilm Ltd., has been the host of The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards. The event was created to honor the best of the Star Wars-themed spoofs and documentaries lovingly created by Star Wars fans everywhere. Prizes have ranged from those of monetary value to trophies to official recognition by George Lucas at large conventions (Celebration II and Comic Con) and starwars.com.
The films submitted must meet certain requirements. They must be under 10 minutes long and contain only sound effects provided in theStar Wars Fan Film Production Kit. The films can be parodies of the existing Star Wars Universe, which includes films, books and comics, or documentaries of the fan experience. There are certain restrictions. The films submitted cannot attempt to expand upon the existing Star Wars Universe. They also cannot contain any copyrighted material, Star Wars or other. They should not contain any SAG or other guilded actors or performers. All Star Wars Fan Film submissions should be relatively clean. Any film containing graphic violence, nudity, graphic language, etc. will be considered ineligible.
Each year, fans submit their very best to be judged in hopes of winning the coveted George Lucas Selects Award, earning them recognition from the Star Wars God himself. Past winners of the award include Pink Five (2003), the first in an on-going fan film series about a Valley-Girl X-Wing Pilot turned Jedi, and Escape from Tatooine (2004), a mix of Star Wars and The Planet of the Apes. This year, the award categories also included the Audience Choice Award, the Spirit of Fandom Award, The Best Comedy Award, and the Best Commercial Parody Award.
Throughout the year, Star Wars fans submitted their entries and crossed their fingers while the powers-that-be at Atom Films and Lucasfilm Ltd. surveyed their work. Finally, in June, a list of 10 finalist films were posted atAtomFilms.com to be voted on by Star Wars fans. It was a hard list to choose from:
Han Shoots First –Since the creation of the Special Edition of A New Hope, fans have been debating whether or not Han Solo was the first to fire in the memorable Cantina scene. Created by Lee Vehe, this trailer leaves no doubt as to who shot first.
Blue Milk –For Princess Leia, finding faults in the Imperial Empire began at a very young age. This commercial submitted by William Grammer is reminiscent of the Welch’s Grape Juice commercials.
Confessions –Deborah Abbot’s submission depicts a very annoyed Princess Leia giving smuggler Han Solo a piece of her mind.
Sith’d –Brian Silva spoofs salutes the television show Punk’d…Jedi style - priceless!
Pimp My Ship –In another television spoof, submitted by Wayne Barnes, Boba Fett’s Slave I is in serious need of an overhaul. Will the Pimp My Ship crew come through for the master bounty hunter? This spoof is complete with show breaks and spoof commercials.
The Dating Show –In this spoof of The Dating Game, submitted by Deborah Abbot, Han Solo must choose, sight unseen, which of three special Princesses he wants to date.
Lab 1138 –In this submission by Christophe Vielliard, scientists have discovered how to bring George Lucas’ dream into reality. They have created Earth’s first lightsaber.
Memoirs of a Padawan –Michael Q. Yowhan’s spoof of the ever popular MasterCard commercials…Star Wars style.
Pitching Lucas –In this submission by Shane Felux, George Lucas is approached by a team of cheesy television executives pitching their ideas for his upcoming television series. The execs are dealt with in fine Lucas style.
Tebok the Ewok –Jim Mehsling’s submission is a cartoon featuring Tebok the Ewok and his contributions to the Rebel movement.
Fans and film-makers alike waited in eager anticipation for the awards to be announced on Thursday, July 20, 2006 at 8:00PM in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center, site of the San Diego Comic Con! Which film would be George Lucas’ pick for top fan film honors? Whose submission would make the grade with Star Wars fans around the world? Each submission was enjoyable in its own right, but only a select few would earn award recognition. When the results were announced, there were no surprises for this reporter.
George Lucas Selects:Pitching Lucas by Shane Felux
Audience Choice Award:Pitching Lucas by Shane Felux - This win marks the first time in the history of these awards that the fans whole-heartedly agreed with George Lucas’ selection.
Spirit of Fandom Award:Memoirs of a Padawan by Michael Q. Yowhan
Best Comedy:Sith’d by Brian Silva
Best Commercial Parody:Blue Milk by William Grammer
Thus ends the 2006 Official Star Wars Fan Film Award saga. Tune in next year for another episode. Until then, there is no need to go on a fan film hiatus. You can check out the ever-growing list of Star Wars fan films available for viewing every day atAtomFilms.com.
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