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New Orleans media experience awards


Winning Films include Abby Singer, Sounds Of Memphis, and Genital Warts: The Musical

Winners of the film and music video competitions were honored with the Fleur De Lis Award on Friday, October 31, 2003 at the first annual New Orleans Media Experience ("The Experience"). Over 100 short, animated, documentary and feature films were screened at the inaugural Experience, the first-of-its kind convergence festival celebrating the best of film, music, advertising and videogames during Halloween Week in New Orleans. Winners were selected by festival attendees via interactive voting stations located throughout the city. The awards reception recognized the most outstanding entries from the various screenings based upon the same criteria used to determine selection for screening at the Experience.

Abby Singer, directed and co-produced by Ryan Williams, produced by Jonathan Black and executive produced by Paul A. Wood, received top honors for both Best Feature Film and Best Independent Film. Set against the independent film festival scene, Abby Singer centers on a schizophrenic casting director who is hell-bent on ending his life after his girlfriend ends their relationship. The filmmakers pushed the edge of the envelope by directly approaching celebrities with their digital video camera and weaving the celebrities' appearances into the film's plot. Such appearances include Patricia Arquette, Roger Ebert, Don Cheadle, John Waters, Jake Gyllenhall, Taye Diggs, and Brad Pitt.

The winner of the Best Horror/Suspense Feature Film was Nursie, by Ja Trac & Tre Boucher. Thomas Howell, Savannah Boucher, David Parker, and Frieda Jane star in this quirky gothic thriller about a psychotic nurse, who along with her monster brother, launch a sadistic campaign against a young doctor to hide their murderous deeds. The Best Documentary Feature went to Sounds of Memphis, co-directed and produced by Jeff Scheftel and co-directed by Allan Hozman. The documentary follows the roots of American Blues Music through excerpts from more than 150 hours of first-person oral history and interview from Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, Steve Cropper and Sam Phillips exploring the seminal careers of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, and Sam & Dave . The Award for Best Short was Genital Warts: The Musical, directed and written by Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern, and produced by Julia Bauman. Martine, directed and written by Mark Gantt and produced by g5 films, won for Best
Horror/Suspense Short. The Award for Best Animated Short was tied between El Arquero, directed by Raphael Perkins, and Blind Date, by Gary Hsu. The Fleur De Lis Awards for Best Independent Music Video and Best Music Video were given to Mike Phillips featuring Jr Wonderful & Special, directed by Eric Shoe.

About The New Orleans Media Experience

The New Orleans Media Experience takes place in New Orleans, LA, during the week of Halloween. The festival features select content from the four fields of film, music, advertising and videogames, including feature films, short films, never-before-seen commercials, winners from the MVPA Awards music videos, and unreleased videogames. All films in competition have a convergence theme, embracing elements from the mediums of music, advertising and interactive content, or utilize non-traditional techniques in either their means of production or distribution. Additionally, playing on the Halloween Week timing, a special selection of horror films are screened.

The 2003 Experience featured panel discussions with industry leaders such as Xbox’s J Allard, director Allison Anders (Gas Food and Lodging), film producers Neal Moritz (Fast and the Furious) and Jeff Balis (HBO's Project Greenlight) and television producer John Feist (Survivor, The Restaurant); World-famous videogame developer American McGee; Digital Domain's Steve Ross; New York’s Scratch DJ Academy, breakfast screenings of classic horror films from Hammer Films; the best of short films; Sony Dreams Project 2003 “Joy”, nightly theme parties; a benefit concert for the Media Experience’s charitable partner, Rock the Vote featuring N.E.R.D, Clipse, and spymob; and GameRiot presented by nVIDIA, a lifestyle experience and competition for casual and hardcore videogamers. Among the many titles GameRiot showcased this year are SCEA’s Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, Electronic Arts’ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Activision’s Tony Hawk’s Underground, and Tecmo’s America’s Army: Special Forces. The festival closed with a Halloween Masquerade Ball sponsored by InStyle Insider.

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